Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


The Day I Was Denied Communion for Endorsing Obama, by Douglas Kmiec

posted by swaldman

Doug Kmiec is a conservative Reagan administration official and leading pro-life legal scholar. Despite his strong anti-abortion views, he recently endorsed Barack Obama on the grounds that Obama cared more about the full range of “life” issues – including poverty and human rights – and because Kmiec believes that Obama’s “abortion reduction” agenda will have more impact on abortion in the short run than the traditional battles against Roe v. Wade.
He was attacked by conservative Catholics and Republicans and was even denied communion from his church, a moment he describes here in an excerpt from his new book, Can a Catholic Support Him?:


April 2008. On that day the children were not with us [at church]. It was only my wife Carol and myself. I turned out to be the subject of the homily. Without warning or prior conversation, this blue-collar kid from Chicago had somehow given offense not just to this priest who stood before me, but in my memory, which was now running at top speed, to all those watchful religious eyes: to the good Franciscan sisters who watched the Kmiec brothers play basketball beneath the convent window; to Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, who instructed us in black-and-white from the old 6″ Philco as we sat upon the living room couch; to my school days pastor who, on May 7, 1959, distributed Communion to me for the first time; to the Bishop whose hands confirmed my membership in the body of Christ in 1963; to Brother Konrad Diebold, F.S.C, the Christian Brother who led us in prayer in high school chapel….A litany of saints, these splendid women and men of the cloth. …
These men of faith were generous of heart, conduits of the Holy Spirit and always inclusive. Taking time to talk, to encourage, to share happiness and to comfort sadness. Most of all, supplying the gifts of faith, hope and love. A faith that carries us through this life in exile we don’t always fully understand or appreciate. A hope for a destination that in all of its unknown quality one knows is a sublime contentment and peace freed of this world’s anxieties. A love that didn’t depend upon status, intelligence, or even how much we were able to put in the collection basket. We were accepted as we were–flaws and all.
Until that evening, when all was revoked.
Suddenly the life-long chain of liturgy was broken into pieces. The priest–the priest who had just joined with us in the prayer of the Rosary was now red-faced shouting. I thought. Talking about me. I had cooperated with evil. I had? I had killed babies? My heart was black. I was giving scandal to the entire church. I had once been a leader but now I forfeited any semblance of respectability or leadership. The good father grasped tightly the edges of the ambo, the unusual name given to the lectern in the Catholic Church. No faithful Catholic would ever contemplate doing what I had done. I was dead to the Holy Mother Church.
My wife held my hand tightly. We looked at each other in disbelief. Here was someone in the vestments of the priesthood who had called us to have our prayers be heard, who recited the Kyrie with us, asking the Lord’s mercy upon us, now seemingly merciless, telling me and the many there assembled that I was unworthy. I was to be publicly shunned and humiliated. My offense? Endorsing Senator Barak Obama for President of the United States.
The irony of ironies was that my motivation for the endorsement was entirely Catholic. No, Obama doesn’t share the Catholic faith, but he certainly campaigns like he does. As reflected in his book, the Senator is focused on the human person, on the common good, on the social justice of economic arrangement. All is so very Catholic.
It was time for Communion. Notwithstanding the indictment of the homily, I did not think of myself as unworthy of receipt of the sacrament–at least no more so then pre-Obama endorsement. Communion in the Catholic tradition is indeed sacred. We believe the bread and the wind is transformed–transubstantiated–into the body and blood of Christ. I have often watched my parish priest focus his gaze with reverence upon the bread and the wine during the offertory to gain some appreciation for the significance of the divine person whose presence on can scarcely grasp….
But I was not to receive the Eucharist that evening. The couples who stood in line before my wife and myself received the body of Christ in their hands or on their tongues and returned to their seats. My wife received. My hand outstretched, the priest shook his head from side to side. Was that a no? It was Judgment Day, and I hadn’t made it. LSAT Insufficient. Inadequate GPA. Do not pass GO…go directly to Hell.
Right there I was letting down every priest that had shared the faith tradition with me. I imagined my late mother, who seldom returned home from the factory until well after midnight, so that we could afford the tuition at the Catholic school, hanging her head in shame. All the traditions–prayers before meals, May alters and rosaries, novenas and indulgences, the pilgrimages to ten churches on Good Friday–all had somehow been zeroed out. Catholic identity theft, stolen right there by our Lord’s faithful servant, Father _____. I won’t tell you his name because he doesn’t represent the Church’s thinking. Indeed, Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, who a month or so later investigated the incident “for the good of the Church,” said it was important to call what happened “shameful and indefensible.”
I was grateful for the Cardinal’s apt description, though like an insurance payment long after suffering a bodily injury, I must say at the moment on that evening, I was the one who felt without defense and entirely shameful. Right there in that moment every Catholic good deed and good thought and good wish of love of neighbor that I once had seemed inconsequential and insufficient. Like a child feeling unfairly disciplined, but disciplined nonetheless, I pleaded with empty hand outstretched: “I think you’re making a mistake, Father.” His red complexion redder now, betraying righteous anger. His stretched hand over the top of the Ciborium, the container for the consecrated bread as if I was going to grab a handful and make a run for it, and then the pronouncement: “No, you are the one who made the mistake.”
From the back of the Communion line someone shouted out, “Are you judging this man, Father?” I was grateful for the intervention. Will the Last Day be like this? One friend making an appeal for another? The response was cold: “He has judged himself and been found unworthy.”
With no further appeal possible and with my wife exiting in confusion, tears, and offended embarrassment, I returned to my place along. My place? Did I have a place any longer? Was I expected to leave? The double significance of losing the body of Christ–of not having ingested and no longer standing among “the body”–was suddenly all I could think of. Condemned for announcing to the world that I intended to vote for a man who I thought lived the Beatitudes. A black man; a caring man; a talented man. A man different from conservative self and yet calling me to find the best of that self. A man who, in so many ways, asks to care for the least advantaged as he seeks the public responsibility to carry with him, as if it was his own burden the plight of the marginalized and unemployed worker, the uninsured, the widowed mother grieving over a son lost in Iraq. Their hurts, far worse than mine. It was wrong to be damned; to be excluded from the grace of the sacrament of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all I could think was the old Tolstoy folk wisdom “God knows the truth, but waits.”
As of this writing, I have successfully kept the name of the priest and his religious order out the public record. Every expert in Canon Law who has examined the question and concluded under Canon 915 that the denial of Communion was unauthorized and inappropriate. After the even became public, Cardinal Mahoney called the priest into his office, and several months after that meeting, Father ______sent Carol and myself a letter of apology. The letter is thoughtfully written and the apology accepted. Perhaps there was a Providential hand at work using the two of us to teach a lesson to a larger congregation. The lesson? Any Voter Guide even hinting at a Catholic duty as a matter of faith and morals to vote against Senator Obama is seriously in error.
Can A Catholic Support Him – Asking the Big Question About Barack Obama
Author: Dogulas W. Kmiec
The Overlok Press, Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc.
Woodstock & New York
Copyright: 2008
The book can be purchased here here.



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Ben Brinkman

posted September 16, 2008 at 8:44 am


This disgrace Kmiec is truly insufferable. Wallowing in self pity and constantly biging this up. THe coward makes me want to vomit. Good, let Kmiec put himself in the company of Mahoney with his stellar work in the abuse scandal.



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jestrfyl

posted September 16, 2008 at 9:51 am


The priest in question is the very sort of person whose self-righteousness calls all traditions and rites into question. Father ? should be ashamed and required to attned another calss or two on the sacraments.



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Truestarr

posted September 16, 2008 at 10:24 am


The outright condemnation before the entire assembly must have been crushing for a practicing and faithful Catholic.
For me, a Catholic of roughly the same age as Kmiec, I found the oppressive nature of the last pope (and this new one as well) on Liberation Theology, to be the straw that broke my personal camel’s back.
I guess that the Church for all its claims of infallibility, must still recognize it’s an organization of old men, with a lack of understanding and mercy for women, homosexuals, and the oppressed who reach for a better life (that’s not actually Heaven).
The politics the Church embraces are the politics of the Right to Life. Any candidate who wears the cloak of ANTI-abortionist, can be inexperienced, a liar, a thief, an adulter and covet the most powerful job in the land, yet still be worthy of the Catholic vote.
The strongest words of Christ come to mind: “Judge not, lest you be judged.”



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Andy

posted September 16, 2008 at 11:29 am


I will say up front that I’m not a Catholic, but I am a Christian. I believe that the Lord’s Table, at which priests and pastors of many different traditions serve, is just that–the Lord’s Table. Those who serve at the Lord’s Table are just that–servants. Anyone who takes it upon themselves to decide who is and is not fit to partake in the bread and the cup is placing themselves in the place meant only for the Lord Himself. Kmiec’s experience is a vivid example of this priest forgetting whose Table at which he is serving, and forgetting, using Jesus’ words, that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. I cannot tell Mr. Kmiec how to feel or whether or not he should have accepted his priest’s apology. I suppose there was a bit of satisfaction in the fact that Cardinal Mahoney was his champion in the matter. It shows his character and heart to be willing to accept the priest’s apology. That said, there was grievous offence done, and done publicly, not only to Mr. Kmiec but to the whole assembled church. A letter of apology, in a case like this, is totally insufficient. One cannot interact with a letter, look in its eyes, hear its tone of voice and read its heart. When there is ample opportunity to meet face-to-face with the one who is harmed, a letter is a coward’s way out. The apology should have been made to Mr. and Mrs. Kmiec as the offense was made–publicly, with the congregation as witness, with Kmiec having the opportunity to forgive the priest publicly.



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rlb1961

posted September 16, 2008 at 12:43 pm


I am not a Catholic either, but it seems to me that the Catholic Church retains the right to specify its doctrinal teachings, and how violations of those teachings should be handled by the clergy.
It has long been stated by most bishops that supporting abortion is an intrinsic evil, and anyone supporting that evil should not present themselves for communion. This has included politicians and others who use the “personally opposed” canard to try to soften the impact of their active support of this practice. It appears that Doug’s pastor felt that his public support for a politician with such extreme pro-abortion positions placed him in the same category. Since Doug continued to present himself for Communion, the pastor took the step that seemed best for both Doug and the Church.
Remember that Paul teaches than anyone who takes Communion unworthily (i.e., with unrepentant sin in their life) partakes of damnation to their soul. Paul also teaches that when someone continues in sin after being privately counseled, that the minister should “rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” (1 Tim. 5:20)
You may not agree with the teaching of the church on this matter, and if you don’t, I would suggest finding a different church. But based on the public teaching of the church, I am not surprised by this, and if Doug is surprised, he should spend more time reading up on the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
I think we will be seeing more of these incidents. The last time Joe Biden was at home, he apparently skipped Mass because the bishop was intending to refuse him Communion if he presented himself. With the public criticism of Pelosi and Biden by the bishops over their abortion stances, I think this will be much more prevalent than in previous times.



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Paul, seeking wisdom

posted September 16, 2008 at 1:10 pm


Sometimes people do rash and stupid things in the name of godly righteousness. Because I dared to call Catholics Christians and quoted great thinkers of the Catholic heritage, I was removed from the church rolls in a “Liberal” church and publicly denounced as a heretic.
I know the pain and the shame Doug Kmiec and his wife felt. When the Church you love and the faith you hold dear abandons you, you are truly alone. That God that the higher level of the Church felt that he was dishonored, it was not the case for me.



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emorse

posted September 16, 2008 at 1:18 pm


Perhaps the Church should forego its tax exemption if it feels so strongly about political issues, since that is what this is about, not conscience. That would really be a principled stand. not holding my breath.
“Remember that Paul teaches than anyone who takes Communion unworthily (i.e., with unrepentant sin in their life) partakes of damnation to their soul.” How many ordinary Catholics does this cover?
“Paul also teaches that when someone continues in sin after being privately counseled, that the minister should “rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” How would they ever get any other work done?



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rlb1961

posted September 16, 2008 at 1:28 pm


“Perhaps the Church should forego its tax exemption if it feels so strongly about political issues”
Actually, for the Church it is a moral issue and spiritual issue.
“”Remember that Paul teaches than anyone who takes Communion unworthily (i.e., with unrepentant sin in their life) partakes of damnation to their soul.” How many ordinary Catholics does this cover?”
I don’t know – I am not a Catholic. I know that in our Church, prior to communion our Pastor always reminds the congregation of this admonishment, and leads us in a prayer of repentance. It is up to the individual to know if they have truly repented of any sins.
“”Paul also teaches that when someone continues in sin after being privately counseled, that the minister should “rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” How would they ever get any other work done?”
In context, this appears to deal with public sin, unrepented and visible to all. The admonition appears to have the purpose of insuring that the rest of the congregation don’t perceive any failure of the ministry to address this sin as a sign of approval or acceptance for the sin. In other words, the public rebuke is intended to help prevent others from falling into the same sin.



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Reaganite in NYC

posted September 16, 2008 at 2:55 pm


I can’t stand this whining by “poor, little” Doug Kmiec, who clearly intends to dine out on this incident for years to come.
This incident happened five months ago and Kmiec is still talking about it. First it was comments to reporters; then it was gist for a number of op-ed pieces; and now it is in a book. It is only a matter of time before Kmiec approaches Hollywood to get the story dramatized in a “made-for-TV” movie. Gee, I wonder who they’ll cast to play Kmiec?
Would someone in the media please identify this brave and obscure priest (name and address, etc.) who denied Communion to this prominent, well-connected, politically-ambitious (and clearly self-important) law school dean?
I would like to write a letter to the priest to at least get his side of the story.
It is appalling (from a journalistic point of view) that we only have Kmiec’s point of view. Has any religion journalist taken the time to track down this priest to get his version of events or to find out his reasons for taking the actions he took? Fair and balanced anyone?



