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SC priest: No communion for Obama supporters

Published:

By MEG KINNARD - Associated Press Writer

Published - Nov 13 2008 09:04PM EST | AP

A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishionersthat they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they votedfor Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supportsabortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation withintrinsic evil."

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letterdistributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church inGreenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take HolyCommunion before doing penance for their vote.

"Our nation haschosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politicianever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president,"Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middlename of Hussein.

"Voting for apro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative existsconstitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and thoseCatholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion ofChrist's Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in thiscondition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they arereconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drinktheir own condemnation."

During the 2008 presidential campaign,many bishops spoke out on abortion more boldly than four years earlier,telling Catholic politicians and voters that the issue should be themost important consideration in setting policy and deciding whichcandidate to back. A few church leaders said parishioners risked theirimmortal soul by voting for candidates who support abortion rights.

Butbishops differ on whether Catholic lawmakers _ and voters _ shouldrefrain from receiving Communion if they diverge from church teachingon abortion. Each bishop sets policy in his own diocese. In theirannual fall meeting, the nation's Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday toforcefully confront the Obama administration over its support forabortion rights.

According to national exit polls, 54 percent ofCatholics chose Obama, who is Protestant. In South Carolina, whichMcCain carried, voters in Greenville County _ traditionally seen asamong the state's most conservative areas _ went 61 percent for theRepublican, and 37 percent for Obama.

"It was not an attempt tomake a partisan point," Newman said in a telephone interview Thursday."In fact, in this election, for the sake of argument, if the Republicancandidate had been pro-abortion, and the Democratic candidate had beenpro-life, everything that I wrote would have been exactly the same."

ConservativeCatholics criticized Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004for supporting abortion rights, with a few Catholic bishops sayingKerry should refrain from receiving Holy Communion because his viewswere contrary to church teachings.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh,spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said she hadnot heard of other churches taking this position in reaction to Obama'swin. A Boston-based group that supports Catholic Democrats questionedthe move, saying it was too extreme.

"Father Newman is off base," said Steve Krueger, national directorof Catholic Democrats. "He is acting beyond the authority of a parishpriest to say what he did. ... Unfortunately, he is doing so in amanner that will be of great cost to those parishioners who did votefor Sens. Obama and Biden. There will be a spiritual cost to them forhis words."

A man who has attended St. Mary's for 18 years saidhe welcomed Newman's message and anticipated it would inspire furtherdiscussion at the church.

"I don't understand anyone who wouldcall themselves a Christian, let alone a Catholic, and could vote forsomeone who's a pro-abortion candidate," said Ted Kelly, 64, whovolunteers his time as lector for the church. "You're talking about themurder of innocent beings."

Entry #159

Comments

1.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 14, 2008, 1:49 pm
That's worst than the women who did not give out Halloween candy to Obama supporters.
2.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 2:24 pm
Tenaj, there is so much I could write here, but I'll try to limit my comment.   First of all, there are many very religious pro-choice groups that understand that you can be anti-abortion and not want the government in your bedroom. Anytime I see the word "pro-abortion" a flag goes off. People who believe a woman and her maker need to make such critical decisions are not "pro" death. When someone says that taking a pill the night you are raped is murder, that person is using his or her religion to pass judgment, and we know how many hypocrites there are when it comes to religion.

Speaking of hypocrites, they criticize the man who was loyal to his wife, who has attended church regularly and raised his children to be Christians. His opponent has admitted he's not very religious. He cheated on his wife when she was no longer the beauty queen he married, even though she was the mother of his children and waited for him while he was in Vietnam. Aside from that, I thought divorce was a sin in the Catholic religion. Maybe when a Republican commits adultery or gets a divorce, that's entirely different.

Also, Pastor Hagee who often said that Catholics were whores and praised the acts of Adolf Hitler, told the New York Times that McCain sought out his endorsement. In fact, on the record (before all the controversy about Hagee) McCain said he was "very honored'' by Hagee's endorsement. When asked about Hagee's extensive writings on Armageddon and about what one questioner said was Mr. Hagee's belief that the anti-Christ will be the head of the European Union, Mr. McCain responded that "all I can tell you is that I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee's support.''

Now McCain is campaigning for a man who compared a war hero who lost 3 limbs in battle to Osama Bin Laden, the same Senator he called despicable a few years ago.

Again, the word that comes to mind is hypocrisy.

BTW - one last note ... there are organizations like Catholics for Obama and Roman Catholics for Obama that understand that Obama has campaigned all of his career for the common good, helping people in need. Isn't that what the Bible teaches?
These people feel Obama is pro-life
http://www.catholicsforobama.org/

There are those who don't want you to use birth control yet do nothing for the babies that are born into poverty, because they suddenly become invisible. They see nothing wrong with bombing civilians in war. Oops - when they're babies in Afghanistan, they're only collateral damage.


3.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 2:29 pm
So I won't be accused of plagiarism, I want to say I copied one sentence from an article I read several months ago.   My posting skills have gone way downhill. Maybe it's because there's so much so say and too many deaf ears, so my frustration shows in my writing.
4.
ToddComment by Todd - November 14, 2008, 3:48 pm
Catholic-bashing is bad.

Good for the Priests and Bishops for actually putting some teeth into their religious convictions!

I always wondered how they could have strict religious law teaching the rights of the unborn, while simultaneously looking the other way when a pro-abortion politician wants to appear religious.
5.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 14, 2008, 4:01 pm
We all know that Church and State should be separate, but it's not like that in any of the communities. All the religious groups are gulity of it.

