Q. Your Excellency, since the legalisation of abortion in Ireland in 2013, Catholic hospitals such as the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, have issued statements indicating that they will comply with the new abortion laws. In these circumstances, what is the duty of an archbishop or bishop in whose jurisdiction these hospitals reside?
Bishop Schneider: The duty of a Catholic bishop in such a case is to deprive the hospital the title “Catholic” and remind his faithful that accomplices of the horrible crime of abortion commit a grave sin and are threatened with excommunication. The punishment of excommunication is a medicinal measure in order to prevent the guilty person from committing further crimes and so to ensure his eternal salvation. This was the method of God Himself (the preaching of judgement and punishment through the prophets), of Our Lord Jesus Christ (the speech of excommunication in Mt. 18:15-18) and of the Apostles (the excommunication realized by St. Paul, cf. 1 Cor. 5: 4-5) and so it has to be also the method of the Church.
When the Church desists of this divine method, she will be no more faithful to God, she will be no more a real mother who punishes her child in order to save it. On the contrary, such a church will be a false mother who disastrously pampers the child to its damage or a stepmother who is indifferent about the child’s salvation. The following words of excommunication pronounced by St. Paul and inspired by the Holy Spirit, remain valid for all periods of the Church’s history inclusively for our days:
With the power of our Lord Jesus we deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord" (1 Cor. 5: 4-5).
Note very well this:
Hitler being baptised, he had a right to the pastoral of the Church - including to the excommunication he would seem to have needed since at least 1933 for the camps where shirking loafers could be put to death for refusal to work.
Nevertheless, he did not. He hoped for results about saving Jews (btw, in 1933 the loafers put in camps were not mainly Jewish as yet, that came a bit later, in WW-II), if he showed a smile and did a good show in secret urging every Catholic he could reach with the order to be a little Schindler.
However, a Pope may do very well to hide persecuted people, even in the temple of God, if they are Christians (a High Priest hid King David, when Saul persecuted him), this does not absolve a successor of St Peter from the order by St Paul :
Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. (Second Epistle Of Saint Paul To Timothy, Chapter 4, verse 2).
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Jeanne Françoise Frémiot de Chantal