The U.S. Catholic Bishops say that communion should be denied anyone who supports a candidate's position for abortion or racism. What about war? What about greed? What about all the other things Jesus made clear are wrong? What about voting in the worldly system, period?
The Catholic Bishops are full of hypocrisy.
by E.J. Dionne, Jr.
On the communion of "Obamacon" Douglas Kmiec.
Post Date Tuesday, June 03, 2008
WASHINGTON—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.
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.
In an interview over the weekend, Kmiec argued that 35 years after Roe, opponents of abortion need to contemplate whether "a legal prohibition" of abortion "is the only way to promote a culture of life."
"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," he said. Kmiec, a critic of the Bush administration's Iraq policy, added that Catholics should heed "the broad social teaching of the church," including its views on war.
The priest's actions are almost certainly out of line with the policy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In their statement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" issued last November, the bishops said: "A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter's intent is to support that position."
The "if" phrase in that carefully negotiated sentence suggests that Catholics can support pro-choice candidates, provided the purpose of their vote is not to promote abortion.