Archive for Saturday, May 10, 2008

Archbishop urges governor to refrain from Communion

May 10, 2008


— The Roman Catholic archbishop for northeast Kansas said Friday that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius should refrain from taking Communion until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion rights.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, also criticized her recent veto of a bill imposing new restrictions on abortion providers. He called upon the governor, who is Catholic, to take the "necessary steps for amendment of her life."

Naumann said he wrote to Sebelius in August, asking her to refrain from Communion but learned recently that she'd participated in the sacrament. He said it prompted him to write her again, asking her to respect his request and "not require from me any additional pastoral actions."

"The spiritually lethal message, communicated by our governor, as well as many other high-profile Catholics in public life, has been in effect: 'The church's teaching on abortion is optional!"' Naumann wrote in a column published Friday in The Leaven, the archdiocese's newspaper.

The issue of Catholic politicians taking Communion arose again recently because of Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to the United States. In New York, Cardinal Edward Egan said former mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani had broken "an understanding" by accepting Communion at a papal Mass.

Sebelius spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran said the governor has not seen the archbishop's column but, "Receiving Communion has not been a problem in the past for her."

Sebelius has been a strong and consistent supporter of abortion rights throughout her political career, starting as a Kansas House member in 1987-94. In 2002, when she ran for her first term as governor, she sought to reassure anti-abortion voters by promising not to seek major changes in Kansas' laws on abortion.

But she's also repeatedly vetoed legislation sought by anti-abortion groups and supported by the state's Catholic leaders.

This year's measure was partly a response to allegations that Dr. George Tiller has performed illegal late-term abortions at his Wichita clinic. Tiller, among the few U.S. physicians who perform such procedures, has said he follows state law.

Sebelius objected most strongly to provisions allowing a patient's spouse or family to go to court if they believed a doctor had performed or was about to perform an illegal late-term abortion. The patient herself also could sue, but so could a local prosecutor.

She argued that the bill would encourage litigation, jeopardize patients' privacy and allow lawsuits to block a woman's abortion "even where it may be necessary to save her life."


Dwight_Schrute 7 years ago

Can't imagine this will affect her much...when was the last time she darkened the door step of the church? My guess is many many years least as back as far as the "campaign."

yankeelady 7 years ago

Seems like the bishop is out for some publicity. The governor is upholding the law of the land. Women's rights always seem to get trampled by the church, ban on birth control, etc. Second class all the way is the way the church treats women. But of course men don't get pregnant, I'm sure things would be very different if they did.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

Until the Archbishop calls for those supporting the death penalty and torture to stop taking communion, he can be ignored.He has not a moral leg to stand on by cherry-picking abortion.He knows that renouncing the death penalty and torture would be unpopular with right-wingers, so he cherry-picks abortion.This is not morality. Indeed the opposite. This is demagoguery.

texburgh 7 years ago

Of course the Archbishop won't demand that Rep. Anthony Brown - an abortion purist but big supporter of anti-immigrant and anti-labor legislation - refrain from taking communion. As a Catholic I am offended that the church now wants to "cherry pick" their own teachings. There are plenty of papal encyclicals about workers rights but no attempt to censure or punish Catholic legislators who seek to strip workers of rights. The Bishop himself came to Topeka to oppose the immigration "reform" bill but takes no issue with Catholic legislators who would abuse immigrants.If one is going to measure Catholic lawmakers for their compliance with the teachings of the church - use the whole yardstick, not just one piece. Sebelius' actions - abortion aside - are far more in line with Catholic teaching than those of other Catholic legislators. Anthony Brown is just one example.

dirkleisure 7 years ago

The Catholic Church opposes the war in Iraq.I wonder how the archbishop feels about Sen. Brownback taking communion.The Catholic Church believes in global warming.I wonder how the archbishop feels about Sen. Brownback taking communion.The Catholic Church is opposed to torture.I wonder how the archbishop feels about Sen. Brownback taking communion.

bearded_gnome 7 years ago

so opposition to illegal immigration is turned into "anti-immigrant?" open borders hurt the poorest blacks and legal hispanics the most! making employment harder to get, depressing wages, straining healthcare and education, and enlarging the jail/prison population disproportionately. anti-immigrant? no, americans!

kugrad 7 years ago

Tax any church that engages in overt political actions such as this one.

