Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Greenville, SC, wasn’t waiting for the bishops to figure out what they should do. He sent a letter to his parishioners telling them that if they voted for Obama (“Barack Hussein Obama,” as he makes sure to note) they should not receive communion. In his letter to his “Dear Friends in Christ,” Newman (good name) says:
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.
Father Newman of course also notes that Obama was duly elected, and we should pray for him. But he has some pretty strong culture war rhetoric as well, about the unbridgeable gap between pro-choicers and pro-lifers:
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.
Isolated instance? Or predictable collateral damage from the church’s war within? Either way, it seems grossly unjust if only because there is so much confusion over who can take communion, and you have individual pastors freelancing all over the place.
The original Greenville News story is here (paper of the hometown of my alma mater–not BJU), the AP version here. H/T to Michael Paulson’s “Articles of Faith.”