Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank God for the Reformation!


COLUMBIA, S.C. – A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."
The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.
"Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.
"Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation."
During the 2008 presidential campaign, many bishops spoke out on abortion more boldly than four years earlier, telling Catholic politicians and voters that the issue should be the most important consideration in setting policy and deciding which candidate to back. A few church leaders said parishioners risked their immortal soul by voting for candidates who support abortion rights.
But bishops differ on whether Catholic lawmakers — and voters — should refrain from receiving Communion if they diverge from church teaching on abortion. Each bishop sets policy in his own diocese. In their annual fall meeting, the nation's Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights.
According to national exit polls, 54 percent of Catholics chose Obama, who is Protestant. In South Carolina, which McCain carried, voters in Greenville County — traditionally seen as among the state's most conservative areas — went 61 percent for the Republican, and 37 percent for Obama.
"It was not an attempt to make a partisan point," Newman said in a telephone interview Thursday. "In fact, in this election, for the sake of argument, if the Republican candidate had been pro-abortion, and the Democratic candidate had been pro-life, everything that I wrote would have been exactly the same."
Conservative Catholics criticized Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 for supporting abortion rights, with a few Catholic bishops saying Kerry should refrain from receiving Holy Communion because his views were contrary to church teachings.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said she had not heard of other churches taking this position in reaction to Obama's win. A Boston-based group that supports Catholic Democrats questioned the move, saying it was too extreme.
"Father Newman is off base," said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats. "He is acting beyond the authority of a parish priest to say what he did. ... Unfortunately, he is doing so in a manner that will be of great cost to those parishioners who did vote for Sens. Obama and Biden. There will be a spiritual cost to them for his words."
A man who has attended St. Mary's for 18 years said he welcomed Newman's message and anticipated it would inspire further discussion at the church.
"I don't understand anyone who would call themselves a Christian, let alone a Catholic, and could vote for someone who's a pro-abortion candidate," said Ted Kelly, 64, who volunteers his time as lector for the church. "You're talking about the murder of innocent beings."

Oh, Henry VIII: you were a bastard in so many ways. But at least you had the wisdom...and the want your own Church separate from Rome!


Tracie the Red said...

OK this is just wrong.

Besides, back in 2003, during a private Mass, the Holy Father gave Communion to pro-choice British PM Tony Blair.

Tony wasn't even Catholic at the time. He couldn't be. He was PM. He didn't convert until after he was out of office.

So this business of withholding Communion from someone just because of their pro-choice views is nonsense.

Tracie the Red said...

Have a gander at this site:

SCG said...

A fun read, Tracie the Red. As for the "Holy Father", which I can feel my innards getting twisted at such a reference, its just proof that most of what these guys hide behind is bunk, and a desperate need to control. I say, if there are parishoners of St. Mary's who voted for Barack Obama, then go find a church in the ECUSA. We've got all the show...without the guilt and condemnation! And how 'bout them women priests?!

Janet said...


You can't condemn a whole faith by the actions of some of it's members.

I've seen you bash many of your Episcopalian Bishops for the stance they've taken about gay priests. That doesn't make the Episcopalian faith, bad.

There are dumbnuts in every religion. But likewise, there are truly wonderful ones, like the Biden's bishop who has said repeatedly - he will NOT politicize the Eucharist and will NOT refuse the Eucharist to him.

Pope Benedict himself, congratulated Obama, and over 54% of American Catholics, voted for Obama. So please, don't condemn a whole religion based on the power hungry public hogging actions of one priest.

SCG said...

Hello Janet! Yes, dumbnuts exist in lots of religions...organized and unorganized. And the Episcopal Church has some real doozies, for sure! Apologies if you felt attacked as a Catholic.