JohnBrown 7 years ago

I always thought discussions of sin between a pastor and one of the flock was supposed to be private. I don't recall Jesus using public ridicule to keep people from sinning. Indeed, some bishops were pretty good at protecting child-molesters. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann.

lunacydetector 7 years ago

some more....And for the uninformed, the Catholic Church DOES read from the bible, and has for 2,000 years, 4 passages at every Mass. The entire Mass is biblically based for that matter and taken literally from the bible. If one were to attend Mass everyday for three years, you would read the entire Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, and it doesn't matter where in the world you happen to attend because every church is in sync. In the early years of the Church, bibles had to be hand written and 10% of the population was literate, so the Priest would read from the Bible to the congregation. Bibles could take one monk's entire lifetime to copy, and a great job those monks did because when the dead sea scrolls were found the stories were almost word-for-word as today. Those monks hand copied bibles for 1,500 years until the printing press was invented. If you notice the stained glass in the churches, the pictures are stories from the bible as well, for those who couldn't/can't read.

sdinges 7 years ago

Here's an article on CNN about the Catholic Church being against artificial birth control and artificial means of insemination. have no problem with the Catholic Church calling out high-profile members who are believed to be wrongly taking communion, but I agree that they should probably deal with getting rid of the pedophiles before expecting to be taken seriously.

lunacydetector 7 years ago

sebelius advocating abortion and calling herself Catholic automatically excommunicates her from the church - that goes for all who claim to be Catholic and advocate abortion - sebelius knows this already, but chooses to ignore it. i'm no expert but here's some interesting facts I found about the Catholic Church:Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at a cost of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. To the rest of the Americans it's free.The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students.The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today.But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.Here are some figures that you never hear. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8 % of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed. Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic? Problem.A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church, but have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.The most important non-governmental agency in the United States is the Catholic Church.

igby 7 years ago

The church lady with soap! Lol.

Corey Williams 7 years ago

"Naumann said he wrote to Sebelius in August, asking her to refrain from Communion but learned recently that she'd participated in the sacrament. He said it prompted him to write her again, asking her to respect his request and "not require from me any additional pastoral actions.""What, like excommunication? Or the inquisition?

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

What about supporters of the death penalty?What about supporters of torture?This is an incredibly dishonest hypocritical move by Naumann.

pusscanthropus 7 years ago

Dear Kathleen, Just change churches. To hell with the stupid Archbishop--where he can rot with all the pedophiles he and his cronies have protected.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years ago

Agreed, beatrice. This is politics, pure and simple.

beatrice 7 years ago

bearded, what religion teaches you to call people childish names on a regular basis? This is grandstanding by the archbishop. If he isn't taking that stand with each and every member of the church, then he is doing this for political reasons. Politics and the church shouldn't mix, yet he is mixing them so we should strip this archbishop's church of its tax-exempt status. That will put an end to such grandstanding. And since when does taking offense to protecting pedophiles an anti-Christian stance?

Godot 7 years ago

Looks like Sebelius needs to join a church whose dogma she can accept. Maybe it is time for the Unitarians to make a house call at Cedar Crest.

situveux1 7 years ago

Good for the Archbishop. Looks like Syphilis has been sipping at cup she shouldn't have been.

Paul Decelles 7 years ago

Lunacy,I don't believe is its true we get the whole Bible in the Mass through the liturgical cycles. Big sections of the Old Testament are not read. However as we do get the Gospels along with Acts, and the Epistles. The Old Testament readings from what I see are more selective and seem to provide insight and background for the New Testament readings.As for the Governor, she is a public servant in a secular society. Quite frankly I don't know whether she advocates abortion or not, but she has to balance what her private beliefs tell her against her obligations to the society at large. Advocating that a woman has the right to make her own reproductive choices is not the same thing is advocating abortion.The Bishop certainly should speak out in a pastoral sense, but what he is doing here seems to cross a line between advocating a position-say reproductive rights as a policy stance- vs one's own behavior relative to the rules of the Church. I worry about what's next? Should all Catholics who advocate a pro choice position refrain from communion? Should any one who questions any Church policy? Where is the line here?

Tom McCune 7 years ago

...If the Archbishop urges the Governor to refrain from taking communion, then maybe the Governor should urge the Archbishop to refrain from voting in elections....

bearded_gnome 7 years ago

somehow, I knew when I clicked over here I'd see the usual antichristian anticatholic bigotry! wow, what dependable far left fringies who really don't care one bit about catholics or the catholic church.I am not catholic, but I certainly respect their religious freedom to practice their faith. posters here are obviously not practicing catholics/christians, and this is just another opportunity for them to bash, telling more about them than the catholic church or the bishop. the bigoted fools above apparently have no concept that communion is a very public declaration of one's faith. apparently these yahoos would shut down that freedom. it offends them too much. why? we even have the very foulmouthed evil agnostick posting another ugly smear. *governor billious shouldn't take communion, as she obviously lives her life in opposition to the catholic church's teachings. the fools above trying to claim hypocrisy regarding war, torture, are obviously ignorant that the bible does include approved warfare and the issue is far less certain or clear than is abortion, the taking of an innocent life. and waht these fools call torture is often not, and is infact often part of the training for some of our own military personnel (i.e. waterboarding). yes, the catholic church has failed seriously about pedophiliacs in the ranks of priests. but the fools above are further ignorant in judging a faith by its followers and not by its teachings. all of us are weak and sinners in need of God's grace, priests included.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