Some groups just get ridiculous. Catholics have always been against abortion. But not allowing someone to take communion because of their politics is just way over the top.

We can expect just about any kind of crazy reaction to Obama's win.
6.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 5:59 pm
I was not "bashing" Catholics. I was talking about this particular priest. However, if you want to twist my words, there is nothing I can do about it.

I just don't understand why people make excuses for someone when it suits their agendas. If this man was a rabbi and said Jews who don't support Israel won't go to Heaven or a minister who said Protestants who vote for Obama (or McCain) will burn in hell, I would have written a similar post. It seems that those who say they love God and worship Him don't honor his commandments, since we are told not to judge one another.   For a priest to refuse to give Holy Communion because of the way someone votes is unacceptable. When the judge who obeyed the law made a decision about Terri Shiavao, he was banned from his church by his pastor.

Do not speak evil against one another.. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12.

Maybe the people who preach the Word of God should study it more carefully.
7.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 14, 2008, 7:00 pm
Nancy, just always remember this when you are blogging and responding to them:

WE WON! OBAMA WON! THE DEMOCRATS WON! Their own party voted against them. Try to understand their pain.LOL They are hurting and licking their wounds. Don't let them put you in the pain they are in by responding to their whining.

When they throw ugly stuff at you, duck, dodge, block while you are laughing at them. But most of all DON'T FORGET THAT THEY ARE THE LOSERS, NOT YOU!
8.
Comment by chowchow - November 14, 2008, 7:10 pm
I have never seen anything like this before in my life. I can't believe some to the things that I am reading. We have some some sick unhhappy people in this united states. Lets just keep laughing at them. Maybe one day, they will get a life.
9.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 7:28 pm
Todd, here's some reading material for you. Your post indicates that people who do not vote the same as you religious. That's pretty frightening to me. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy by those who condemned her beliefs. People were massacred during the Crusades for their religious beliefs. Anytime I hear "they" or "them" I get chills down my spine. It separates people, it divides, it promotes fear and hatred.

http://www.romancatholicsforobama.com/

Read the article on "infanticide/Born Alive lie debunked"

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96281602

This article is how many Catholics voted for Obama because of a variety of reasons. As it says, voting for any candidate based on a single issue is very dangerous.

10.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 7:32 pm
Yikes - somehow I deleted a couple of words. First sentence should read "Your post indicates that people who do not vote the same as you do are not religious and do not love God or worship Him as faithfully as you do."

Sorry, I'm full of typos lately, but my heart and soul don't have spellcheck.
11.
ToddComment by Todd - November 14, 2008, 7:36 pm
People who express their opinions that Obama is bad for this country are "sick and unhappy"?

People who think Catholic Bishops have a right to operate their churches in the way they see fit are "sick and unhappy"?

People who are -- excuse me for living -- not happy about the next president exhibiting socialist tendencies are "sick and unhappy"?

No, I think the people who forget that a month or two ago they were slamming and ridculing the *current* president in a much more vile, base manner, and posting links to a fascist hate site that ridicules the president in an obscene manner -- they are the"sick, unhappy" ones.

You might be happy there yourself about Obama winning, and that's your right. 62 million people agree with you.

But I'm very unhappy about the nightmare that is about to unfold, and 57 million people agree with me.
12.
ToddComment by Todd - November 14, 2008, 7:39 pm
There are billions of web sites. You can find one for every nut job and wacky idea out there. I'm sure you can find many more oddball ones with Google. Many of them have "articles". Hopefully you don't believe everything you read out there.
13.
NBey6Comment by NBey6 - November 14, 2008, 7:53 pm
Everyone in the world wants choices, so why shouldn't women have a "choice." He can call me every name in the book. A woman should have the right to choice what to do with her body, whether I agree or NOT!

I swear, religious people get on my nerves some times!!!!!!!!!
14.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 8:03 pm
Yes, NBey, and they can also rewrite history and the facts.

Todd ... 62 million people?   Last time I checked Obama had close to 67 million votes. That's not the final tally either. 365 electoral votes now (Nebraska)   I guess over 4 million people don't count.   

Yes, I agree there are billions of web sites and lots of nuts out there. But I still never got an answer when I asked why so many people said they'd vote for Colin Powell for President (even on this board) and then wouldn't acknowledge his endorsement, saying it was all about race. People either respect someone's opinion or they don't. Then there are so many other Republicans who said they voted for Obama because he was the best choice like Scott McClellan and Charles Fried. Are you saying these people are nut jobs? Did they have kool-aid for breakfast?
15.
Litebets27Comment by Litebets27 - November 14, 2008, 9:49 pm
By the way, I noticed that there were quite a few whacky, nutty websites with whacky ideas put up on this site by some McCain supporters during the Presidential campaigne.

I heard on NPR news today that Bidens' Bishop also stated that he will not give communion to the Vice President elect any longer which I find very hippocritical. But, Biden was guranteed that he will receive communion once he sets up his home in Washington D.C.

Last. Don't laugh at those who voted for the losing side. They too will benefit from all that we will gain once Obamas' administration fixes the nightmare that we have been going through over the last eight years. Anyone who approved of what we have come through and are experiencing now have to be masochistic.
16.
ToddComment by Todd - November 15, 2008, 11:10 am
@NBey6: Yeah, the religious people who flew airplanes into the WTC get on my nerves too.

@Litebets: No, the nightmare has not yet begun. It will soon though.
17.
NBey6Comment by NBey6 - November 18, 2008, 4:12 pm
@Todd: You knew the day would come when your dance with Mr. Bush would be over, didn't you. I mean, since you couldn't vote for him a third term and all...........

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