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Andy

posted September 16, 2008 at 3:42 pm


rlb1961,
You refer to 1 Corinthians 11, where Paul talks of “eating and drinking unworthily”, and claim that he’s refering to “unrepented sin”. “Unrepented sin” is not mentioned by Paul in that context. In fact, the sin that is named in that context most clearly is the sin of dishonoring one’s brothers and sisters by gorging oneself and getting drunk at the Lord’s supper while others go hungry. Also, Paul clearly instructs the Corinthian believers to examine themselves as to their worthiness before they come to the table. Nowhere in that discourse are the leaders of the church given permission to deny anyone the bread and cup because they judge them to be unworthy.
You also quote 1 Timothy 5:20. Again, context. The public rebuke must come after there has been a confrontation in the presence of two or three witnesses. I see no such process in the incident in question. Also, all over the New Testament there are instructions to confront the sin of our brothers/sisters with love and with the goal of healing and restoring. True, we only see Kmiec’s side of it, as has been pointed out, but if his account is to be believed at all, I don’t see the love or effort toward healing and restoration there, and Cardinal Mahoney seemed to find the priest’s actions inappropriate. Besides, I think it’s quite a stretch to call a person an unrepentant sinner unworthy of the sacrament because he supports a politician who happens to be “pro-choice” on abortion.



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Warren Cheswick

posted September 16, 2008 at 3:48 pm


This kind of ridiculous nonsense is why so many avoid church like the plague.



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emorse

posted September 16, 2008 at 4:04 pm


Actually, when a representative of the church gets involved in which political party one supports, it is a political matter.



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Andy

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:00 am


“This kind of ridiculous nonsense is why so many avoid church like the plague.”
You’re so right, Warren!



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:35 am


Kmiec is not some poor tortured soul that through conscience is forced to support Obama. He is using his status as a catholic and former pro-lifer to actively help Obama get Catholic votes. Obama, through the Supreme Court would enshrine abortion for the next 25 years, resulting in a slaughter that would dwarf any thing the planet has ever witnessed. My advice to Kmiec is to reflect on the sermon of the good priest and remember Cardinal Mohoney will not be able to help him on that terrible day that will come for us all.



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Mike Cagle

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:09 am


You might want to mediate on the fact that the entire communion business is completely silly to begin with. That you, a grown man, was upset about not “ingesting the body of Christ,” is pretty pathetic. Yo dude, it was only ever a cracker! You should know that! Who would want to be a cannibal anyway? The priest is an idiot, but why waste your time with such an organization??? Mind-boggling. Use your brain!



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Sheila

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:12 am


Wow. I admire the honesty that Mr. Kmiec wrote with. It is easy to identify with the anger one would feel-it is more intimate and difficult to think of the shame he must have felt, even if it was wrongly doled out. The desolation, the shame, the loss, all of those things seemed so devastating. By his writing about this terrible event, he made me feel the power of what he had lost through the actions of one unholy holy man. Bless you, Mr. Kmiec.



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Ted

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:13 am


No, of course the Church isn’t political.
…these people are without shame.
Keep your integrity Mr. Kmiec. God Bless.



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Kat

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:13 am


CatholicFirst,
What about someone who supports our government’s use of torture? Or the Iraq war? Or the death penalty? Should they be denied communion as well?



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Brian

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:19 am


Rib1961 writes:
“It has long been stated by most bishops that supporting abortion is an intrinsic evil, and anyone supporting that evil should not present themselves for communion. This has included politicians and others who use the “personally opposed” canard to try to soften the impact of their active support of this practice.”
I’m sick of this absolutism on the abortion issue. Being pro-choice does not mean being pro-abortion. It means accepting that abortion has been and will always be with us, whether we like it or not, and we must make it safe and legal. There are a host of social programs — birth control and better educational opportunities to name a few — that will go much further in reducing abortion rates than outright bans will. But the Catholic bishops have become so monomaniacal on this subject that they will support a politician who agrees with them on the abortion issue and look the other way as that politician unilaterally bombs other countries and tears up government programs promoting the social justice the Church hierarchy claims to support.
I’m sure the Church believes that abortion should be banned. But I’m more and more skeptical they support a culture of life.



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Michele

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:22 am


So now it’s a sin to vote in a particular way? Wow, you people really are arrogant. Hope this church loses their tax-exempt status. Didn’t Christ say that his people would be “no part of the world?” What could be more “part of the world” than embroiling yourself in ugly human politics. Churches need to make a choice: are they supporting God’s kingdom or man’s? They can do whatever they want, but if they are supporting the flawed kingdoms of men, they need to pay Caesar’s things to Caesar. The tax-exemption was granted with the understanding that churches serve a higher purpose, a purpose that transcends base partisan politicking. If they can’t honor that purpose, they are not entitled to a tax-exemption.
Obama and McCain will both answer to God for their decisions–you don’t need to help with that. That’s why God gave us all free will. To try to legislate away all free will shows an incredible lack of faith in God’s ability to read hearts and make the appropriate judgment. This priest apparently thinks God is not up the challenge and thought he’d better step in and help, deciding for God what constitutes a sin and what doesn’t. How can we answer to God for our decisions when the opportunity to make decisions, to demonstrate our faith, has been completely removed?
The other thing that astounds me is the blindness with which Catholics and Jews accept the political rhetoric of the Evangelical right. Don’t be deceived. These people do not want a theocracy, they want a specific Evangelical Protestant theocracy. They want us to be “one nation under the Assemblies of God.” If you push to help them get it, you will be making your own lives much harder.



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Peter

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:23 am


What disgusting behavior by the priest. If I were Cardinal Mahoney I would have defrocked him immediately–refusing someone communion without the Church’s express order to do so is such a basic and fundamental violation of one’s duties as a priest that I wonder how he managed to become one in the first place.



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Tim Osborn

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:24 am


I grew up catholic in Kansas, jesuit high school, college in St. Louis. I do not practice this religion because it is, for me, not about the merciful God at all anymore. It is entirely about sex and the use of sex to control us all. That is why the roman church stands so adamantly against contraception and abortion. They do not really care about the children born and the souls brought into existence. They care only to force us to abhore the normal sexuality of being a homo sapiens.
For that person who warned Mr. Kmiec about what he will face when he dies I tell you now, do not contemplate another’s judgement. Contemplate your own. You are going to be greeted with the lies you have told yourself and the truths you have denied, whatever they are. Worry about that. God will worry about the unborn and the dead alike. A third of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. God knows the unborn and loves them. But God understands that not every act of love becomes a human being. And not every pregnancy can bring a human into the world. You are now going to tell me it is God’s will when a miscarriage happens. But how do you know whether it is God’s will when a woman chooses to end a pregnancy. Isn’t that between her and God? You have no say. It is utterly presumptuous of you to believe you know God’s will. Get out of my life, and take your Supreme Court with you. They will never tell me what to do. I remember, clearly, when abortion was illegal. I have some bad stories to tell you. But, of course, I must be a murderer. So I have no place in the world. Certainly I have no place in the church.



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TomInStL

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:24 am


The growing perception of Catholic Church is that they are more concerned with power and obedience, than they are for enlightenment and community. The sorts of actions by this “priest” are scary to most people because it reveals a very strong myopic understanding of the world. It might be that this view is the minority in the church, but its presence is far greater there than in humanity as a whole. If that be the case, logical thinking people would avoid association with such places.
Hate, prejudice, selective logic, and intimidation should not be the basis for a valid religion.



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nick

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:28 am


catholic first – you do NOT know what GOD is going to say on that fateful day



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Ben

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:31 am


Mr. Kmiec, I’m furious that you had to suffer the indignity of being treated in this way by your priest.
However, those of us who are atheists are used to this kind of treatment from those who practice this kind of close-minded, bigoted, and hateful “religion.” I have been told many times that I am going to hell. I listen patiently and then reply, “No, I’m not. Because I don’t believe there is one.”
Good luck finding another church, and thank you — on behalf of all of us, both believers and non-believers — for standing up so publicly for your convictions.



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SeemlessGarment

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:34 am


I am very sorry this happened to you. I understand how painful it must have been.
I recall being furious in 2004, when the Priest’s homilies & the Church bulletins in a parish where I attend Mass; were basically demanding that we vote for George Bush, due only to the Abortion issue.
I thought:”But what about the immoral war in Iraq, condemned by Pope John Paul II; and all of the young lives that are & will be lost there?”
I remembered learning from Cardinal Bernardin & other theologians, about the “seemless garment” of the Pro-Life Catholic Agenda. If one was to be truly pro-Life & Catholic; we had to stand against Abortion & immoral wars, Capital Punishment & a wide range of other issues.
I love the Church. I love being Catholic, and it is clear that you do too. I am a Eucharistic Minister in my Parish. That is the greatest privilege of my life. To place the Body & Blood of Jesus in the hands of good people who present themselves; who want & need it, sometimes desperately; is such a humbling experience.
That official judgement or condemnation could have any place at this sacred moment or anywhere in the Mass is sickening.
I treasure my position enough to know to remove my “Obama ’08/Hope” bracelet off my wrist before entering Church. Last Sunday I saw an Obama bumper sticker on a car in the parking lot & feared that eventually they’ll start patrolling the parking lots for this kind of thing & then God help us!



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Tim

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:36 am


Apparently, he is forced, through conscience, to support Obama.
“A man who, in so many ways, asks to care for the least advantaged as he seeks the public responsibility to carry with him, as if it was his own burden the plight of the marginalized and unemployed worker, the uninsured, the widowed mother grieving over a son lost in Iraq. Their hurts, far worse than mine.”
Mr. Kmiec illustrates that being “pro-life” doesn’t end at birth. Contrast this view with the voting records of conservative politicians who would cut funding for programs that could prevent unwanted pregancies in the first place, or emeliorate the negative economic motivations to terminate the pregnancy.
“The Best is the enemny of The Good.” sayeth Voltaire. Obama has the pragmatic approach, as opposed to the idealistic approach of the fundamentalists. On this issue, I will vote for Obama as well.
Warren, I’m afraid you’re correct.



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Scott Zimmerle

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:38 am


You should release the name of the priest. He has decided to take a courageous public stand on one side of a political issue. Let him make his stand for all to see.



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Joseph

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:40 am


Based upon the narrative of the article it is a mistake to hold the Church accountable for the misguided actions of a single representative. That representative’s strong feelings on the abortion issue caused him to make a poor and hurtful decision; however the *Church*, through the actions of Cardinal Mahoney, demonstrated its respect for Mr. Kmiec.
Unlike other, even more controversial, issues (i.e. the sex abuse scandal) this is one time when the institution reacted quickly and appropriately to correct a mistake made by a single person.



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Renee

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:42 am


Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Time for you to leave the “religion” of pedophile priests.



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Hellmut

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:43 am


Good neighbors can disagree with each other about our obligations under the gospel. It is uncivil and unreasonable, however, to deny that Mr. Kmiec is pro-life.
Under George Bush, our abortion rates (24 out of a 1000 women) are four times as high as in Belgium or the Netherlands (6/1000). Clearly, addressing the bread and butter issues reduces abortion more than prohibitions.
When women do have a choice, they are more likely to choose life. When we have the data about the Bush administration’s performance, we may well find that life benefited only modestly.
According to the presently available data, Bill Clinton’s presidency reduced abortion substantially faster than his Republican peers.
Mr. Kmiec has a point, especially, when one takes other life concerns such as torture, war, and the creation (ecology) into account.



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wmb

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:50 am


If you are ever in the New Orleans metro area, come visit my church, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, in Marrero, Louisiana. You will always welcome you.



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Alphonso, CUA LAW 1994

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:51 am


Congratultions Mr. Kmeic you have joined the ranks of Judas. The atheiets are proud of you.



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Suzanne

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:54 am


Amen



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Mike Brennan

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:55 am


All of the couples were receiving communion on their tongues? The priest just said the Rosary with you?
I’ve got an itchy feeling that this is an elitist, ultra-conservative parish–the kind that typically fuses hard right politics with pre-Vatican II tradition–the kind of parish that draws parishioners based on ideology rather than geographic boundaries. These sorts of parishes typically includes an inordinately high proportion of financially well-off, authoritarian, judgmental snobs in the ranks. The priests are often associated with religious societies that have a cultish feel to them.
Although this brand of elitist Catholicism has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years, they still only represent a small proportion of Catholic laity and clergy. That’s why they want to shrink the church down to a small number of adherents who march in lockstep with the most regressive elements of authoritarian church. To that end, exclusion, insult and arrogance are their stock in trade.
I’m not surprised that Cardinal Mahoney had a talk with the priest and I applaud the priest for apologizing. But I would also note that cult-Catholics openly despise the Mahoney. I can just imagine what many of them are saying about his decision to call the priest on the carpet. Hasn’t Kmiec ever noticed the kind of viciousness that passes for faith among these people?
If, in the long run, they are permitted to chase decent Catholics out of the Church, they will deserve the very small church they get–a church where they are isolated, insignificant and ignored by the larger world.



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John PM

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:55 am


My wife and I have just started taking our three young sons (5, 3 and 2) to church now that we feel they are old enough to behave themselves during mass. In the church bulletin this week was a letter from Francis Cardinal George reminding Catholics about the Church’s teaching on abortion as we approach the election. The letter strongly implied that Catholics should not vote for anyone who supports abortion.
I read Mr. Kmiec’s account and wonder if that same priest would refuse communion to a supporter of John McCain based upon McCain’s support for torture and the death penalty. I will be looking with interest in my church bulletin for Cardinal George’s letters on these issues.



