It seems that the former Reagan adviser and Catholic conservative legal scholar from Pepperdine, Doug Kmiec–heretofore a man with impeccable judicial and pro-life credentials–has been barred from communion for his support for Barack Obama. In a posting yesterday, Kmiec did not give details, but wrote that “recently at a Mass before a dinner speech to Catholic business leaders, a very angry college chaplain excoriated my Obama-heresy from the pulpit at length and then denied my receipt of communion.”
This is stunning, though perhaps not so surprising, not only because of the impassioned nature of the abortion debate, but because the splits within the Catholic Church and the hierarchy have led prelates like Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis to encourage priests and eucharistic ministers to take this kind of action on their own initiative. That is almost like encouraging guerilla tactics against perceived foes, and in the backyard of your brother bishops, something most bishops I suspect will frown upon, to say the least.
This really broadens the field of battle for the coming campaign. Kmiec is a familiar face, but he’s not exactly a presidential candidate. If pundits are going to be barred from communion, the bar for virtual excommunication is pretty low. So I’m off to scrub my previous blog posts praising Obama…