Friday, May 16, 2008

"Catholic Democrats" Attack "Registered Republican Archbishop of Kansas City" for "Using Communion" to "Take Down" Sebelius

I guess Bishops only have the right to exercise their authority if they're registered with the Democrat Party. At least according to the website belonging to an outfit that calls itself "Catholic Democrats" - a group that was highly praised by another Catholic blog recently. Here's more:

Communion as a political weapon, no matter the cost to American Catholicism [ED.: There's your problem. You're more concerned about your brand of "American Catholicism" than you are about Roman Catholicism.]

Governor Kathleen Sebelius has been widely applauded in Democratic circles as a leading vice-presidential candidate, in part because of her potential appeal to the Catholic voters that all three remaining presidential candidates have recognized as critical to their victory in November. [ED.: And there's the gist of the problem for these folks - Archbishop Naumann's corrective action makes Sebelius no longer useful in winning over "the Catholic vote", and the little donks are upset about it.] As a state legislator and Insurance Commissioner, Gov Sebelius had worked closely for years with the bishops of Kansas on a wide array of issues of great concern to Catholics, including affordable housing, opposing the death penalty, and filling gaps in managed care. Her public service has been recognized by Governing Magazine in 2001, which named her one of its public officials of the year, and by Time Magazine in 2005, which labeled her one of America's five best governors.

So, with the Democratic governor's political star rising, the registered Republican Archbishop of Kansas City revived the use of Holy Communion as a political weapon to take her down.
[ED.: Just WOW! So, because Archbishop Naumann exercises the same right as every other Catholic to vote for the party of his choice according to his conscience, the "Catholic Democrats" impugn his motives and automatically assume that he has used his episcopal authority to "take down" their fair-haired child for political gain. Never mind the actual merits of Archbishop Nauman's decision to take corrective action. And I don't anticipate that our friends who were singing the praises of this Democrat outfit the other day will now reassess their view. But HEAVEN FORBID a conservative question a prelate about ANYTHING, especially if said conservative calls into question one of the progressives' pet issues.] He publicly called on her to stop taking Communion with her Catholic community, because of her widely-known opposition to the use of criminal law in dealing with abortion. In a Catholic newspaper column, Archbishop Joseph Naumann indicated that he had made the request because he had been angered by her vetoes of several Republican bills [ED.: Since they made it all the way to the governor's desk, I'm assuming they passed the entire legislature, which would make them more than just "Republican bills".] restricting abortion in Kansas. In her most recent veto message, Gov Sebelius offered a detailed description of the lengths to which she had gone to address the abortion issue constructively, and lauded the success her administration had achieved in decreasing its incidence.

Archbishop Naumann is no stranger to Republican political circles.
[ED.: Gee, should we detail the Bishops who are "no stranger to Democrat political circles"? For example, Archbishop Wuerl is buddies with the Heinz-Kerrys - maybe I should concoct some connection between that and his refusal to deny Communion to pro-abort politicians.] He was a keynote speaker at a Denver conference in the fall of 2007 at which all the Republican presidential candidates appeared. [ED.: Were the Democrat candidates invited? If so, why didn't they attend?] In an essay printed last fall in the conservative journal First Things [ED.: Gasp! That "neo-con" rag?], he belittled efforts on the part of progressive office holders to address abortion constructively rather than through criminal law [ED.: You mean he took the following line from the Bishops' "Statement on Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life" seriously? "... While it is always necessary to work to reduce the number of abortions by providing alternatives and help to vulnerable parents and children, Catholic teaching calls all Catholics to work actively to restrain, restrict and bring to an end the destruction of unborn human life..."], writing, "Why do so many of the pro-choice politicians even say that they want to make abortion rare? Why want to make something rare if it is truly a valid choice?" [ED.: Well? Would you like to address the point?] In 1996, as an official of the St Louis Archdiocese, then-Msgr Naumann tried to discourage attendance by Catholic school children at an event featuring President Bill Clinton because he disagreed with Clinton's veto of a Republican abortion bill. [ED.: Yeah, it was only Naumann and no one else who "disagreed" with Clinton's veto. How dare he take issue with that? And how dare he take action to avoid giving honor to a politician who actively disagrees with Church teaching on the sanctity of life?]

One Catholic theologian [ED.: Who? Never mind. There's a list of usual suspects from which we could probably pick out the "theologian" at issue. I could probably throw out 3 names off the top of my head and one of them would be the person in question. I do find it interesting that the "theologian" was unwilling to attach his or her name to this outright attack on the authority of a Bishop of the Church.] was outraged by the Archbishop's decision to use Communion for his political purposes [ED.: Once again impugning the Archbishop's motives.]: "Gov Sebelius made clear that she is opposed to abortion and that she is pursuing steps to reduce them. She vetoed the bill because of her judgement that it was unconstitutional. This makes the debate between her and the Bishop one of prudential judgement of policy. This is outside of the competence of the Magisterium, thus he has no episcopal basis to discourage her from receiving the Eucharist. His statement clearly portrays his going public with his 'request' as a response to her veto. The bishop has overstepped the bounds of doctrine and is now using a church sanction to punish a Catholic with whom he has a political disagreement."