Oh, I forgot.Attacking supporters of the death penalty and torture would offend too many catholics.It is easier to attack abortion and use this as an issue to demagogue, as many more catholics would support anti-abortion stances.Cherry-picking at its finest. Naumann doesn't have the strength of his convictions to give catholics the whole dose of medicine, just the easy dose.

pace 7 years ago

If it is a matter of faith, then a letter to her or he would speak directly to her, it is a matter of church getting press. poor business. This guy is just a no good pig.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years ago

You people are flakes, that believe in nothing.==========I believe that Jesus wouldn't wear camouflage and shoot people. Something about "thou shalt no kill."

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years ago

She could attend a church that shares her views on abortion, then the Catholic church would have nothing to say.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years ago

I don't believe I have mentioned the war or capital punishment. This article says nothing about either. I have never advocated in public or otherwise that we go to war, or have capital punishment.There is however some question of how you can be for the late term abortion of a helpless baby and against the removal of and adult that has killed others?This question runs pretty deep on either side.

tvc 7 years ago

Peter: Wow, is that really the blood of Christ?Preacher: Yes, it is.Peter: Holy crap, that guy must've been wasted 24 hours a day.

RedwoodCoast 7 years ago

I think this guy should step down from his pulpit... er, nevermind. He should at least try to stay out of politics. The age of Catholic hegemony is long past. Sebelius should not limit herself in her faith just because she didn't tow the dogmatic line.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years ago

"duplenty (Anonymous) says: "The church is not interested in having members that advocate late term abortion in public. Thats what this is all about."Ah, george. Try a civics class. There's a magical "separation":guess what it's between?"So does this mean that religion has been outlawed??The Archbischop has asked her to stop taking communion, publically. Nothing more nothing less, end of story.

1029 7 years ago

christianity is a joke. stupid publicity stunts like this certainly aren't going to prolong its inevitable demise.

BigAl 7 years ago

I agree malcolm but then again, he said us flakes didn't believe in nothing. So, we must believe in something and I just wanted to point out what I believe.

bd 7 years ago

I am sorry but she is an elected representitive of the people of Kansas, the church has no right to OPENLY chastise her in public!

beatrice 7 years ago

lunacy: "10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia." 1 in 10? Really? Care to support this outrageous claim?

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years ago

The government will endorse no state religion.Not, the state will reject all religion.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years ago

If the Catholic church was truly opposed to the war, Catholic priests and chaplains wouldn't be in Iraq right now dressed in military fatigues.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years ago

I can assure you that the charity care policy at Catholic Hospitals are far and away better than others.

BrianR 7 years ago

Yes otoh, just when I think the Catholic Church is incapable of doing anything further to make me want to vomit, someone thinks of this bizarre publicity stunt.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

The catholic church is opposed to the death penalty.The catholic church is opposed to torture.The catholic church is opposed the the war of choice in Iraq.Naumann cherry-picks abortion for political reasons. He is a hypocrite and a liar. He has demonstrated a "cafeteria morality" when it comes to catholic dogma.He has not a moral leg to stand on.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

Then again, Ag is correct that the catholic church lost any moral voice it had by covering for pedophile priests.Why should anyone believe anything the catholic church or its bishops and priests say knowing that they officially covered for pedophiles.Bye-bye moral high ground...

EXks 7 years ago

the catholic church talking about ethics and morality?? Oh Please!!! Conisdering their blood stained history of persecutation of thousands and forced conversions, that institution needs to shut the hell up.

ralphralph 7 years ago

Gov Chatty Kathy ... Limousine Liberal ... Cafeteria Catholic

Orwell 7 years ago

Forty-eight years ago a Catholic candidate for President had to affirm, publicly and repeatedly, that he would NOT be subject to the dictates of the Church in discharging his official duties.The Governor has maintained a distinction that the Archbishop might want to revisit: It is possible, and even responsible, to oppose abortion personally as a matter of faith while simultaneously opposing governmental imposition of that belief on all Kansans. If a majority of Kansans wanted to outlaw any RC religious practice or belief I suspect the Archbishop would be quick to remind us of the proper limits on state power.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years ago

