I Pastors who understand their duty. I particularly love it when when Pastors are not all carrot but understand the value of the stick up to and including threats of excommunication.

Excommunication is used when a person commits acts so egregious that they separate themselves from the communion of the Faithful.

Excommunication is such a drastic measure it is necessary for the Church to clarify the situation by means of a formal announcement, which informs the laity that this is not a person to follow.

Obviously, a good pastor is duty bound to do all he can to help his sheep avoid any and all such sin that could require such a censure.

Case in point. The pastor, Fr. John McCartney of St. Matthew’s Church in Dix Hills NY has recently warned his parishoners in the parish bulletin about a grave but often overlooked sin through which the sinner can incur latae sententiae excommunication!

What is the sin that would require such a drastic remedy? Heresy? Schism? Worse! The sin of really, really bad taste. (See Picture to the right.)

That made me laugh! We sometimes forget that priests can be funny and that humor can be a wonderful pastoral tool. If Father happened to make some someone think twice before purchasing that monstrosity, even better.