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Bill Preston

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:56 am


Back in 1984, as a newly-minted Catholic (having entered the Church in the Archdiocese of Chicago), my wife and I searched in the Philadelphia area for a church that reminded us of the parish at Northwestern University, a place of intellectual and spiritual inquiry. This proved to be a challenge.
Our first venture took us to a church where the young priest spoke during his homily not on the matters at hand in the readings but on a cartoon that had run the day before in the Philadephia Inquirer. The editorial cartoon had depicted a priest (his back to the viewer, I believe) elevating the host above his head; however, rather than a host, the little disk was a “Reagan” button. I thought the cartoon was funny, pointedly so. John Cardinal Krol had made no secret of his political allegiance, and the powers in the archdiocese were, for the most part, politically conservative.
The priest grew quite worked up in describing the cartoon, which he felt was offensive. (He missed the point: what was offensive was, in the cartoonist’s view, the use of the pulpit for political leverage–an accurate assessment, in fact.) He concluded by saying that “anyone who isn’t as offended as I am by this cartoon isn’t welcome at communion.” I partook of communion–furious (hardly the right state of the spirit) that this person would presume to judge the state of either my soul or my sense of outrage (or humor)–and subsequently wrote to the rector of the parish, who replied politely and described the events as stemming from the young priest’s lack of preparedness in his homiletic duty. I did not return to that parish.
Ultimately, I ended up at the Newman Center at Princeton, run by conventual Franciscans. Good place.
I’ll be interested to read your book. It is a challenge, whatever our political affiliation, to assess any political reality in the light of our faith; those who seek to simplify these matters possess mere conviction, not faith.



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Embarrassed

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:58 am


Considering how completely virtually everything Jesus stood for as been reversed, stolen, and bastardized by the organized church (whose selfishness, self-interest and glorified power were the precise things that Jesus denounced) one wonders… well, one wonders.



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LE

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:59 am


Professor Kmiec, God bless you. You have a long and distinguished record, the like of which your detractors can only envy. They disagree with you on one issue out of a multitude where you walk together, and all they can see is the one. For that one, they would deny you. Yet the opposite position, a vote for Senator McCain, could bring us to another war and more killing of innocents.
There was a sad time when the papacy was very political, punishing this or that king for political stances. We don’t want to return to the days of Gregory VII and Henry IV.



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diane

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:09 pm


It is sad to see this is happening again. I always believed in the separation of Church and State. There is good reasons for this to stand and I find clergy, priests, ect., becoming involved in deciding who is righteous and who is sinner based on supporting a mainstream candidate to be wrong.
More and more one person, and clergy is afterall just a man, human, is feeling he is to decided for many who they are suppose to vote for and to not follow his order is to be a sinner.
This is happening in so many churches now.
There is so much wrong in this idea and it is crossing into dangerous territory.
We must never allow the crossing of the line of separation of church and state. That is leading into very dangerous territory for our country.
When the basics of the founding and principles, the ignoring of the documents like the constitution, is breached more and more this country will find itself growing weaker and weaker. Standing by these dictates over these past years and decades is what kept this country so strong.
Politics is about who can lead our country and govern it best and do the most for all the people.
Religion tends to our souls and our hearts.



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Mary

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:11 pm


The United Conference of Catholic Bishops absolutely does NOT teach that you cannot vote for a pro-choice politician under any circumstances.
Here’s the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.
Here’s an excerpt.
34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. 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. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.
35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.



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Matt

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:19 pm


“…if that same priest would refuse communion to a supporter of John McCain based upon McCain’s support for torture and the death penalty.”
Bingo. My parish priest in Ohio, a conservative, told us that we ought to consider the totality of the candidate, and not vote on a single issue. I was grateful to him for that – he was conservative but not dogmatic – and wish that more priests were like him.



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Father Jim

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:21 pm


This narrative sounds somewhat contrived. For example, when fallen away Catholics want to explain their decision to fall away, they almost always provide the listener with a priest as the villian of their tale. Interestingly, they almost always say that “the priest shouted at me.”
One another example of the contrived feeling to this story: the moment when the priest denies this poor man communion reads like a scene from a badly written movie. Very dramatic but improbable.
I’m sorry but I just don’t buy this…………



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Joy Denton

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:22 pm


This is why I stopped going to church. Churches are not following Jesus’ example to love and to forgive and not to judge. They make up their own rules just like the pharisees in the New Testament. They hate the sinner when Jesus said to love the sinner.
In this instance, there was no sin committed. Just a difference of opinion but to decide to penalize someone based on a difference of opinion is definitely morally wrong.
No one should be told for whom they can vote by anyone. It’s supposed to be a right, a privilege and a duty as a citizen of this country. Our elections have become a sham with corporations and lobbyists determining who can run.



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Dan

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:26 pm


I was a student of Prof. Kmeic’s at Notre Dame.
As a non-Catholic at the premiere Catholic law school, I often was struck by how some Catholics put blinkers on when discussing how Catholic doctrine intersected with public and private life. For example, during my sojourn there one student wrote to the Campus newspaper suggesting that, in matters where the Vatican had issued an opinion, the University should merely present that opinion and not discuss contrary views. It was as if, rather than face real questions and address the consequences of their beliefs, they would prefer that we simply make convenient assumptions and move on.
I felt the same way about many of the more conservative members of the law school faculty who expressed opinions in class and on campus that I, a budding bleeding-heart liberal, disagreed with. Sincere they may be, but not very thoughtful, I thought, and I included Prof. Kmeic among that group.
I very much misjudged the man, and for that I apologize. I say this not because he has now endorsed Obama, a position I agree with. I am certain I still disagree with many of his opinions – indeed, I don’t have to look beyond what he has written in his endorsement to find them. But I hear something even more important in Prof. Kmeic’s endorsement and that is this: we cannot reach solutions by pretending those who disagree with us are outside the Pale and deserve no consideration. If we are pro-life, we must realize we will not reduce abortion by simply refusing to recognize that others value highly the right of women to make choices about reproduction. If we are pro-choice, we cannot give women true reproductive choice if we simply ignore those who want us to consider the human costs of abortion.
We cannot make progress if we do not talk to each other. As a people, we must recognize that disagreement should not lead to ex-communication – from faith, from country, from family. Times are too hard, too tough, and too important to throw anyone away like that.
So, thank you, Professor Kmeic, for a belated lesson.



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Michael AZ

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:35 pm


In reply to John PM–
You may well wait for a certain place to drop below 32 degrees F before you will hear anything of the sort from Cardinal George. They just don’t think that way. Probably never will.
I had a similar epiphany circa 1967 in church with my family at the height of the Vietnam War. It was made very clear from the sermon that day that anyone who questioned our government’s pro-war position was not welcome in the Church in which I was raised. I also recall no letters from the Vatican or elsewhere which might have supported “conscientious objectors” based on Catholic teaching.(That’s another long story.)
I vividly remember telling my father that morning as we exited the church, that I was never going back. I never did. Not for over 35 years.
Eventually,I did return to the beliefs and truths of my upbringing, in spite of all the Church’s actions that appear to be incongruent with the words and spirit of Christ. But, I still remain only an occasional participant at Mass, and–of this I am certain– should I speak in a public manner about my concerns, I too would be denied communion.
It seems we really have not come that far in 41 years.
Michael AZ



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Dan

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:41 pm


Church and State belong nowhere near each other. It sickens me how entwined the Evangelicals are with the Republican party.
Why is it that the far-right conservative Christians cannot see that all the things that they hate about the radical Muslim world are exactly what they are? The extremism, the word-for-word interpretation of a metaphorical text, the unshakable feeling of righteous worth.
If McCain/Palin win this next election, we will see a Bush Doctrine-sanctified “pre-emptive” Western Jihad. I’m not an American and cannot vote there. Though I do believe that religion can be a positive influence in one’s spiritual life, I’m also not a religious person, but I still pray to nothing every day that the Democrats take the white house in 2008.



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nick r howard

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:41 pm


Almost all of my family are members of an evangelical church. I don’t know about condemning people for voting Democratic but the church leaders make no bones about it(IN CHURCH); all who vote against the GOP are bound for hell. It’s no secret why they vote so reliably for the GOP…their preachers tell them they’re evil if they vote for a Democrat. And I’m damn sure not making this up though I expect none of the so-called Christians will admit to it; they’ve shown in this campaign that they don’t consider lying to be a bad thing.



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nick r howard

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:42 pm


I meant I didn’t know about the denial of communion; they most certainly condemn those that support Obama or any Democrat.



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Small pickles

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:47 pm


You are, I presume, aware of late Dinko Sakic – recently passed away, the last monster nazi, Croat. He presided over Jasenovac, the biggest death camp in the Balkans, where thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma were slaughtered during the WW II.
The brutality of Croat monsters horrified even visiting Nazi officers. Take a moment to ponder this statement.
The point being, when Dinko Sakic died a on July 20, 2008. He was put to eternal unrest in full Nazi uniform and regalia. Catholic priest who presided over this unholy event called him “A model for all croats”.
This in 2008?!
And the source, fox news:
http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Jul29/0,4670,CroatiaNaziCommander,00.html
Though I am sure if you google “sakic” and “nazi”, you will find more than enough other sources.
Further, catholic priest Ilija Zivkovic had publicly boasted how he influenced Biden, Obama’s VP, to bomb Serbia in a 45-minute speech. Needless to say, the reasons turned out to be lies. What’s important is that the catholic values were displayed in full.
Cheers!



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Angela

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm


What a sad statement of a church that refused to stand up for victims of child abuse. I am sorry you went through this; glad that you were not silenced out of shame and that someone heard your cries and corrected the injustice.



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Jason Toon

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:51 pm


Catholic morality: molest dozens of children in our church, and maybe, after years of complaints and threats of lawsuits, we’ll help find you another job.
Vote the wrong way, however, and you’re going to hell.
It’s all about priorities.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm


nick: You are right!
Renee: You need to get some facts. While bishops like Mahoney realy screwed up bigtime, Catholic priest are no more likely to be pediphiles than the community as a hole. This is not acceptable but it hardly makes it the religion of pediphile priest.



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Chris

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:56 pm


Priest was right. You are a sinner. Pope Pius IX pushed through papal infallibility in the late 19th century, six years after issuing his Syllabus of Errors condemning the separation of church and state, freedom of speech, all other religions, reason, etc. as heretical. You may be a good American and a good person, but you’re a sinner.



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maxilla

posted September 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm


How is this not a clear violation of the underpinning reasons for why the Church is granted tax-exempt status. I don’t care at all about the theology or the individuals concerned, surely though such incidents reflect the dissolution of a central tenet of American society. Shame on the Catholic Church and I would hope that examination of this with an eye to taxes/finances would get their full attention, since that so often seems to be the bottom line in churchly matters.



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Jim

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:13 pm


How can a good Catholic simply ignore Obama’s solid opposition to any limits on abortion? To the extent that he even voted against saving children who are born during botched abortions while in the Illinois legislature. I pray for Barack Obama and I pray for Doug Kmeic but I cannot as a practicing Catholic vote for Barack Obama.



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Does it Matter?

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:15 pm


It seems lately, when I’m not weeping about the country, I’m weeping about the Church. I mean Church in the global sense…all Christians no matter what the denomination. The merging of the worst of both in Sarah Palin – as an archetype, not personally – has me thinking I’m in some bad episode of the Twilight Zone. Oh, how I wish it were that easy.
I am first flabbergasted, then outraged, then overwhelmingly saddened when I hear/read stories such as Dougs. The church, mass & sacrament should be a refuge for people. I often have to remind myself when I experience mistreatment at the hands of the people representing the church, that I cannot let it contaminate my relationship with God. Because if I did, believe me, I would no longer be a Christian.
I have to focus on those who have treated me well. I have to remind myself that the church is made up of people, and people are inherently flawed and sinners. I have to work on forgiveness. I have to remind myself that I’m experiencing the kind of crap Jesus did…the rejection, the shame. And that it is part of the experience of being a Christian…entering into the sufferings of Christ. I have to do all the things Doug seems to have done…to focus on the good of all the other people he’s encountered, not the one wackadoo priest who lost his bearings & mind in what he did.
I think Jesus, if He was still in His grave, would be rolling over in it at the way politics & the church have become incestuous. I often hear in my head “render unto Ceaser what is Ceasars”. I know he was talking about money, but I think he could easily be talking about politics. I think an individual has a reponsibility to be involved politically in some manner, even if it is just being aware & informed of issues & candidates.
I think the Church, as an entity, as a place to worship, is to stay clearly away from bringing this stuff into the sanctuary & mucking it up by trying to make their views a requirement. Of course they teach the bible, and the bible is clear on many issues, but the Church’s responsibility is the care & feeding of the soul. Not telling you what political party you must be, or condemning your soul based upon it. I don’t care if you are a communist or socialist, if you are a Christ believer, and are in church to hear & be taught, then you are welcome. It is a place to learn how to live out what Jesus taught. There is a separation of church & state there – on Sundays, in mass, in worship, in communion.
People have been blinded to the danger to our souls if we don’t keep that seperation. And God forgive me, but I don’t understand that kind of cruelty and stupidity. As a follower of Jesus, however, I shall work at not slapping people upside the head in words or behavior because of it. Their lapses do not justify mine. At the same time, I will voice the dangers I see diplomatically & require some thinking about those.
I commend Doug on how he handled it by not letting it go unaddressed. He handled it all in an incredibly Christian manner. The priest may still be a idiot, or maybe he’s found humility, but I know Jesus’s “face is radiant” because of how Doug proceeded (fyi – that phrase is from a bible verse). As for the releasing of the priest’s name, I think that is a private matter for him to decide. There are arguments both ways. However, by not releasing his name, he does keep the focus on the issue, not the person. And the issue is one people need to do some contemplation on regarding this creeping politicalization of our faith. I’m thankful someone of his maturity, wisdom, and transparency has added to that dialogue.
I’m no longer a Catholic. But I am a Christian. Lately, I have so much shame about what I see in fellow Christians. It’s nice to feel some pride about one who is walking the talk. Oh, and that person in his church who had the balls to challenge the priest! If I was there, I’d have gone back for a second wafer and then brought it to Doug. I’d also may have said something like “Seriously? Are you kidding me?” to the Priest. Which may be why I realized the Catholic Church was not the best place for me. But I love Christ, and I’m a follower of His. A flawed one, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I do my best.
I wish I had more time to write this; clean it up & edit it…make it shorter and more PC. But I don’t. I’ll just have to pray that my true intentions shine through.
God Bless.



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Cynthia Nunn

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:15 pm


Transubstantiation sounds like cannibalism. Symbolically eating his flesh and drinking his blood? Vampirish. Christian rituals gross me out. No wonder UFOs are always seen flying above the earth; none of them has the guts to land on this goofy planet.



