Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Communion Wars rage on in Greenville, SC parish

It's rare that we see the Communion Wars continue post election and are moving from the halls of government down to the halls of our homes. In the Greenville, South Carolina St. Mary's Catholic Church produces a bull to parishoners.

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.

The paper obtained the information from church's website where Fr. Newman wrote to parishoners,

Dear Friends in Christ,
We the People have spoken, and the 44th President of the United States will be Barack Hussein Obama. This election ends a political process that started two years ago and which has revealed deep and bitter divisions within the United States and also within the Catholic Church in the United States. This division is sometimes called a “Culture War,” by which is meant a heated clash between two radically different and incompatible conceptions of how we should order our common life together, the public life that constitutes civil society. And the chief battleground in this culture war for the past 30 years has been abortion, which one side regards as a murderous abomination that cries out to Heaven for vengeance and the other side regards as a fundamental human right that must be protected in laws enforced by the authority of the state. Between these two visions of the use of lethal violence against the unborn there can be no negotiation or conciliation, and now our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president. We must also take note of the fact that this election was effectively decided by the votes of self-described (but not practicing) Catholics, the majority of whom cast their ballots for President-elect Obama.
In response to this, I am obliged by my duty as your shepherd to make two observations:
1. Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation...

The paper also notes that by a 9:1 ratio the parishoners of St. Mary's Greenville agree with Fr. Newman's assertions.

The extent of said writ, it should be noted, is only as far as membership of the parish. Catholics at large should listen to the teachings of their own parish priest and diocesan bishop who may or may not approach church teachings in such an extreme (albeit acceptable) manner by requiring people to give penance for voting for Obama-Biden (so long as you didn't vote specifically because of the President-Elect's position on abortion), as much as shepherd their parishoners together to say, "where do we go from here in our efforts to preserve and protect the life of the unborn?"

Catholics as Voters are a contentious block in every election year that excites the passions of many on both sides of all the issues, yet the media let alone certain segments of the Catholic population rarely recognize the universal church's teaching regarding voting and intrensic evil is incredibly (sadly) underdeveloped. Because of this you get a "Faithful Citizen" guide that some bishops deemed confusing and a hodgepodge of messages from one diocese to another, let alone now one parish to the next, and a whole host of condemnations from the pulpit all the way to the pew.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He looks like a grumpier version of Rob Corddry.