The Archbishop is part of a small circle of conservatives
[ED.: It's a conspiracy!] that includes the bishop of the neighboring diocese of Kansas City MO, Robert Finn, who was the keynote speaker for an annual Republican political event last month in Washington DC called the "National Catholic Prayer Breakfast," organized largely by the leadership of Catholics for McCain. Archbishop Charles Chaput, another champion of using Communion for political purposes, wrote in the Denver Catholic Register in January, "So can a Catholic in good conscience support a 'pro-choice' candidate? The answer is: I can't and I won't." But are these pro-Republican bishops on firm ground theologically with their arguments that criminalization of abortion is the sine qua non of morality on this issue? [ED.: Holy crap! If Deal Hudson or Bill Donohue or Fr. Neuhaus or Kathryn Jean Lopez or any other conservative Catholic had written something akin to this paragraph, the usual suspects among the "progressive" Catholic caucus would be going apeshit and hurling invectives at the "cafeteria Catholics" on the right. Just witness the reaction to Bob Novak's relatively tame by comparison criticism of Cardinals Egan and McCarrick and Archbishop Wuerl. Or Fr. Neuhaus' questioning of the "competency" of the USCCB in working with the Democrats to bring an end to the war in Iraq. Neither of them came even close to this bald partisan attack, yet they were raked over the coals by "progressive" Catholics.]

There is a good reason why so many nobly motivated public servants have opposed the criminalization of abortion [ED.: Spare me. The reason is that they care more about appeasing Moloch than they do pleasing Christ.], while fighting for the Church's stances on many other issues. The dirty little secret is that advocacy of criminalization for abortion has no basis in Catholic ethics [ED.: Oh, sod off, you lying fecks! Once more, with emphasis: "... While it is always necessary to work to reduce the number of abortions by providing alternatives and help to vulnerable parents and children, Catholic teaching calls all Catholics to work actively to restrain, restrict and bring to an end the destruction of unborn human life..."], particularly since criminal measures have never been shown to be an effective means of decreasing abortions. [ED.: Get used to this. This is going to be the mantra - that "pro-choice" is a legitimate position for Catholics to hold and to vote for - beyond this election. So far, the Bishops have not assented to this posturing (which is the reason for this blistering attack). Let's pray that they never do abandon the effort to protect the unborn in law.]

[More (if you can stomach it)]
(emphasis and editorial commentary added)

Folks, this outfit is NOT, contrary to the claims of some, an "interesting and encouraging group". Rather, this group is an overly partisan apologist for abortion and the politicians who support it.

Whether you agree with Archbishop Naumann's actions or not, surely you can recognize that what "Catholic Democrats" have done here is to launch a brazen political attack - unlike any I have ever seen - upon the integrity and authority of a Bishop of the Church. Clearly, this group is willing to engage in the vilest of efforts to undermine the teachings and authority of our Bishops in the cause of furthering the election of pro-abort Democrats.

Shame on them. I call upon Catholics of good will who also happen to be Democrats to denounce this nonsense.

By the way, attacking Bishops in this way should do wonders for the Democrat efforts to win "the Catholic vote".

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:

Deal Hudson on "How Obama's Catholics Will Dodge the Infanticide Question"

Archbishop Naumann to Kansas Gov. Sebelius: Stop Taking Communion, Publicly Apologize [UPDATED]

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At 5/16/2008 3:03 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

If I've ever seen a conservative group attack a bishop this explicitly over his legitimate use of episcopal authority, I certainly don't recall it.

They've done much to re-enforce their "Democrats" monicker, but little to earn the term "Catholic".

At 5/16/2008 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps they should call themselves

At 5/16/2008 4:27 PM, Blogger James H said...

Great Commentary!!!

At 5/16/2008 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not Mrs. Sebelius should receive Communion, it is clear that she and many of her fellow Democrats have a guilty conscience.


At 5/16/2008 7:32 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

All I can see is red. And I don't mean the color of your font.

These people shouldn't just be denied communion, they should excommunicated. They should be burned at the stake!

I am increasingly of the opinion that such apologists for abortion who speak from within the Church itself (or at least claim to do so) do more damage to lives and souls than anyone in America.

This is, not least, because they are trying to intimidate our bishops into not teaching the Catholic faith. I applaud those bishops who have the courage to stand up to them.

At 5/16/2008 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly enough I'm going to agree with Paul here and claim my preferred route is the judicial route over Can. 915. I went into it briefly at Vox Nova when I posted on the Sebelius matter. Probably not surprising you Jay, I stated the Bishop's actions were very defensible.

At 5/16/2008 9:27 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

Yeah, I agree with MZ. It would be clearer for everyone involved if bishops went all the way and officially excommunicated people they considered to have crossed the line, rather than telling the to abstain from communion but not actually excommunicating them.

This is a case where "getting medieval" is probably what one should do, if one is to take action at all. (And in the Church of Dante and Aquinas, who can object to getting medieval?)


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