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RobinS

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm


The separation of Church and State is a very active issue. The United Church of Christ had to defend itself for having Obama speak at a national meeting over a year ago, and won out, because he was a member of the denomination, and they had respected certain guidelines. Churches can (and I believe, should) lose their tax-exempt status for telling you who to vote for, or for doing anything “partisan.” And, of course, I know some go to, or over that edge, regularly. But when priests are refusing communion to people based on who they are voting for, someone should get the Catholic Church’s rear into IRS Court. It’s all politics, and goodness has nothing to do with it.



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Scott Yates

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm


I can’t say strongly enough how much this moved me deeply.
And the only action I can think to take is to go out and work that much harder to make sure Obama gets elected. America needed Kennedy to help pierce the heart of those who were anti-Catholic, and now we need Obama.
Maybe some day there will be a conservative I can get excited about, but for now there are two liberals, one who is trying to humbly live out the Gospel, and one who was an American Hero, but will now say and do anything to get elected, no matter how nefarious. It’s not even a close choice for this conservative.
God bless you, Doug Kmiec.



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Penpiper

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:21 pm


Mr. Kmiec,
I am very sorry to hear about how a priest treated you.
I am grateful that you received support and an apology. The memory of the pain that you experienced may become one of the sources of personal wisdom as you address issues in the future.
For many years I have not agreed with most of your positions. However, that you see Barack Obama the same way as I do (and describe his talents so beautifully) gives me hope.
The best to your family and you,
A progressive woman who also lives by a deep faith in God



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Lynne R

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm


I am an Obama voter. And I am Catholic and I believe in abortion.



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In love with Christ

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm


It amazes me how many people in this Comments Section are defending those who cruelly murder innocent children and castigating those who believe that a little embarrassment in public is a minor rebuke for the ones who kill babies. No matter how Doug clothes his defense of Obama’s abortion stance, he reveals himself as being pro death, not pro life.



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Suzanne

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:32 pm


As someone who was raised a faithful Catholic Democrat, I was so very deeply disappointed to hear about this. It just speaks to a larger, more ominous movement to the other direction in this country, towards intolerance and vehemence.
I plan to vote for Obama for many of the same reasons this gentleman is writing about. As an American, I have to say that I am more than tired of being villanized and literally euthanized by the media machine that promotes the far right agenda. Will no moderate Republican stand up with this man and point out the obvious that enough is enough?
Its a lot harder than one thinks to swing the pendulum back to the middle. Once the far right shuts freedom of religion and freedom of speech down, it will be tough and there will be blood.



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Sad

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm


I am a child of Christ, I am pro-life, I am also an Obama supporter. I would love to vote for a pro-life candidate this year, but that is simply not an option because there are other sins- waging preemptive war being one of them, that relegate abortion to join a laundry list of issues concerning Christians today.
I want to weep at the sadness of this, Eucharist isn’t a gift from men, it is a solemn promise from Christ himself for each of us to claim. No one is without sin, Christ knew this and that is exactly why he offered his blood and flesh. This priest is in need of his own cleansing.



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Jim Martin

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:34 pm


I’ve had a rough time with my Catholic faith since my wife’s uncle (who married us) sarcastically blessed me when I revealed that I was a life long Democrat.
I watch people vote against their self interest year after year while I watch a small cabal of bishops and priests who hold utter dominion over their thoughts, minds, and actions. It’s sad.
No one seems to care about the racist manner with which Capital Punishment is employed in this country (particularly in George W. Bush’s Texas) or that we’ve lost over 4,000 brave young men and women in an unjust war…but they’ll stand outside an abortion clinic in the rain and harass confused young women.
Call it what it is: the Catholic Church is pro-birth and by extension, pro AIDS, pro poverty, pro Capital punishment, pro Unjust War, pro big business; generally pro Misery. Way to go, Jesus would be very proud.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:35 pm


Scott, Full disclosure: I am not a big McCain supporter but I never vote pro-abortion. I consider myself a Kennedy Democrat (or at least a pre-McGovern one). I don’t see why we need Obama as president. Can you explain. Thanks.



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Mike

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:39 pm


I have come to the conclusion after watching the republican administrations over the years, and in particular the last 8 years, that the official party plank on abortion is simply a con. I oppose abortion on civil grounds (involuntary euthanasia is wrong, no clear “start” of life besides conception) but it is also in my religious background. However, I will never again let my vote be swayed on this single issue, for nothing of consequence has been done for all the sound and fury. A true calculus of potential results weighs far heavier against the neocons once one pierces the facade.



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Duke

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:42 pm


I too am a Catholic. Because of Obamas Kill the unborn if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, and his IL. law he wanted of killing a baby even AFTER the abortion failed and the baby is born, I REFUSE to sell my soul to vote for someone like that. The Church is AGAINST abortion as are all FAITHFUL Christians. “Thou shall NOT kill” as LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION. THAT is a scientific FACT!
Attack me all you want as I want to make it! Jesus was attacked too.



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:44 pm


Let’s be honest, Kmiec is using his former Catholic creds to pitch Obama. There is no martyr here. This I admit may be a stretch, but I would not be surprised if he actually sought out this devout priest.



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:50 pm


Mike: Try Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 1:54 pm


The posts at
September 17, 2008 1:44 PM
September 17, 2008 1:50 PM
are mine. Sorry, forgot to put in name.



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Dianne Sullivan

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm


Scott, I am appalled. I am for Life in all forms. I am for the potential of Life in all forms. I can not take away a woman’s right to choose for herself. Honoring Life would be to honor the choice. I too am for Obama for oh so many reasons…



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Kathleen Ley Bruinsma

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:05 pm


I read this with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. Kmeic taught me property law at the Univ. Notre Dame Law School many moons ago, and I respect him immensely despite some political differences with him. As a fellow Catholic, I can say that I am not sure I’ve ever met anyone as devout or sincere in his faith. It is clear that Kmeic labored in his heart and mind before deciding to decide to support Sen. Obama, whose policies Kmeic believes favor life. To deny Kmeic Communion because he chose Sen. Obama on the basis of Life is a travesty and an outrage. I wish Prof. Kmeic the best in his courage and his faith. And I hope our Church will stay out of politics.



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:16 pm


Kathleen: Denying communion is not playing politics. While the communicant should be told before hand and in private (to insure it is not political), this is appropriate action by our church. Mr. Kmeic is using his Catholic identity and his former pro-life creds to push Obama. That is politics. Either Kmeic no longer believes the church teaching on life or he believes that sometimes we can support a direct attack on human beings. Substitute any other group of human beings in Obama’s position on unborn children and see how illogical that is, especially for a law professor.



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Sherry

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm


My father had a great suggestion. When the church, any church, becomes involved in politics they should forfeit their tax exempt status. What ever happened to separation of church and state?



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:34 pm


Sherry: I respectfully disagree with you and your father. There is no separation of church and state in the constitution. These are things we can debate. Anyway, Kmeic made this public and political.



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K. Temple

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:34 pm


Obama’s PROLIFE stance re: saving our troops from this orchestrated travesty in Iraq balances any prochoice stance re: abortion. The lives of our young men are just as important as those of our babies.
McCain not only supports the Iraq war, but he TRUMPETS IT! I turned off his acceptance speech after he started 3 sentences in a row with the words: “I’ll FIGHT..FIGHT…FIGHT!” I, too, am a devout Catholic, but I far prefer our country in the hands of a sincere man (Obama) who acknowledges when he makes a mistake to a user (McCain) who refuses to acknowledge his mistakes and tries to lie his way out of them.



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BobN

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm


typo: I returned to my place along (should be alone)



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John6538

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm


Life begins at minus infinity and never stops. Get off Obama’s back.



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Kevin

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:49 pm


God will judge this “priest” when he stands before Him. The rest of us will rightly judge the right-wing of the Christian community and ask ourselves if they are truly living by Jesus’s example, or are they beholden to worldly interest. That someone entrusted to carry out sacred duties prefers to hold their parishoners hostage to the Republican Party’s platform REAKS of satantic influence and this priest should be stripped of his duties.



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JWP

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:51 pm


I share with you many of the feelings why I am supporting Obama. We, as a people and as a nation, crave leadership. We want to told that it is okay to reach for a greater good, rather than accept that to fight evil, we must be evil ourselves. There are issues I disagree with Obama on … but I feel inspired to be a better person by his belief that we can be a better nation.
Your forgiveness of the priest is a sign of your belief in your church and your savior Jesus Christ. The priest’s act is a sign of his failure to follow the teachings of the man that you and Obama follow.



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David

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:51 pm


I’m honestly surprised at how many people seem to have willfully ignored Mr. Kmeic’s thoughts on abortion so they can substitute their own stereotypes.
Kmiec believes that Obama’s “abortion reduction” agenda will have more impact on abortion in the short run than the traditional battles against Roe v. Wade.
You might think he’s wrong, but can you really argue that making abortion illegal is a higher goal than causing there to be fewer abortions? Is anyone so deluded as to think no one would have abortions without Roe?



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AnotherCatholic

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm


CatholicFirst: Perhaps you should reevaluate your suggestion. The vast majority of those who would argue there is no separation of church and state in the Constitution also support a hardline Dominionist or Reconstructionist thinking that would exclude Catholics from participation. Do you honestly think that our children will be allowed to pray the Rosary in public schools in such an environment?
We are better served by living the gospel, rather than demanding that others bend to our will.



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Larry

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:56 pm


If it had been me, I wouldn’t have been so forgiving. I would have ripped the ciborium out of that priest’s hand. I would have screamed the words of St. Paul “What will keep us from the love of God?” Certainly not this man. I would have taken Communion myself and handed the ciborium to the person behind me.
I’m mad at my church. I won’t leave, but sinful man has made this thing a mess.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm


JWP: Thanks for your opinion. Still, I don’t see the leadership that you see in Obama. I promised myself after Jimmy Carter never to vote pro-abortion again. Granted, I usually vote holding my nose.



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Ladya

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:00 pm


His story is why Catholicsm scares me. Republican’s use catholic tactics (damn one to hell, but offer hope of salvation) to woo voters. This sect of Christianity appears to the furtherest from the fundamental Christian principle of LOVE.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:09 pm


AnotherCatholic: I understand your concerns. It is not lost on me that Catholicism was either illegal or relegated to 2nd class citizenry at the time of our counties founding. I believe the last anti-Catholic state law was changed around 1830. I believe the literal interpretation of the 1st amendment. Congress shall not… The separation of church and state is vapor, and with the wrong judges on the Supreme Court we could go back to those days. As a pragmatic point I accept a certain separation. However, I think the concept in the last 50 years is abused. As you can no doubt tell, this is not my area of expertise.



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Doug

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm


CatholicFirst: No one is PRO-abortion. Get over it. Most people are just anti-”you telling me what to do”



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Mary

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:31 pm


The Church does NOT hold that one can never justify voting for a pro-choice candidate.
This is what is in the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship by the United Conference of Catholic Bishops:
34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. 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. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.
35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:35 pm


Doug: Call it what you like, if it makes you feel better. The result is the same: A human life is destroyed, so get over it!



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AnotherCatholic

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:43 pm


CatholicFirst: I am glad to see that not all Catholics have forgotten the difficulty we suffered in the past. Unfortunately, I am not merely referring to the anti-Catholic state laws, but anti-Catholic policies by schools, businesses, and governments. My grandfather went to work every day seeing “Catholics need not apply” signs.
In recent years, we have heard of public schools which allowed Protestant children to lead prayers at events, but not Catholics or Mormons. You refer to “wrong judges” in the context of those who would more or less hold the status quo in terms of church and state; I see “wrong judges” in the context of those that would allow certain groups access to religion in public life, while denying others the same level of access. American democracy is poorly served when, for example, a majority of Southern Baptists in a community allow children in a school to pray in their own unique way over the PA, but prevent the handful of Catholic children from praying the Hail Mary.
Various movements, including the SBC and the Dominionist movement, have labeled the Catholic church has an apostate church, and while many of these groups have partnered with Catholics on the issue of abortion, we have to be vigilant to ensure that we are not excluded from participation in society and government. To that end, anti-Catholicism is not going to come in the form of a formal, established state church, but rather policies that the mob to decide which faiths to elevate and which to keep down.



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paul

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:44 pm


You have officially become a joke.



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Jennifer Codemo

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:51 pm


If you had truly forgiven, would you have posted this blog?



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Susanna's Daughter

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:51 pm


Dear Mr. Kmiec: I grieve that you were treated this way in your own church. The investigation is quite right: Denying you Holy Communion was “unauthorized and inappropriate.”
Yet I also grieve that in October, when Protestants celebrate World Communion Sunday, you and all our Catholic and Orthodox sisters and brothers still will not be able to join with us around the Lord’s Table. As a United Methodist, I have been encouraged by past dialogues between our two communions that seemed to be moving us closer to true unity in Christ. Now, however, with the tenure of Pope Benedict XVI, it appears that we are falling backward from these accomplishments.
As you exercise your American citizenship in voting for the candidate of your choice, I hope you will also give some consideration to possible avenues for the future unity. For myself, I am fond of quoting Queen Elizabeth I: “There is but one Jesus Christ; all the rest is a dispute over trifles.”
Grace and Peace to you in the name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.



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Susanna's Daughter

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm


Paul: Shame on you for such a response! You bear the name of the apostle whose eyes were opened on the Damascus Road and who turned away from persecuting the church, and yet you castigate a leader who in good conscience has chosen the candidate he thinks best to lead the country as a whole, not just on a single issue.
Jennifer: To forgive is not to forget, especially in this case in which Mr. Kmiec has done honorably to identify the sin, but not to hold the sinner up to public ridicule. Down this path lies both instruction and justice.
I pray you both prayerfully reconsider your responses.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:01 pm


AnotherCatholic: It’s not that I disagree. It’s just that I believe that separation of church and state can cut both ways. There are an increasing number of people who think that any public expressions of faith is unconstitutional. If these people become the majority and can push for like minded Supreme Court Judges it will make no-nothings look like Pollyanna.



