Archive for Thursday, September 14, 2006

Archbishop criticizes Sebelius in editorial

Catholics asked to pray for governor to rethink stance on abortion

September 14, 2006


The Catholic archbishop for northeast Kansas has written a widely circulated editorial column criticizing Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who is Catholic, and urging fellow church members to pray "that she might reconsider her long held position supporting legalized abortion."

"It is never permissible for a Catholic to support the legalization of the killing of innocent lives by abortion, much less lead the fight for legal abortion," wrote Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

It isn't the first time Sebelius, a longtime supporter of abortion rights, has drawn the church's ire. Strongly worded rebukes from Catholic leaders have followed Sebelius, a Democrat, almost the entirety of her career in Kansas politics with little apparent detriment to her. She served multiple terms in the Kansas House and then was state insurance commissioner before winning election as governor.

The archbishop's column appeared in "The Leaven," a diocesan newspaper with 52,900 circulation. But it wasn't immediately clear how influential it might be.

Dan Watkins, who attends St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence, said Catholics must practice a faithful citizenship, which encompasses a whole range of issues in addition to respect for life.

"The fact that a public official upholds what is the law of the land, even if their faith and personal belief tells them that that's wrong, that shouldn't disqualify them in the eyes of other Catholics," said Watkins, a Lawrence lawyer and active Democrat.

Watkins said he had not read Naumann's column but said that the governor agreeing to uphold the law differs from her advocating for abortion.

"It is a polarizing issue, and I think that people may not have looked carefully enough at what her position is," he said.

The Rev. John Schmeidler, pastor at St. John's in Lawrence, also said it was difficult to judge a candidate on one issue.

"Abortion is wrong, so we really have to hold that as part of it. You can't weigh it lightly, but you also have to weigh it against any other issues, too," he said.

Schmeidler also said he had not read Naumann's column.

Naumann said he wrote the column in response to several letters he received from people who disagreed with the governor's recent veto of Senate Bill 528. It would have required abortion clinics to report "detailed reasons for the termination of a pregnancy past 22 weeks of gestation."

In her letter attached to the veto, Sebelius wrote she did not believe the bill would reduce abortions.

"My Catholic faith teaches me that life is sacred. Personally, I believe abortion is wrong," she wrote.

But Naumann questioned Sebelius' abortion record as a legislator and governor.

Naumann stopped short of asking Catholics to vote against her.

The governor's response to the column was muted.

"The governor appreciates her ongoing counsel with the archbishop, and we believe this is a matter best left to the privacy of their discussions," said Nicole Corcoran, a Sebelius spokeswoman.

Staff writer Scott Rothschild contributed to this story.


lunacydetector 11 years, 9 months ago

paladin, bigot.

sebelius has excommunicated herself from the catholic church. she should just leave it instead of being insistent she is catholic.

...and why don't we ever see photographs of her hubby? is it his pony tail she wants to hide? i thought good liberals never kept a secret.

paladin 11 years, 9 months ago

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Baille 11 years, 9 months ago

Pony tail?

United States District Court Magistrate Sebelius has a pony tail? I don't think so.

Anyway, what would it matter if he did? Such a strange thing to want to talk about.

KS 11 years, 9 months ago

If I can be a single issue voter, this is it. I can't think of anything that has a higher priority than life. Without it, what is there?

paladin 11 years, 9 months ago

Excommunication, a fate worse that death by imprisonment and torture.

DaREEKKU 11 years, 9 months ago

Fine, be a single issue vote. The state will go to hell, all the public services will be gone, our state will be in shambles.....but by God abortion will be outlawed right along with Gay Marriage!.....really progressive....

paladin 11 years, 9 months ago

Or, aerial bombardment. But, is life outside the Church really worth living?

prioress 11 years, 9 months ago

Save the cells! The skygod has blessed them all and watches over them in the freezer.

xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago

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DonnieDarko 11 years, 9 months ago

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yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

I wonder what the archbishop's views are on the death penalty and the support of the death penalty by pretty much every Kansas politican, repelican or democratic.

Could it be that the archbishop is focusing on abortion for political reasons, to attempt to smear sebelius specifically while casually brushing the death penalty issue under the rug?

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

To paraphrase: "Sebelius is not the Catholic Party candidate for Governor. She is the Democratic Party's candidate for Governor, who happens also to be a Catholic. She does not speak for her church on public matters--and the church should not speak for her."

If it were otherwise, she would be unqualified to hold public office in these United States. By such means, we are able to maintain a climate free of religiously-inspired violence and persecution as well as the adherence of religious persons to a secular government.

Perhaps the Archbishop would prefer the society in existence just a generation ago - when the loyalties of Catholics to the country over Rome was sufficiently suspect to many to prevent them from being elected to many political offices?

dizzy_from_your_spin 11 years, 9 months ago

Maybe to shore up any waivering Catholic vote, Gov. Gilligan should do another ad where she's in vestments, saying a Mass.

