Thursday, November 13, 2008
ABORTION--FINALLY A CAUSE THAT UNITES ?
Will the election of pro-abortion Obama be the turning point that will coalesce Catholic priests and bishops behind a single issue, abortion? Could this possibly be the issue that once again unites the Church? There would appear to be at least a hint of a developing trend.
One priest has been quite vocal in his parish according to Greenville Online:
The priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown Greenville has told parishioners that those who voted for Barack Obama placed themselves under divine judgment because of his stance on abortion and shouldn't receive Holy Communion until they've done penance.
The Rev. Jay Scott Newman told The Greenville News on Wednesday that church teaching doesn't allow him to refuse Holy Communion to anyone based on political choices, but that he'll continue to deliver the church's strong teaching on the "intrinsic and grave evil of abortion" as a hidden form of murder....
In a letter posted on St. Mary's Web site, Newman wrote that "voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."
Catholics who did so should be reconciled to God through penance before receiving communion, "lest they eat and drink their own condemnation," Newman wrote, echoing a I Corinthians admonition for anyone who partakes "without recognizing the body of the Lord."
The response from parishioners has been supportive by a margin of 9 to 1, Newman said. He also cited Scripture in urging parishioners to pray for Obama and cooperate with him wherever conscience permits....
Asked if he would actively deny the sacraments to Obama voters, Newman said he won't because the church teaches that no one is denied communion unless it would cause "grave scandal," such as in the case of a notorious public sinner.
However, he said he'll continue to teach the necessity of being in "full, visible communion" with the church before receiving the sacraments.
At the USCCB website Cardinal George's statement on the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) has been posted. The following is excerpted from it:
The recent election was principally decided out of concern for the economy, for the loss of jobs and homes and financial security for families, here and around the world. If the election is misinterpreted ideologically as a referendum on abortion, the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve. Abortion kills not only unborn children; it destroys constitutional order and the common good, which is assured only when the life of every human being is legally protected. Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.
In the statement Cardinal George outlines the loss of religious freedom that will follow passage of FOCA, and makes it clear that the American bishops of the Catholic Church stand united in opposition to the president-elect on this issue.