Canon Law & Jim Murphy MP…

Canon Law & Jim Murphy MP…

One of our bloggers wrote to Bishop John Keenan (Paisley)  to draw his attention to the public statements of Jim Murphy MP, affirming his support for abortion. Jim Murphy is a Catholic of the Diocese of Paisley who is currently seeking to win the Labour leadership in Scotland.  Click here to read more. Under Church law, manifest public sinners – and that includes those who support abortion – cannot receive Holy Communion.  This is not a matter left to the discretion of any priest or bishop – Canon # 915 prohibits Communion to public sinners and it is a grave sin for any priest or bishop to flout this law.  We’ve had this discussion more than once – click here to reach one of our previous conversations on the topic.

FrJohnKeenanYet, Bishop Keenan declined to reply to our blogger, electing instead to delegate the matter to his Vicar General. Now, Paisley is not New York.  You can go for a walk round Paisley and meet yourself on the way back.  So, one might fairly expect the Bishop to answer his own mail, especially correspondence on a matter as serious as that under discussion here.

The upshot of the responses from the Vicar General is that the Bishop takes pro-life issues seriously and is dealing with the matter of the “pro-choice” [i.e. pro-murder] MP privately and anyway “neither you nor I are entitled to know what transpires between a bishop and another’s soul.”  What the heck does that mean? Nobody is asking what is going on in Jim Murphy’s soul but we have every right to know whether or not the Bishop is doing his duty to protect the MP himself from continuing on his – literally – damnable route by receiving Holy Communion in a manifestly unworthy state, and also whether he is doing his duty to protect the rest of the faithful from being scandalised. If Jim Murphy had publicly admitted to (let’s use a euphemism) “harming” children, the Bishop would have been in front of the TV cameras in jig time to express his shock horror and to discourage Catholics from voting for him.  Surely unborn children deserve similarly robust protection from Catholic priests and prelates?

The upshot of our blogger’s response to the Vicar General’s correspondence  is that for the bishop to deal with this matter “privately” is not good enough since the scandal is very public and requires the enforcement of Canon 915. 

Well?  Do you agree? 

Comments (63)

  • Wendy Walker

    Have been reading about Jim Murphy Scottish Mp ..he is NOT PRO LIFE ……and yet dares to call himself Catholic seems hes very pro Homosexual too.
    Surely he should be excommunicated ?
    I sincerley hope there is an uproar about this you canot be Labour and PRO LIFE it seems appalling he shpuld recieve thousands of letters of concern ?

    December 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm
    • editor


      Unfortunately, due to the loss of Catholic Faith from the top of the Church down, Jim Murphy is never going to receive thousands of letters of concern. The Bishop will possibly (now that he’s received a letter from our blogger) “have a quiet word” along the lines of “hey mate, any chance you could tone it down a bit? Looks bad if Catholic politicians say they don’t accept God’s law… gimme a break. I really don’t want to have to answer any questions from the media about it. I can ignore Catholic Truth but the Daily Record is another kettle of media altogether…”

      There won’t be anything seriously “offensive” said or we’d be reading about it in the newspapers – it would make headlines for a week.

      The sad fact is, Labour won’t be affected any more than any of the other parties will be affected by this issue. Catholics, shamefully, are voting on the same basis as the pagans around us – chiefly the economy. As long as they’re going to be better off financially themselves, all the babies in creation can be murdered in their mothers’ wombs, for all they care.

      And there’s not a jot of leadership from the hierarchy, including the upper hierarchy, aimed at correcting this scandalous selfishness and complicity in the murder of the unborn and the advance of homosexuality. On the contrary, didn’t someone in the Vatican say that we really oughtn’t to “obsess” about these issues?

      December 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm
  • Therese


    Spot on in every sense. I’m very surprised that some of the lovely bloggers here are so shocked. This state of affairs has been going on since 1967; as a former SPUC worker for many years, the indifference of Catholics to the fate of the slaughtered unborn enraged me; you can’t shame these people. Their politics come first (I have to say that it was overwhelmingly Labour “Catholic” supporters in my neck of the woods). If they were as loyal to the teachings of the Church as they are to socialism, abortion would have been banned years ago.

    December 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm
    • editor


      Well said. Like you, it’s incomprehensible to me how any Catholic could put any other political issue ahead of abortion. Yet I know of someone who regards himself as a diehard traditional Catholic who actually goes out canvassing for his local Labour politicians, councillors and MP at every election. Incredible.

      December 16, 2014 at 7:57 pm

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