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Leslie M-D

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:06 pm


I thought “Separation of Church and State” worked both ways. The Catholic Kenedy family is solidly behind Barack Obama – would this judgmental preist, who apparently has made himslef arbiter of ALL Catholic voting selections, deny Communion to all the Kennedys if they appeared at his altar?
I am absolutley staggered by the hubris of this man. He must be very friendly with all those doctors who deny aid to patients who have differing social/religious views than they. I could have sworn we live in 21st Century America where we are supposed to have freedom of speech, religion and thought. Guess not…..



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John

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:10 pm


I find the scene presented here as rather troubling in that I, too, am a Catholic supporting Barak Obama. A couple of things that many Catholics forget when they go down this road are:
1. When John Kennedy ran for office a strong argument was made that as President he would not so much heed the Constitution as he would be a puppet of the Holy Father in Rome. Catholics in office may hold private, personal beliefs directed by their faith, but they swear to uphold our laws.
2. I believe that many of the Republicans who have claimed their support toward overturning Roe vs. Wade, have done so more as a cynical political position to endear themselves to certain voters than to actually work towards its defeat. After all, we have had eight years of a President who claims to want Roe vs. Wade repealed. Where has that gone? Nowhere. It’s a great issue to whip up the constituency, and without it a new issue would need to be found.
In conclusion, the “pro-life” Republican Party seems to have no problem in promulgating death when it comes to issues such as war, torture or the death penalty. No political party (or Church) run by imperfect human beings is ever going to perfect. I choose to support the party that I believe offers the most hope for the least of my brethren as I see it. That is what Jesus called us to do and I pray that I am making a choice that He would approve of.



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm


David: I am not being glib when I say this is Clinton’s “safe, legal and rare” approach. I believe it is intrinsically unjust since it deprives the unborn child of human rights. That being said, I will support any legislation that reduces abortions. But I cannot in good conscience vote for any person who would deny a human being basic human rights.
…the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.



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AnotherCatholic

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm


CatholicFirst: I think we are more or less on the same page. I think we can both agree that people should have the right to express their faith publicly, and that has been fairly well established. I would disagree with the notion that the handful of people like Hitchins or Dawkins represent even a small minority, much less a majority, in terms of how policy or jurisprudence is going to be made, and likewise, I would argue that this group of people has neither power, nor any future possibility of getting any under either major political party – particularly in light of suggestions that faith-based organizations be given a bigger role in providing social services to the community. However, I do think a strong movement exists that not only would like America to be declared, as a matter of fact and law, as a Christian nation – in their image of Christianity.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:24 pm


John, you are correct that Catholics who hold public office must uphold the laws of the land, but nothing stops them from working in the democratic system to change those laws. Supporters of civil rights did just that or better I say do just that, using the present tense. Interestingly enough people are fond of quoting Kennedy’s Houston speech concerning his allegence to the Church (I know you haven’t here). However, they often leave out that directly after that assertion he promised to resign if his duty to country and church proved incompatible. He saw the possiblity of not being able to have it both ways.



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Scott

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:24 pm


All the traditions–prayers before meals, May alters and rosaries, novenas and indulgences, the pilgrimages to ten churches on Good Friday–all had somehow been zeroed out.
——> So you somehow believe that your treasury of past works somehow insulates you from the consequences of your supporting a pro-abortion candidate? Whether or not the priest was justified in denying you communion, you obviously don’t understand Catholic theology very well. You can be denied the sacraments for any number of faults or sins, the merits of the rest of your life notwithstanding.



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R. J. Houck

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:31 pm


Mr. Kmiec:
You made a very good case for your feelings on this event, and I sympathize with you on what took place. Certainly such happenings are very disturbing as well they should be.
However, with all of the publicity on this issue that has been in the press and the statements of the Pope and Bishops on this issue, how could you not be aware of the consequences of your actions? Did it not occur to you to visit with the priest in question upon your decision to thwart the direction of Church officials on this issue before coming to the communion rail? This issue should not have to be decided at the communion rail but should be decided in frank discussion with a priest or church official long before that confrontation takes place.
If indeed you felt justified to endorse Obama for any reason, that should have been a discussion long before approaching communion, and perhaps you would not have experienced that challenge and embarrasment in front of the congregation. You apparantly made a public endorsement of this candidate and in so doing broadcast that to every other Catholic and took the risk of scandalizing them with your reception of Holy Communion, and that alone was a serious offense. If this had been a private decision I am sure that you would not have been refused Holy Communion and that would have been a private responsibility of yours with God. However, under the circumstances you describe, I doubt that was the case.
The Church does not want to deny anyone Holy Communion, but when public scandal is involved, it then becomes another issue, and that seems to be the case here, as you have described it. I am hopeful adn pray that you will consider all factors of the issue and not just the hurt that you experienced.
God’s love includes all of us.
R. J. Houck



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AnotherCatholic

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:35 pm


Scott: Perhaps you missed the earlier point from Mary about the Church’s position on voting:
“34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. 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. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.
35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.”
The Church has identified a number of policy positions – capital punishment, the preemptive war in Iraq, support for Ayn Randian objectivism/rejection of assistance to the poor, for instance – as sinful and/or contra to the Church. The bishops, seeing the possibility that the Eucharist could be used as a political weapon, set forth a policy that voters can support a candidate whose views on some matters may contradict those of the Church, provided that the determining factor for the Catholic voter was not the candidate’s support of those policy positions that the Church rejects. In other words, a Catholic voter can support a pro-choice, pro-death penalty, or pro-Iraq war candidate if the main motivating factor for their support is something other than those positions which the Church finds objectionable.



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm


AnotherCatholic: I share your concern with “supremist” Christain groups, but as to the radical secularist lacking power, I’d check the Daily Kos, they may be small in number but no one would say they did not have power. BTW, I grow up in a small town that was once a revival camp so I have first hand knowledge of your concern. I wasn’t pretty. More than one person had crosses burnt on their lawns.



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Tony

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:39 pm


Susanna’s Dau – Queen E the I said that only to legitimize the Anglican Church, which the King/Queen of England traditionally controlled.
As far as this article is concerned, the personalness of this is not in question, the publication of it is. You hold yourself out to more ridicule, and bring down the church if you publicize.
“Praise in public, chastise in private.”



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C. Rudolph

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:50 pm


So are John’s critics in this forum suggesting he should support the proven murderers and/or liars running on the Republican ticket?



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paul

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:51 pm


Susanna:
Doug Kmiec has taken an unfortunate incident and turned it into a cause for martyrdom. He is a joke among all thinking Catholics who realize the only reason he continues to pimp himself for Obama is to gratify his ego.
It’s telling to see the type of people supporting Kmiec.



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paul

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm


Oh, and I find it hysterical that Kmiec is now publishing a book. Geez, I really doubted before if Kmiec supported Obama merely for personal gain. Actually, no I didn’t, but it’s nice to have my suspicions confirmed.



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A Concerned Catholic

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm


Many Catholics find what happened to you troubling and so do I. While Cardinal Mahony disavowed what was said to you, somehow it feels as if this priest’s error was not what he said, but how. Does a rage have hold of the Catholic clergy, and not just one but many? Why such vehemence? Shame over pedophile priests? That doesn’t ring true. Fear that the Church may find itself with far too few priests tomorrow? Perhaps. A defense of life? Why so extreme an attack?
I ask myself what would happen if a Nigerian priest was appointed monsignor of my suburban and largely Caucasian parish. I worry about what reaction my fellow Catholics might have. What happened to you makes me wonder if Obama sparks fears deeper and worse that I had ever imagined.



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Paine from the Left

posted September 17, 2008 at 4:59 pm


This horrible story is the reason I embrace the Episcopal Church!



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Andreas Kuhn

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:05 pm


Good grief! America’s right is sickerr than I have ever imagined!



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Karen S.

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:09 pm


This episode is not so much arrogance of power as it is arrogance of getting away with crimes. The Catholic Church is known having transferred pedophiles around the country to escape civil and criminal penalties. But unlike the way a corporation or private individuals would be treated, there was hardly an investigation at all, let alone sufficient to hold accountable everyone involved in heinous crimes and cover-ups. By its own survey, a third of Catholic bishops were involved in transferring pedophiles around one step ahead of accountability. Every rectory should have been locked down and every employee, from the cooks and gardeners to the priests and nuns and bishops and cardinals should have been put in front of grand juries and questioned.
The political establishment didn’t have the courage to stand up to the whining of the Catholic laity. So the pedophiles got away with it. They are still at large, still protected by the Catholic Church and everyone knows it.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:13 pm


A Concerned Catholic:
“what would happen if a Nigerian priest was appointed…”
I don’t think you meant it but this borders on baiting. I come from a small blue collar all mostly white parish and our Knights of Columbus welcomes a priest from nigeria every summer. He celbrates Mass for us and we try to send him home with a nice gift.



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CahtolicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm


Karen: Lets try your solution on the Public Schools first since it would have a higher impact.



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Geoff

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm


There I go, I saw only what was on my screen (it’s late here). I’m sure everyone will understand the comments I referred to were posted by Paul. My apologies to the authors of the first two comments.



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Cadmus

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:50 pm


Catholic First, would you suggest a politician of Catholic faith work to change the laws that make divorce legal in our society? Should a Catholic politician pursue legislation that makes adultery illegal, just because our faith and tradition seeks to uphold the Ten Commandments? When we see and hear one make lies or distortions in politics, should the Catholic voter be adverse to voting for one who bares false witness? Finally, as Kmeic so beautifully explains, denying the Eucharist from a sinnner’s soul who seeks Christ’s devine mercy is not the Holy Spirit at work in our Church, but the self righteousness of a mortal fixated on his ordained powers and not God’s reason for becoming man and dying on the cross.



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Burger

posted September 17, 2008 at 5:56 pm


Man.. stop going to church. Church/Religion is part of the problem with the world today.
You are better of doing something else on your Sunday morning..



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Pope in a funny hat

posted September 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm


While some support the Professor, and many seem to be defending the church, has anyone considered that they are both in error? That aside, the church presuming to know what is in someone’s heart is the height of hubris, but since it is religion they seem to just get away with it. I am still trying to figure out how the church has gotten away with re-shuffling their pedofiles to avoid prosecution, and they did this knowingly. When will people figure out that the people in charge of a church or religion are just that, people. And for all the talk of infallibility, I think it has been shown more than enough times that the view of the church was often wrong, especially in matters of science. Unless of course you still believe, for example, that the sun goes around the earth.



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John Crandell

posted September 17, 2008 at 6:29 pm


I am a renegade catholic, ever since the month that I arrived to become part of America’s war in Vietnam, 1969.
I distinctly remember Mr. Kmiec’s hate-filled, outrageousely homophobic tirade published opposite the editorial page of the Los Angeles Times one winter day of 1978.
Inch by inch by inch, he has slowly taken off his pair of blinders as the years have progressed. His is one of, if not the most pertinent, stories I have read in a long time.



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Chris

posted September 17, 2008 at 6:37 pm


Pope is infallible. Just ask him. Ignore the rapists, murderers, libertines, and polygamists. Ah, the papacy has such a glorious history, especially when there were two at the same time. . . now that’s diversity. Just another example of the spiritual being corrupted by the corporeal.



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 6:47 pm


Cadmus (BTW great name), anyway if the unborn child is a human being than it is worthy of protection. That is a world apart from legislating personal morality. I can’t make my employer love me but I can make him give me a job (Apoplogies to Reverend King for the paraphrase).



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 6:49 pm


Sorry, forgot my name again for post September 17, 2008 6:47 PM.



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matt

posted September 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm


Doug Kmiec,
Welcome to the world that many of us have been facing within our Church for years. It is beyond me how any priest could deny the love of Christ to any human being that wishes to receive.
My guess is that many may consider you a special traitor to their cause of abortion matters most, while love, service, and community matters least.



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:00 pm


matt:love, service, and community don’t matter much when the community is racially segregated and it shouldn’t. If abortion is a human life as Kmiec professed to believe than it should be protected. Need to wonder if there are any others that won’t make Kmiec. You are right on one point. It does hurt to find a trader in your community. I know and respect people who are proabortion. They believe that the child is not fully human. This is not what Kmiec believes unless he changed his mind.



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Michael Thomas

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:11 pm


Making a scene at mass is unacceptable. Right or wrong, you should have brought the matter up with the priest after mass… I refuse to vote for either candidate this election, but especially not for Obama for his stance on abortion (which has gone above and beyond the call to duty for pro-choice ideology) and for his defense of gay marriage. The Catholic Church is not a democracy, but a staunch defender of the teachings and traditions of Jesus Christ. If you disagree with the Church, I am certain you could find another denomination more in line with your theological beliefs.



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Galen Van Brok

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:19 pm


Poor Mr Kmiec. His social reputation tarnished. The vestments, the pomp, pageantry, and rituals of his conspicuous Catholicism ; so close to losing it all. I have no sympathy for his whining indignation here. Any man who truly had the love of Christ in him would not bother writing this article but instead would simply see with compassion this silly old priests petty gesture as a desperate act of someone struggling with their own demons whilst hiding in costume. Then he would turn his back on this sad Pantomime. And for this consolatory letter from the Bishop, what does this mean? Is it a genuine act of contrition or simply a PR damage limitation exercise. Di the Bishop clarify the Church’s position more in favor of Mr Kmiecs loftily intentioned pragmatism, or did he not?
Mr Kmiec’s vanity far outweighs his moral clarity as the real motivation for his article and sadly with America fracturing and descending into a Dark Age in no small measure due to the various immovable religious dogmata vying with a passion that puts the Taliban to shame, for political control of America – its far too desperate a time for Mr Obama to do the right thing and ask people like Mt Kmiec not to vote for him.



