Tuesday, March 27, 2012
No communion for Bertie Ahern? Perjury is a reserved sin
For the Irish politician and pals who have been cited in the Mahon report as having lied to the tribunal about their finances or lied, period, there is the potential that the Irish police might do their job and actually investigate. The revenue commissioners might actually seek back taxes and the Criminal Assets Bureau might actually want to take some of the ill gotten gain from you/them.
For most people that would be bad enough but for those who profess to be Catholics something else is in peril. Their immortal souls. Perjury is one of the few sins a Catholic may commit that is a reserved sin.
Absolution for a reserved sin is reserved to the local bishop (or the Pope in certain cases). The penitent may only be absolved of the sin by the bishop of his diocese. On his return from Nigeria will Bertie Ahern head up to the archbishop's house? A Catholic not absolved of a mortal sin should in theory be denied communion at mass.
Christ gave power to the rulers of His Church to make such reservations: "Whose sins you shall retain they are retained" (John 20:23).