By one of those ironies of history, this January 3rd, which happens to be Epiphany here in Canada, marks the anniversary of the decrees of excommunication against the former-monk Martin Luther, by Pope Leo X in 1521, and against the sometime-Catholic Fidel Castro by Pope John XXIII in 1962. Luther publicly burned the papal letter in defiance – although it may have been a copy I have no idea what Castro did with his, or whether he ever received an official letter. There is some controversy whether Castra was cast out because he was a Communist, which allegiance Pius XII decreed excommunicable in 1949, or because he persecuted the Church and her priests and bishops, or, perhaps, both. Odd, now that I write that – the commie preaching a false community getting excommunicated from the true community.
I am in the midst of an article on whether Joseph Biden and Justin Trudeau should be admitted to Holy Communion and, in a broader sense, what it means to ‘belong’ to the Church. A Church that is ‘all-inclusive’ ceases to be an ‘ecclesia‘, a ‘calling together’ around some body of truths, and living out of those truths. As Christ warned, He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. (Mt 12:30).
As Father Callam alludes in his words today, the Wise Men chose wisely. The paranoid, tyrannical and murderous Herod, not so much. We too must choose our side, and take what consequences there be, for good or ill, here, an in eternity.