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Bob

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:45 pm


Michael Thomas | September 17, 2008 7:11 PM
I refuse to vote for either candidate this election, but especially not for Obama for his stance on abortion
———-
How do you feel about the fact that the GOP in general and George W Bush and John McCain in particular have orchestrated the killings of well over 1 million actual people, and have knowingly done so based purely on lies, on faked reports, and on ‘evidence’ that never existed?
How do you feel about the dozens of people found to have been tortured to death by the same culprits, or by the thousands of US citizens killed by these villains for no reason at all in the same time period?
What about the Bush family known to be such good friends with the Bin Ladens, and the way that Bush helped the 9/11 terrorists firstly by helping the main suspects escape the country, then by sabotaging and trying to prevent any investigation? How do you feel about vote rigging, preventing health care for children, abuse and neglect for troops returning home, for destruction of the environment, and for all the other crimes against humanity carried out in your name?
Doesn’t that stink of pure evil to you? Isn’t that unholy, doesn’t that seem like the doctrine and will of Satan? How is the promoting of disease, death, war, pestilence and famine advancing the cause of good? Its incomprehensible that you can support such a cause and yet call yourself a Christian.



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LesserOfTwoWeevils

posted September 17, 2008 at 7:59 pm


Karen S, it might do you a lot of good to learn the difference between ‘pedophile’ and ‘child molester’. They are -not- the same thing. The second is far, far worse as I would hope you agree, and it is THAT that the catholic priesthood is guilty of.
Pedophilia is simple thought, not illegal action. A pedophile is crime free – unless you feel that every heterosexual on the street is a rapist for having the selfsame lusts. It is when one ACTS on those desires by committing a crime that one becomes a criminal, not by simple thought alone. Also, attraction to a 15-year-old girl or a 16-year old boy isn’t pedophilia. Pedophilia is the desire alone, and it is an attraction to children who have not yet reached puberty. A priest who molests such a child isn’t a pedophile, but they ARE still a child molester, and should be punished to the full extent of the law for that. Why muddy the waters with a term that has nothing to do with the discussion?
Please. Learn what words MEAN. I’d have a lot more sympathy and agreement for you if you were pointing the finger of shame at those who had actually done something wrong, instead of a far larger group who haven’t.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:00 pm


Bob: Did you know you were not on the Daily Kos blog. Just letting you know. This stuff is rubush. Still, I was against the Iraq War. I knew it would suck. Still doesn’t come close to 4000 babies killed each and every day or 3800 if you just want the elective cases. BTW, I’ll be trolling over at Kos later tonight, see if you can quess my handle. Later.



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Charles LaValle

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:18 pm


It’s not the child molesting priests that anger me. Any sufficiently large community, like the priesthood, will have sexual deviants. It’s the Church’s active protection of these deviants that unconscionable. Every so often we read in the paper or hear on TV about some pedophile teacher or Scout leader. They get arrested and suspended from their position involving children while awaiting trial. What does the Church do when they discover a child-raping priest? They move him to another parish.



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sensiblethoughts

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:42 pm


Making a scene at mass is unacceptable. Right or wrong, you should have brought the matter up with the priest after mass… I refuse to vote for either candidate this election, but especially not for Obama for his stance on abortion (which has gone above and beyond the call to duty for pro-choice ideology) and for his defense of gay marriage. The Catholic Church is not a democracy, but a staunch defender of the teachings and traditions of Jesus Christ. If you disagree with the Church, I am certain you could find another denomination more in line with your theological beliefs
You Catholics think you are better or higher than anyone else. Who would think that people who have committed so many sins against people, (ala the priests and those who became abusers as a result), would be such big judgers of others. Priests are some of the homosexuals and pedophiles in the general population. I would think that the priests would spend their time being more productive in making sure no more children are being abused!!!!! “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”



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Karen Mendheim

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:47 pm


I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian. I have often wondered when the line between religion and separation of church and state became so blurred. First, I do not support using any pulpit to further the aims of any political campaign. I find that not only abhorrent from an ethical standpoint, but also unconstitutional. Our founding fathers found separation of church and state important enough to include it in our US Constitution, a document whose doctrines have protected the freedom of the majority over the beliefs of minority groups.Second, I find it difficult to understand how any thinking person can possibly base one’s vote on only ONE idea held by a candidate or party. I liked Senator Joe Biden’s response on Face the Nation when asked how he was able to reconcile his Catholic beliefs on the abortion issue with the Democratic party’s stand on the issue. Senator Biden stated that his beliefs were based upon his religious beliefs, but that his personal choice was not one he felt he had the right to force upon others whose beliefs were different. Obviously, Douglas Kmiec based his support for Barack Obama on more than just the abortion issue, but instead on Obama’s overall support of the best for all people. I do not agree with all of any candidate’s stand on issues. Rather, I choose the candidate who shares the greatest number of ideas I can support.
I applaud the Catholic church’s support of Kmiec’s right to select his candidate based “on the grounds that Obama cared more about the full range of “life” issues – including poverty and human rights – and because Kmiec believes that Obama’s “abortion reduction” agenda will have more impact on abortion in the short run than the traditional battles against Roe v. Wade.” The Catholic church’s decision that it was wrong of the priest to deny Kmiec the sacrement deserves our respect and approbation.



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Bob

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:51 pm


You’re wasting your time at that church.
God doesn’t exist and Jesus has been dead for nearly 2000 years.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:53 pm


Hey, I can vote for Obama if he pledges to remove the Pro-Abortion Litmus test for Supreme Court judges. Judging how he trashed Justice Thomas there is little chance in that.



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MrRosado

posted September 17, 2008 at 8:55 pm


If Obama is for abortion we can’t in conscience vote for the man. The same would be true for McCain. My research has shown that McCain is against abortion and Obama is pro-abortion. I will vote for McCain only on those grounds. If Obama can’t defend my little brothers and Sisters In Christ. How can he defend me?



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Anonymous

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:03 pm


MrRosado:Bravo!
“The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.”
Hubert H. Humphrey



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bob

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:14 pm


I’m sorry. You must love your children. Think of how much more God loves you.



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Concerned Catholic

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:27 pm


CatholicFirst:
Please allow me to assure you that there was no baiting and none intended. My point is very different. The priest who excommunicated Mr. Kmiec acted extremely and I ask why. I am suggesting that he is very afraid. He fears changes that challenge what he understands to be the Church and the society in which it has thrived for more than a century.
I can remember missionary priests and brethern who visited my parish when I was in grade school. The ones from other countries were the first foreigners I met. I wonder how my fellow parishioners might feel if we became the mission and the priest coming to serve our parish was the missionary. What if there comes a time when there are not enough men from your middle class parish(or any other parish)who become priests to serve our parishes? I went to a Christmas Eve midnight Mass and met an elderly priest who had just been in Ireland. He told me that the seminaries were empty of Irish seminarians and the seminarians came from other countries – and, yes, from Africa.
That’s why I suggested a priest from Africa. Layer on that culture shock all of the emotional baggage of race relations in the United States. My aunt lived in Maryland in the late Fifties and early Sixties, and the farm market had a sign over the side door for colored to enter. That has changed too, and thank God for that.
The better question is: why did this happen? What drove this priest to such a spiritually violent act? What does it say about him? The Church? Us?
Was this ugly event a small sign of our fear for the future? Best wishes to you and I apologize if I caused any upset or concern.



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Lisa Miller

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:28 pm


Professor Kmiec,
Your actions are disgraceful!!! You’re an embarassment to the Church.
You sold your soul to pimp a pro-abortion candidate to Catholic voters and now you are selling out the Church for ego satisfaction.
You need to be horsewhipped!!!
Thank God you’re no longer at ND!!!
You’ve just joined the ranks with Biden, Pelosi and Kennedy. Catholic in name only.
You’ve just made yourself a poster child for dissident Catholics, anti-Catholics and Catholic haters. Just read the comments by your supporters here! Disgusting.
Take all of your boo-hooing down the street to the Episcopal Church! You are NOT in communion with the Catholic Church any longer!!!!!!!



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Mary

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:34 pm


MrRosado, you are of course right to vote your conscience, but if you are implying that the church teaches that one cannot vote for Obama because of his pro choice position, you are wrong. So long as one is not voting for a pro choice candidate BECAUSE he is pro choice, and so long as one votes for the pro choice candidate because of other grave moral considerations, a Catholic can, in good conscience, vote for that person.
I might, for example, consider the fact that McCain is practically promising war with Iran, and possibly Russia, and that he’s chosen a clearly unprepared VP candidate at a time when we’re already engaged in two wars, that he’s showing himself to be impulsive, hot headed, and not particularly well-versed in foreign policy, as morally grave enough reasons to support his opponent in order to keep him out of office. You might disagree, but that doesn’t make my vote one of bad faith.
If you are interested on the actual official church teaching on this issue, please read the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops publication Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. You can download a .pdf for free on their web site. Click on the “publications” tab.
I quoted a couple pertinent passages in my comment above. Here’s part:
“There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.”



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Richard Williams

posted September 17, 2008 at 9:59 pm


“Doug Kmiec is a conservative Reagan administration official and leading pro-life legal scholar.”
No he’s not. The Reagan administration ended in January of 1989, just in case you missed that headline.
And ANYONE who can support an extreme radical socialist like Obama is no conservative. He’s an idiot.



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Stephanie D.

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:00 pm


I really respect Douglas Kmiec for standing up for what he thinks is right. Many people will blindly follow the guidelines of their faith, ignoring the fact that faith is just that: faith. It’s your belief in whatver religion you follow- or whatever religion you choose not to follow.
He stayed true to his morals and went with the candidate he believes can make a positive difference. And I think he’s right.
Obama ’08, for everyone who wants life, freedom, and equality.
-S.D.



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Reader Steven

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:02 pm


Dear Doug Kmiec,
I am an orthodox Christian (Yes. . those folks who think the rest of you are too liberal)
It was a horrible violence done to both you and the eucharist to make one person’s interpretation of the faith hold both you and the eucharist hostage.
It is also disturbing to see christian values portayed so narrowly. Both O’Bama ( a good irish lad ) and McCain ( probably scots ) are on record against abortion. It seems that Mr. McCain’s flavour of being against abortion is a little more pleasing to many. However, you make an eloquent point, that in the balance, there are other aspects to the “Life” issue.
I think it is a serious mistake to assume that either party has a corner on values. The truth is that the Republicans are good at some ‘values’ and the Democrats are good at some ‘values’. It would be nice if they were both good at all the values. Both have serious holes in how they approach values issues. If God will judge the holes of one group, be assured He will judge the holes of the other.
We are all created in God’s Image. The violence we do to each other in abortion, poverty, racism, hunger, affliction, opression, etc. is the violence we do to God’s Image, regardless of the age of the one being afflicted.
It is the height of arrogance to assume that the other’s version of the violence is somehow worse than our own. We all need to repent.



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Justin Daniel

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:39 pm


Listen to Lisa Miller and others, Mr. Kmiec. The Catholic Church has no place for thinking people who believe that morality is objective and can be judged by individuals for themselves. You are supposed to be a sheep to be led. Please leave, I did.
Former Catholic now Atheist.



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Dami

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:40 pm


The Church I knew and grew up in wasn’t a one-issue church. Why is it only the unborn we should protect? Why should we not protect the toddlers, the children, and the grown Catholics?
War, capital punishment, and denying aide and charity to those less fortunate are not Catholic values.
What has become of us?



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Loudon is a Fool

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:43 pm


Wasn’t Kmiec shilling for the administration over the torture memo a few years ago? Today he’s shilling for Obama over the Senator’s Obamanible support of infanticide. I guess if you’re a politician and you want to do something totally nasty and contrary to Catholic teaching, Kmiec is just the climber you need to sell it to fellow Catholics. Scandal schmandle.
News flash, Professor, Obama is not going to appoint you to the Supreme Court. And sorry your widdle feewings got soo hurt.



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Laura Ann

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:47 pm


In response to Mr. Williams – and his correction of the “Doug Kmiec is a conservative Reagan administration official and leading pro-life legal scholar”…
Mr Kmiec served as Assistant Attorney General to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. I’ve never even heard of Doug Kmiec until this evening (because I was born during the Reagan administration) and I had the forethought to “google” “Doug Kmiec” before I posted on here.
Regardless – it must be remembered that it is not our invitation to withdraw. Christ’s invitation to the table is not one which we control – not one which we can deny from anyone for our own reasons – nor one which we are allowed to steal from anyone. Regardless of who we choose to vote for, or who we choose to support – it is Christ’s invitation that we receive – not the church’s (Catholic church or otherwsie) invitation to partake.



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dreamlarge

posted September 17, 2008 at 10:57 pm


I think it was indefensible for the priest to publicly ridicule you. Especially so because the priest did not approach you personally to discuss the contradiction the church would find inherent in your position. But one scandal doesn’t justify another scandal.
That said, your position is contrary to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. One must follow their own conscience…but one also must not be surprised when the club throws you out for not following the rules. (It is not uncommon in my neck of the woods for Bishops and Cardinals to threaten withholding communion from pro-choice politicians. I need to read up more on the legal theology of that move. I’m pretty sure Biden got a smack down a couple years ago. )
Just remember…in the end all you have is what you are. Follow your true heart. That is what you will have to answer for.
Thanks for sharing the story.
dreamlarge >> ~~ pro-life feminist



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Helen Hightower

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:14 pm


I really don’t understand this occasional Catholic practice of denying communion to Christians who don’t make opposition to abortion their top issue. I was raised Protestant, but if my pastor ever refused to give me communion I’d tell him he’d lost my tithes and offerings and find a different church. There is competition…



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Paul

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:20 pm


It is entirely legitimate to raise this or that moral objection against Obama or any other flawed candidate for public office. What is incomprehensible, and ultimately self-defeating from the point of view of the Church itself (in its essence, that is–as opposed to its political ‘positioning’ or temporal ‘advantage’), is the deafening silence from the Catholic Church concerning what is even more objectionable in the present Republican Party and administration of the past 8 years. There is only only way not to be aware of these grave defects in the present administration: vigorous indifference to the truth. Such an indifference is almost always, among the educated, engendered by an intense and blinding hatred for ‘the other side.’ (Witness the tone of some of the earlier comments here.)
There is no point, therefore, in arguing the case for an interest in truth, or in setting forth the case against the Republicans. Indifference to truth is in the first instance a spiritual problem. One must want the truth before it can be known.