Anyone who has believed her pervious ads would probably fall for that one, too.

bernard 11 years, 9 months ago

First Dude Gary with a pony tail? Cool. He's a great guy. I'm just jealous that at his age, which is close to mine, that he still has hair.

offbrand1 11 years, 9 months ago


Are you actually comparing Democrats to Nazis? Are you really? And explain how the Democrats proved they are anti-semites. It's not that I'm angry, really, because your claim holds no logic (you clearly have no idea what Democrats are about). I don't like fundamentalist, ultra-conservative Republicans, but I'm not about to compare them to an evil regime guilty of colossal mass murder. That would make me sound like a raving lunatic.

Conservativeman, I would wager that you don't appreciate being blasted from the other side of the aisle and categorized in the way you just did Democrats. Why would a God-fearing Christian do onto others what they would not want done onto them? Hmmm?

offbrand1 11 years, 9 months ago

Conservativeman, Since your analogy was poorly constructed, it did not have the effect you intended. This will happen occasionally from time to time on a message board. It is you that called the DNC the party of death, claiming they were anti-semitic. Your analogy would have worked if you didn't decide at the last minute to turn it into a comparison.

I would wager, that you get attacked because you refuse to see people for who they are and insist on political labels as unique identifiers. You yourself have chosen to identify yourself as conservativeman- thereby heaping upon you all the distasteful characteristics of conservatism (and yes, they do exist, just like they do for liberalism).

This country is so divided already- why not try to unify rather than vilify?

Confrontation 11 years, 9 months ago

It's always been interesting to me to see Catholics scream and cry about abortions, yet Catholics receive a large percentage of abortions done in this country. It'd be amazing to see any religious person practice what they preach. Catholics say abortions are bad, yet they are good enough for their unwed, knocked-up daughters to have right before prom. Maybe they should focus more on all their illegals sitting in their churches every Sunday.

Tychoman 11 years, 9 months ago

Democrats supporting terrorists killing noncombatants?

Wow all this needs is a pinch of proof and this steaming pile of conservativeman-rhetoric is GOLD!

Tychoman 11 years, 9 months ago

Catholic archbishop of northeast Kansas doesn't approve of Governor Sebelius? Boo f-ing hoo.

sailboat44 11 years, 9 months ago

The Archbishop should be equally concerned about the immoral practices of the pedophile priests in his charge, the number of unwanted, abused children in foster care and the children of God who populate our prison. After that he can explain how women's health care should be controlled by the government since all the other government programs are working so well. Maybe if the Church was doing it's job, the moral question of abortion would be a mute point.

drewdun 11 years, 9 months ago

""Abortion is wrong, so we really have to hold that as part of it. You can't weigh it lightly, but you also have to weigh it against any other issues, too," he said."

Molesting children is wrong, too. Maybe the clergy of the church should make sure their own house is in order before they launch brazenly political attacks 8 weeks before an election

On another topic, you're really on tonight, conman. I mean ON FIRE

Tychoman 11 years, 9 months ago

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ksmoderate 11 years, 9 months ago

Whoa, stop. C-man.

98% of pedophiles are liberals? C'mon, now....

Are you talking about just the Catholic pedophiles, or all?

Cite it. Or take it back.

sailboat44 11 years, 9 months ago

They don't convict pedophlie priests. They reassign them.

drewdun 11 years, 9 months ago

"I see the thought police are controlling content again"

What do you contribute? Lunacy and hate. Like I said, if you believe even half of the crap you post, you are in serious need of psychiatric help

xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago

Kathleen is the best governor we've had since the Dockings in the 50s and 60s; she will be re-elected in a landslide.

Catholicism - I'm a former Catholic - is a fine religion . . . for children. Nio rational adult, which Kathleen certainly is, should or does believe any superstitious nonsense.

The Catholic Church and its minions need to understand that societies evolve, while the Church often lags behind. Abortion is an evolved, modern right, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, a number of precedent-setting rulings by the SCOTUS - and is legal in Kansas.

If you don't like it, tough.

KS 11 years, 9 months ago

Sebilus is by far the most "do nothing" Governor in the history of this state. She can lay claim to nothing.

Because she has not made any waves, she will be relected but not with my help.

Sacerdotal 11 years, 9 months ago

"I will consider it if sailor44 can name convicted pedophile priests under the charge of the Catholic archbishop of northeast Kansas."

That's part of the problem, isn't it? The church moves these tortured men around, hides them from the public and protects them from public scrutiny. Few are convicted; that's for other people.

laughingatallofu 11 years, 9 months ago

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ksmoderate 11 years, 9 months ago

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