Do you not get what the church is saying?? Does she not get what the church is saying?? This is it, make a choice, change your ways or get out.The church is not interested in having members that advocate late term abortion in public. Thats what this is all about.

ontheotherhand 7 years ago

I see what you mean, BrianR, but I really don't see a big difference between any of the organized religions. Delete "Catholic" and insert "Protestant." I guess I am happy to be just a plain ol' good person. :)

dirkleisure 7 years ago

It is called "cafeteria Catholicism," and it is interesting to see it is not just an issue among parishioners but among the clergy as well.A google search reveals the Archbishop spends quite a bit of his free time attending ad hoc "protests" at Planned Parenthood clinics.If only he would expend as much effort furthering the rest of the church's teachings, and lashing out at those who oppose them.I suppose as long as there are single issue voters there will be single issue archbishops. It is obvious he is directly appealing to single issue voters, judging from comments here and on other newspaper sites carrying this story.

ontheotherhand 7 years ago

Wow, I thought this article was a joke and then I realized I wasn't reading The Onion. Oh well, one more reason I am not a christian. I get to enjoy helping people without worrying about being so self-righteous and judgmental . . .

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years ago

The is a huge difference between opposing the war and trying to protect the life of a child that you mist deliver from its mother to hold its head in your hand to kill. The gov has advocaited and is in favor of holding a baby's head in your hand and pithing it like a frog.You people are flakes, that believe in nothing.

BrianR 7 years ago

Yeah, your correct, if you squint just a bit it mostly all looks the same.

BigAl 7 years ago

georgeofwesternkansas (Anonymous) says: The is a huge difference between opposing the war and trying to protect the life of a child that you mist deliver from its mother to hold its head in your hand to kill.The gov has advocaited and is in favor of holding a baby's head in your hand and pithing it like a frog.You people are flakes, that believe in nothing.**********Actually George, I disagree. I believe that you are an idiot.

bliddel 7 years ago

I work for the Catholic church, though I am not Catholic. I have tremendous respect for the Catholic church. Fortunately, I have the liberty to believe as I wish. I do not tell others what they must believe, nor do I threaten them if they do not believe as I might. Most religions do not accept any diversity of belief amongst their followers. That said, I observe that the bumper stickers on the cars parked where I work all seem to relate to opposing abortion in any form, for any reason. It seems to me that there are quite enough things in this world to be concerned about that however much one may disapprove of abortion, certainly some of those bumper stickers might address some other evils. However they do not. I do not understand. As much as I think our current Governor is a tremendous disappointment, while I might take delight in the thought of her spending eternity in purgatory, I cannot help but wonder if the Archbishop has selected a relatively trivial reason, and for that matter, I'm confused about why the Archbishop is the one (and apparently only) who should make that determination. Is the taking of communion not a symbolic gesture that means different things to different people? No offense to literalists intended...I'm no bible scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but didn't the bible address issues other than abortion? On the other hand, should Governor Sibelius decide to promote herself as a "good" Catholic, or that we should vote for her because she is Catholic (and I don't know that she has ever done so, or that she ever would) then I would agree that she should separate herself from the Catholic church.But Politicians from both the left and the right frequently engage in hypocrisy, just as those with extreme religious beliefs. So little surprises me anymore.

BigPrune 7 years ago

If she's going to call herself Catholic, she should abide by its teachings. If she's going to call herself Catholic, she should stop taking money from the abortion industry. Frankly, the Catholics should kick out any politician who doesn't follow their rules like Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry etc, or these politicians should stop claiming to be Catholic when they are not.Bravo to this guy for standing up to her hypocrisy. This example should be used by other leaders of faith.

BrianR 7 years ago

As I recall from Dante, Virgil was not permitted to enter heaven.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

The catholic church opposes capital punishment.The catholic church opposes the war in Iraq.Naumann has cherry-picked abortion Why not call out all catholics about the war and about capital punishment? because he is a hypocrite and a politician-demagogue.Apparent georgeofwesternkansas is, too, as he seems to ignore the catholic church's opposition to war and capital punishment.

dirkleisure 7 years ago

malcolm_x_obama (Anonymous) says:Big(*),that wasn't very nice---------Mr. Pot - You might want to read your little "letter from the Governor" before you start labeling the kettle.You might also want to consider drafting the same letter to those who believe Arabs to be an inferior race that can be controlled by military might, and then ask the Archbishop where his stand on that issue is.I mean, as long as we're making ridiculous arguments, might as well make a ridiculous argument about the justifications for the Iraq War, right?

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