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F. Hannon

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:44 pm


Well, if Roger Mahony, the Great Enabler of Priest Predators in LA, says it’s OK, then it must be OK!! What a self-promoting buffoon this Kmiec is. He has deliberately placed himself outside of communion with the Church, and that courageous priest who was called on the carpet for doing the right thing should have invited Mahony to cram it.



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Michael Thomas

posted September 17, 2008 at 11:54 pm


Bob,
I don’t like either candidate… But given that 40 million abortions have been performed in our country since 1972, that’s 40 millions innocent persons killed. Put that in perspective; Hitler slaughtered 6 million Jews in Europe and Stalin viciously killed 25 million of his own countrymen and women… The US has murdered 40 million of its own. Sure the Iraq War was unjustified and the loss of thousands of our soldiers and Iraqi nationals has been terrible. So, while I don’t necessarily go along with all your charges leveled at the current administration, I also question whether the President or Senator McCain have proven themselves worthy of the office.
Off topic, someone attacked my comments regarding homosexual marriage… I am not against the gay and lesbian community and, in fact, support their procurement of civil unions for legal purposes and benefits needed for their life partners. But I do not support the retooling of the definition of marriage. If we can simply change the meaning of words we find ourselves on a very slippery slope. I use for example the retooling of the term “war”… What exactly is a preemptive war if there was no justification to fight in the first place?
And for all who have posted their loss of faith, I hope you find peace for clearly there seems to be a lot of anger and resentment. As someone who has been there, let it go, all it does is eat you up inside.



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Michael Beer

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:08 am


Kudos to your spouse and fellow parishioner for standing by you. Please know that you have millions of Catholics and others standing beside you. I hope the Priest is getting counseling…and I hope he apologizes to the congregation..not just yourself.



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Michael Thomas

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:10 am


Also, I’m a Baptist!



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Andra

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:17 am


You self righteous Christians/Catholics are totally scary. The only judge is the ONE and ONLY GOD. Now give me a break, all of you who would judge this man in public. Sheesh! I am so tired of all the hypocrits. Remember those words, “Judge not lest you be judged”. This man has every right to express his feelings. Glad he did and hope he continues to.



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kathy

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:25 am


Why aren’t intelligent Catholics asking why Prof. Kmiec is supporting Sen. Obama, rather than reacting with such animus. If one has decided that Sen. Obama is not a valid choice to be made by a practicing Catholic, only to discover that a thoughtful and intelligent man has determined otherwise, wouldn’t it be natural to ask why? How many times, growing up Catholic, are we challenged to rethink what we have already made a moral decision about? I can remember hearing the story of the prodigal son as a child and being troubled that what I thought was correct- that the “lost” son should be punished and the “good” son should be rewarded, needed more thought. Didn’t Jesus challenge his followers to rethink what they thought were morally righteous judgements? Haven’t Catholic priests been challenging their parishoners for years to rethink their convictions? Haven’t we been afflicted when we’ve grown too comfortable? If someone is surprised by Prof. Kmiec’s support of Sen. Obama, wouldn’t that person want to consider his point of view. Nowhere have I seen Prof. Kmiec condemn or judge those who feel differently than him.
What we should do is study Prof. Kmiec’s thinking on the subject. He offers a compelling argument which must be read with an open mind. No doubt, he realizes that not everyone will agree with him, but to demonize a decent and devout man is inexcusable. Perhaps his critics should spend a bit more time considering his perspective. He makes a truly profound argument.



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F. Hannon

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:46 am


I can only answer your extraordinarily naive question speaking for myself, Kathy. Firstly, speaking of speaking for myself, on what basis does Kmiec deign to speak for supposedly “good” Catholics on the matter of Obama?! His audacity is staggering. Also, the premise of your question is dreadfully flawed in the first place; Catholicity aside, rejecting a candidate who demonstrably believes that it is acceptable to allow the death of a baby born after an abortionist failed to kill it is the only rational conclusion for any thinking person.
To say that you’ve been snookered by the self righteous happy talk of the likes of Obama and Kmiec, vipers both, is to put it as charitably as I can, Kathy.



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kathy

posted September 18, 2008 at 1:15 am


F. Hannon- I appreciate your feedback, but please read the hard to find info on Obama’s votes in the Illinois senate. It is not always easy to figure out why he voted the way he did- so I understand why a lot of people mistakenly believe that he supports allowing a live baby to die- unfortunately, it is more complicated- it gets into Illinois law about how to determine viability of all patients, not just infants, and it’s attempts to outline appropriate medical efforts in questionable cases. Nevertheless, if you are very strongly opposed to abortion- I understand why this is troubling.
If you can pull back a bit- it is not naive to inquire whether there may be a more effective way to reduce the number of abortions rather than overturning Roe v. Wade. You surely realize that the wealthy will always be able to get abortions, no matter the laws. Those without resources, financial or otherwise, (support from family and others for example,) may be the ones who do not receive abortions. In that case, why are we not morally obligated as a society to set up support and resources for these women- not just preaching about adoption, but working hard to truly make a dent in the most serious causes of poverty in our society. Perhaps giving these people a sense that things are not as hopeless as they seem.
Maybe I’m wrong- but I don’t truly believe that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned, and even if it is- there will be abortions in this country.
I don’t understand how you feel that Kmiec is speaking for anyone but himself. I did not mean to imply anything close to defining a “good” Catholic- I should have worded my example of pondering the prodigal son story better- I used the words good and bad only as a child would perceive the story- I didn’t intend to apply that story to any people or parties involved in this debate.
Finally, I suggested that you explore his thinking- not necessarily accept any of it- rather than react with such hostility that he doesn’t fall in line with conventional contemporary Catholic thinking on this issue. To be fair- you should read both of Obama’s books- they are eye opening.



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Ian Welsh

posted September 18, 2008 at 1:55 am


It is always amusing to me that so many people who dare call themselves Christian are so against abortion, but would never think of not voting for Bush or McCain because of the Iraq war. Life is only valuable to these folks if it is that of a foetus, not that of a fully developed human being.
The late Pope John Paul was not so blind, and was not a hypocrite. He condemned both abortion and war. I wonder why it is that Americans Christians think the first is so great a sin, and the second so easily forgiveable.
One can only conclude that there must be something beyond “murder” that bothers them so.
I also do not understand why so many anti-abortionists call for criminal penalties against doctors involved in abortion, but not against the women who hire the abortionists. If you truly think it’s murder, than hiring a murderer should be a crime.
But then, I would never call myself this sort of Christian, so I don’t understand what goes through their mind. I find it hard to reconcile the Jesus I read about with such beliefs – that war is so easily forgiveable, but abortion is the ultimate evil.



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P W

posted September 18, 2008 at 2:15 am


Get off the cross, Doug, someone else needs the wood.
(And I mean that in the sincerest and nicest way possible.)



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MK

posted September 18, 2008 at 2:55 am


As a Christian and a non-Catholic, I am surprised, though not really shocked, by some of the replies I have read here. We should remember that it is important to try to behave in the same manner that would expect Christ to.
I have a bit to say regarding the topic of abortion, offering hopefully some food for thought.
First of all, to judge anyone as pro-abortion instead of pro-choice is just downright reprehensible. I think there are very few people who are actually for abortion because they are evil and think babies should not have an opportunity to live. Instead, these people are for maintaining their freedom of choice. There really is a BIG difference between the two.
Maintaining choice doesn’t automatically mean that women are going to go out and intentionally get pregnant and get abortions repeatedly. It is a fallacy to assume that just because abortion is legal that it has, or will, lead to more abortions.
Have any of you considered that one can be both pro-life and pro-choice? Ask yourself the following questions and really think deeply about them:
1. “If my little girl/wife/sister/mother/etc was raped and she got pregnant, would I honestly let want her to have to live with the fruit of her victimization, or having to bring it into the world?” Keep in mind also that a lot of girls are starting puberty, and their periods, much earlier than ever before. What if your young, say 8, 9, 10, or 11-year-old daughter was raped by a child molester and became pregnant. Not only would her body not handle it well at all, but having to carry that baby would likely severely compound the emotional and psychological damage incurred from the rape. This emotional and psychological damage would be severely compounded in women of any age, for that matter. However, I can imagine the damage is much worse for a child.
2. “If my little girl/wife/sister/mother/etc was a victim of incest – rape or not – would I honestly want her to have to live with the fruit of her victimization and potentially bear a child with severe issues due to the genetic closeness in relationship between the two parents?
3. “If my daughter/wife/sister/mother/etc was carrying a child and the pregnancy was life threatening to the point where both the mother and the baby could or would die, would you let both die or would you be supportive in the termination of the pregnancy, thereby saving the mother so she can have the opportunity to have a child again at a later date and more auspicious circumstances?
I think that if any of you were to say that abortion were wrong in any of the above circumstances then you may be in need of some serious introspection. You see, these examples do not represent abortions that are done for frivolous reasons like, “OMIGOSH, having a baby right now is a bad time since it is summer and I want to look good on the beach,” or “OMIGOSH, I am about to start college, this is a bad time for me to be pregnant.” Instead, these are circumstances where either a person had their choice taken away from them because they were forced or coerced to have sex, or two people will die instead of one. Anyone who is truly pro-life cannot seriously argue that it is better to lose two lives than one. Heck, I still can’t figure out how so many people who profess to be pro-life are not anti-war. Is not Christ the Prince of Peace, after all?
However, if you agree with abortion in the previously given circumstances then bear in mind that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will eliminate abortion as an option in these circumstances, as well.
I, for one, am pro-life and pro-choice. What this means is that I am very much against abortion except in the case of rape, incest, and if the life of the mother is threatened. You see, there is such a thing as a gray area and there are some very good reasons why a person may agree with abortion even when it is painful to think about.
I think Obama has the right idea about maintaining the freedom to choose but still doing everything in our power to reduce the need for, or occurrences of, abortion.



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Joseph A Borg

posted September 18, 2008 at 4:36 am


I find it difficult to understand how many people equate moral law with civil law. I’m from a catholic country (Malta) and there is an undercurrent debate about opposing an introduction of abortion and divorce law, which any Maltese citizen can get legally anyway in another European country. This debate is fine when you add it to the other debates going on in society and pass judgement on the basket of issues involved.
In my opinion the single issue voters are doing a disservice to their faith by hiding behind a straw man argument. This is a major failure from their part. I’m afraid that single issue ‘protesters’ will never bother to try to understand and value what the ‘opposition’ is trying to say.
No wonder many ‘hateful liberals’ show reciprocal contempt to these intolerant conservatives. Ultimately the greatest sin here is the break-up of society into infighting groups of fellow citizens. So please we need more moderates from both sides of the fence speaking on the basket of issues that improve a society .
Mr Kmiec thanks for sharing.



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Pyre

posted September 18, 2008 at 4:39 am


Doug, I’m sorry you and your wife had to endure this, but I salute you both for the courage and dignity with which you did so and turned it to good purpose.
May I (with some embarrassed coughing) suggest slightly editing the two sentences: “Every expert in Canon Law who has examined the question and concluded under Canon 915 that the denial of Communion was unauthorized and inappropriate. After the even became public, Cardinal Mahoney called the priest into his office, and several months after that meeting, Father ______sent Carol and myself a letter of apology.”
These might better read: “Every expert in Canon Law who has examined the question has concluded under Canon 915 that the denial of Communion was unauthorized and inappropriate. After the event became public, Cardinal Mahoney called the priest into his office; several months after that meeting, Father ______ sent Carol and me a letter of apology.”



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TaxGal

posted September 18, 2008 at 6:05 am


If a non-profit group supports or rails in politics, this is an act which can quickly dump the non-profit group into a profit group and no one gets any tax deductions… the apology was maybe not because they feel that they were wrong… but maybe more so that without that act, they might have lost exempt status AND all the tax deductable donations that come with it! — The influence of the IRS is pervasive… so pervasive that the very core of what a church stands for can fall apart. —- And, also you were “judged” and sentenced by being denied a key element of what your religion stands for BEFORE YOU EVEN VOTED FOR OBAMA! You had not even sinned (by their own definition of sin) yet! —- How much money has McCain donated to the church to embarrass the heck out of you in front of your entire group! — How much have you donated so that they can embarass the heck out of you in front of church family and friends… I’d seek monetary damages of all you and your families donations and leave them.—-
THIS CHURCH GROUP IS NOT WORTHY OF YOU! But, it’s hard to break away… I hope that you do find a group that will have you as a FULL Member and where your church family and friends can also follow!



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Patrick Mahon

posted September 18, 2008 at 6:18 am


Thank you for bearing witness that we need to address all the life issues.



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Theo

posted September 18, 2008 at 8:57 am


The lesson? Any Voter Guide even hinting at a Catholic duty as a matter of faith and morals to vote against Senator Obama is seriously in error.
Funny thing. I haven’t read a single one that does.
Condemned for announcing to the world that I intended to vote for a man who I thought lived the Beatitudes. A black man; a caring man; a talented man. A man different from conservative self and yet calling me to find the best of that self. A man who, in so many ways, asks to care for the least advantaged as he seeks the public responsibility to carry with him.
Perhaps Senator Obama was acting in accordance to the Beatitudes when he approved every pro-abortion (not “pro-choice,” that’s a blatant euphemism) bill that came his way, including those that logically led to infanticide. That the Senator has done so is despicable; that Mr. Kmiec has turn a blind eye to it is regrettable.
Let me grant this point: to refrain Holy Communion from someone just because that someone has announced his or her support for a given political candidate in an election is wrong; but the profuse eulogy Mr. Kmiec does of Obama despite the Senator’s record forces me to think if Father _______ wasn’t right after all to stop Mr. Kmiec from receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. Mr. Kmiec words belie the true facts of Obama’s pro-abortion record.
-Theo
Blogmaster, Vivificat!



