Saturday, June 07, 2008

Finally, A Priest With a Backbone

If only all of our priests would be as consistent as the priest mentioned below in their defense of the sanctity of the Eucharist. A priest has a right and, more so, duty to ensure that the Eucharist is received by those who are readily prepared.

For anyone who participates in any way in abortion (and this includes voting, for it is through our votes that public officials get into office and make the policies that determine whether millions will live or die) shall not receive Eucharist, for abortion is a mortal sin, and to persist in mortal sin is to excommunicate oneself.

As Canon 915 declares, "Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion."

May we pray for this priest's strength to stand again the attacks that inevitably will come, as well as for more priests to join the ranks of the faithful and stand up for the truth of the Body,

“My Obama-heresy”

Catholic law professor who endorsed Obama talks to national press about California incident in which he was denied communion

An April incident in which a priest denied communion to Pepperdine University law professor Douglas Kmiec at a Mass for the Ventura/LA North chapter of Legatus, a group made up of well-to-do Catholics in business, has made it onto the pages of the Washington Post.

Kmiec, a former legal counsel to presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and who once served as dean of the law school at the Catholic University of America, stunned many of his Catholic colleagues in March when he endorsed Barack Obama for president in an article written for Slate magazine.

On April 18, less than a month after Kmiec’s endorsement of Obama appeared on the pages of Slate, an unnamed college chaplain refused to give him communion at the Legatus meeting. “Kmiec said Catholic bloggers told him he had excommunicated himself for supporting Obama,” wrote syndicated religion columnist Cary McMullen on May 24, citing a Kmiec essay elsewhere on the Internet. “Then, at a Mass before a dinner at which Kmiec was to speak, he said, ‘a very angry college chaplain excoriated my Obama-heresy from the pulpit at length and then denied my receipt of communion.’”

On June 3, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne joined the fray with a piece entitled, “For an 'Obamacon,' Communion Denied.” ‘Obamacon’ is a phrase coined to describe conservatives who support Obama.

“Word spread like wildfire in Catholic circles: Douglas Kmiec, a staunch Republican, firm foe of abortion and veteran of the Reagan Justice Department, had been denied Communion,” wrote Dionne. “His sin? Kmiec, a Catholic who can cite papal pronouncements with the facility of a theological scholar, shocked old friends and adversaries alike earlier this year by endorsing Barack Obama for president. For at least one priest, Kmiec's support for a pro-choice politician made him a willing participant in a grave moral evil.”

Dionne described the Kmiec incident as “the opening shot in an argument that could have a large impact on this year's presidential campaign: Is it legitimate for bishops and priests to deny Communion to those supporting candidates who favor abortion rights?”

Kmiec, says Dionne, “is supporting Obama despite the candidate's position on abortion, not because of it, partly in the hope that Obama's emphasis on personal responsibility in sexual matters might change the nature of the nation's argument on life issues.”

Kmiec told Dionne: "To think you have done a generous thing for your neighbor or that you have built up a culture of life just because you voted for a candidate who says in his brochure that he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade is far too thin an understanding of the Catholic faith."

According to Dionne, Kmiec told him the name of the priest who refused to give him communion, but asked that he not be named “to protect the cleric from public attack.” And, although the column did not name the group Legatus, Dionne said Kmiec showed him “a letter of apology from the organizers of the event.”


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