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2008 at 9:07 am


Kathy,
I do understand Obama’s thinking, and in fact the thinking of virtually every prochoicer in the world, which is that unborn human beings are chattel, every bit the way captive Africans were on southern plantations in early 19th century America; this is profoundly immoral, Catholicity aside.
Of course there will always be abortions, just as there will always be other forms of murder, but we don’t jettison laws against those other forms of murder. “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
The corruption of many clergymen in the Church notwithstanding, institutionally she is a bulwark for the preservation of the inalienable rights of every human being. Kmiec’s prideful attempts to square communion with the Church with support for a man who would be a friend to the freedom to kill the unborn is futile and a scandal of the highest order. Thinking people must check virtue at the door to contend otherwise.



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Phil Onochie

posted September 18, 2008 at 9:15 am


Shame on you Mr Kmiec. What purpose does posting this serve? Do you want people to have empathy for your cafeteria state of belief? You simply cannot support somebody who is heavily anti-life in the public arena and then not expect orthodox priests to react publicly. There are no words in the English language or any other language you can use to prove that you are in the right.
The priest did what he was supposed to do. You bullied him with the support of the Cardinal, and I hope you are happy now. For you have receieved our Lord in an unworthy state and have caused more judgement for yourself. When an orthodox priest says, “No” to your receiving the Body and Blood, it is for your own good so that you do not incur more judgement. But now, you have chosen to have pity on yourself and to rally support from this blog.
Do not let this place be a forum where you get to be “justified”. Be humbled that somebody has the courage to do his job to try to make you realize the plight of your soul. When you support Obama, expect that Christ has accepted your choice to distance yourself away from Him. You put yourself in the corner. I hope you don’t stay there for long. Come back home. Put life first. Without morals in the frontlines, we won’t have an economy to save. It doesn’t work the other way around.



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Catholic

posted September 18, 2008 at 9:37 am


We have had Bush in office for 8 years, yet no movement on the abortion front. We had Bush for about 5 years with a republican congress that would have been a perfect opportunity to end abortion, nothing happened.
Please, stop judging each other. We all have free will to choose as we wish. It’s not your job to judge, it’s Gods. We all must make our own choice here, you and I do not have the right to take away from the free will that God gave that person and force them to vote one way or the other.



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Chuck, Philadelphia, PA

posted September 18, 2008 at 10:36 am


Would that the Presidential race were as simple as a single talking point. There is no requirement that the candidate you choose to support is perfect, nor would there be any candidates if there were.
We as Catholics should review and try to live by the fourteen Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy:
Corporal:
Feed the Hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the Naked
Habour the harbourless
Visit the Sick
Ransom the Captive
Bury the dead
Spiritual:
Instruct the ignorant
Counsel the doubtful
Admonish sinners
Bears wrongs patiently
Forgive offenses willingly
Comfort the afflicted
Pray for the living and the dead
Pray for both candidates, and call both the the carpet on moral issues (is the death penalty really better than abortion?). And let us all pray for the charisms of wisdom and discernment such we all make the correct choice on election day.
Regardless of who I pull the lever for on Election Day I certainly support Mr. Kmiec’s right to choose.



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Anthony Keiser

posted September 18, 2008 at 11:00 am


“Catholic”
I never voted for George W. Bush, but the comment that there has been “no movement on the abortion front” is a very ignorant one indeed. I stood by the Washington Monument as George Bush, the day after his inauguration as president in 2001, made it law that U.S. taxpayers would no longer fund abortions in other countries.
He helped to make partial birth abortion illegal, and got the backing of two Supreme Court justices that he appointed to help do so.
He refused to allow further funding for embryonic stem cell research that would lead to the death and discarding of other human lives.
The Born Alive Infant Protection Act was passed under George Bush. The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act was passed under George Bush. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act was passed by George Bush. He made federal funding available for health-care for an unborn child, treating them as someone deserving of it.
It took 80 years to ban slavery and another hundred years to grant civil rights to blacks. Plessy v. Ferguson took 70 years to overturn. How can you say that these advancements from Geroge Bush are not movement on the abortion front?
On top of that, no one is forcing anybody to vote one way or another. A reasonable person, however, can see that voting to literally repeal all George Bush has done on the pro-life front–as far as abortion goes–(something Obama said would be his first thing he will do as President) is not exactly a moral thing to do.



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Greg Pielow

posted September 18, 2008 at 11:20 am


I am Catholic can I cannot imagine that my church would tell me how to vote, I would find a new church if it did. One of the other people commenting was not happy that you wrote this blog entry. I think this type of radical religion has to be brought to the public’s attention. Does your church know that they can lose their charity clasification if they tell people how to vote?



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:03 pm


I am Catholic. I am against abortion. Yet, to vote on that issue alone is a primary reason why our country/economy/environment is suffering now.
To totally ignore what is happening is irresponsible because it allows a government that rewards the rich and punishes the poor; a government that fails to take care of the Earth that God created; a government that believes in pre-emptive War for the benefit of a few.
Phil wrote, “Without morals in the frontlines, we won’t have an economy to save.” The economy is crumbling because the morals in the frontlines must protect ALL of God’s creatures, not just champion the unborn while harming the born.



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LapsedRC

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm


No human–not layperson, not clergy–can justify the ultimate hubris of judging other humans in God’s name. Oh, we fallible humans can throw judgments and condemnations as we please, but never forget that we speak as humans, not as channelers of God.



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EJ

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:42 pm


I am Catholic and live in Iowa. We had a priest and a deacon from my church (not self identified) at our Democratic precinct caucus. I know many religious sisters who are strong Democrats. Dubuque, Iowa is in my congressional district and one of the most Catholic cities in the United States and voted strongly Democratic in 2000 and 2004, as did rural counties in our part of the state (Northeast) which are heavily Catholic. Abortion is one issue and not even all of the life issues–the Church here has also strongly stood against the restoration of capital punishment and while supporting our troops been very strongly anti war. I think the Republican Party by and large ignores the needs of the poor and only uses abortion as a wedge issue. I have served as Democratic County Chair and know that while more Catholics are Republicans than used to be, that a very large number are still Democrats and will continue to be so.



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j loughnane

posted September 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm


never heard of such nonsense, as how to vote. I was told to vote for best individual running for the job. No suggesting here.



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Mark F.

posted September 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm


In the past, Christians from different confessions supported horrible regimes: Hitler in Germany, Franco in Spain, etc. So this sort of priestly fanaticism doesn’t surprise me. But it saddens me. The worst thing to happen to Catholicism in the USA (even more than the pedophile problem) has been the political alliance of some Catholics with Evangelical christianist Republicans. I do think the parish in question should lose its tax-free status. The Statement by the USCCB states we are also to consider the personal integrity of the candidates when voting. John McCain advocates federal funding to destroy human embryos for ghoulish research. McCain abandoned his badly injured first wife to enter into an adulterous union with his current partner. McCain has flip-flopped on numerous issues. He has a major integrity problem along the lines of Bill Clinton. I repent and ask God to forgive me for ever voting for an evil, murderous, violent man like George Bush. I wonder if the same priest will excommunicate torturers and those who illegally and immorally murder civilians in unjust wars in the Bush administration.



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Dick Gassen

posted September 18, 2008 at 2:08 pm


Our Constitution mandates the separation of Church and State. On this matter I agree with Jess Ventura — keep the robed prelates and everybody else of their ilk out of politics. We’re voting for the next President of the United States, not a High Priest. Heaven help us if we’re heading in the direction of the Iranian state!



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Patty

posted September 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm


As a Catholic, I would rather vote on the side of protecting the unborn or those born alive and survived an abortion than vote for anyone who supports the killing of innocent babies. This website and Gianna’s experience should be enough to influence any decent human being to protect the unborn and those born alive, http://www.bornalivetruth.org/default.aspx
While the economy, foreign policy and all of the of issues that concern our country are important, there is NOTHING more important than caring for our young and the innocent. God will provide and take care of our needs. There is no reason anyone should condone putting an innocent child to death simply because their birth is an inconvenience to the parents.
We need to protect life and our children, they are our future. One of those unfortunate aborted babies could have grown up to discover a cure for cancer. We can not allow evil, greed and politics interfere with the value of human life.



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Ed McElhaney

posted September 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm


The Democratic party has left me by going too far to the left. It supports the Gay life style and it supports abortion on demand. I am sending the Democratic party a message, put family values back in the party. Obama is too far left! He is practically a socialist. And he is for late term abortions.
As a Catholic I can’t over look the thought that he will appoint the next Supreme Court judges that will be as far to the left as he is. We will never get R V wade reversed.
I am not voting for Mcaine, I am voting against obama.



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kmkm

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm


Gay rights is tolerance and respect for others who are not just like you.
Supporting a woman’s right to choose is respect for your values and respect for the difficult decisions of others without undue government interference.
Family values include health care for all, a fair and just economy for working families, and a more peaceful and healthy planet.



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James

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm


For Ed:
Once you say something like Obama “is practically a socialist” you lose *all* credibility for your judgement. It’s a sign that your opinion is “too far right,” so far right, in fact, that you simply demonstrate myopia and your opinion can’t possibly be reasonable.
So if you really care to send the Democratic party a message, you might want that message to be one they’ll listen to.



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Howard

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm


The problem with the “full range of life issues” ignores the proportionality of innocent life preference; Mr Kamiec’s expertise in curing what ails humans is admirable but I am surprised that he can quantify and conclude Obama’s plans will save more innocent lives while the most innocent are not given any voice, or perhaps the voice of the mother only; after all it is only a part of her body.
Perhaps his public status made the local priest deny him Communion; there is such a concept of public scandal leading many astray. If his actions convince others to vote the same way, the issue is not only personal but communal.



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Brad

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm


Rib1961 wrote: – “I’m sick of this absolutism on the abortion issue. Being pro-choice does not mean being pro-abortion. It means accepting that abortion has been and will always be with us, whether we like it or not, and we must make it safe and legal. There are a host of social programs — birth control and better educational opportunities to name a few — that will go much further in reducing abortion rates than outright bans will.”
Then I suppose murder should be permissible and just made “safe and legal”? What nonsense. Like Mother Teresa said, “If abortion is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.”



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Brad

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm


For James:
Obama is not practically a socialist; he is a socialist. If it looks like a pig, acts like a pig, …….



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priceofliberty

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm


Dogulas W. Kmiec you are welcome as a Lutheran the ELCA will never turn someone away for communion. imo the IRS should know about this. It is a voilation of the separation of church and state.
Also there should be an appeal in the roman catholic church because it does not conform to doctrine(I used to be catholic) I have no grounds if they want to excommunciate me Kmiec does.
Or you can always do the wrong thing and confess and submit to their authority. Thats what its about some bishop wants to have an iron fist over his diocoses or archdioceses.



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e koczur

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm


I am sure, in years to come, you will see the wisdom of the priest who denied you Communion..perhaps it was the only way he could jolt you into the proper thinking of the Church. We all know a candidate, who believes in Partial birth abortion, or in permitting the killing of a baby who survives an abortion, will in no way strive to reduce the number of abortions.



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Leo

posted September 18, 2008 at 4:47 pm


Yet another blow for morality by the Church that shelters and protects pedophiles.
How edifying.



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jo-c

posted September 18, 2008 at 4:56 pm


many spiritual masters debate when the soul actually enters the fetus but it is mostly accepted as 12 weeks because this is when the the nervous system is becoming developed. From a spiritual standpoint it is very damaging to bring a child into this world by parents that are immature and not truly dedicated to bringing up a child in a loving and spiritual environment.



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Seriously?

posted September 18, 2008 at 4:56 pm


Get off the cross, Doug, someone else needs the wood.
(And I mean that in the sincerest and nicest way possible.)
—————————————————-
Dang nab it, now I have to read back through all the postings to find out what Doug said.



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm


Doug,
Thank you for your story.
I can tell that you love the Church, even though you have been wounded by one of its own, and I am so very sorry that this has happened to you. I notice that in Steve’s bio on you, you are a strong anti-abortion legal scholar and that your support for Obama flows, in part, from his “abortion reduction” agenda. I see, too, that you were a Conservative Reagan official. I can’t envision you being too far off the beam in your understanding of the issues and your subsequent support of Obama.
You should never have been treated as you were at Mass, and, yes, that priest could not possibly have been acting in the name of the Church, for even Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angeles called the matter “shameful” and “indefensible.” A good rule of thumb here is to ask yourself if Pope Benedict XVI had been distributing communion that Sunday, if you would have been turned away, Doug? I can’t think any Catholic would answer that with a yes.
I hope that you will be able to let this incident inform your faith in whatever way it can, I wish you the best in your continued efforts on behalf of the abortion issue, and it is my deepest prayer we remember how all things work for good for those who love the Lord.



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Ron

posted September 18, 2008 at 7:33 pm


“All I can say is hooray!!! for the un-named chaplin who refused Mr. Kmiec communion. Oh, by the way, Mr. Kmiec that fellow with the sulphur smelling breath and the red eyes that inspired you to back Obama is the same one who apparently has attached a lien on your soul. God Bless.”



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L.E.

posted September 18, 2008 at 7:35 pm


Put in simple terms, Doug Kmiec is an apostate Catholic, and the damage that he is doing to the Church is inestimable.



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JOHN W MAHER

posted September 18, 2008 at 7:37 pm


PUBLIC CONFESSIONS AREN’T USED ANY LONGER,, AND THE “”SEAL OF CONFESSION “‘ IS STILL USED AND RECOGNIZED.
THEN HOW DARE ANY PRIEST DENY COMMUNION!!!! THE PERSON WHO RECEIVES
HAS ONLY GOD TO ANSWER TO..



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Debbie Ghesquiere

posted September 18, 2008 at 8:19 pm


Thanks be to God that the Father realized that not only would he have to answer to God for his soul but yours as well if he allowed you to receive the Eucharist. In charity, he prevented you from committing a mortal sin by receiving Jesus’ body and blood while not being in communion with the church. If you have as “knowledgable” a background in catholic teaching as your letter suggests you surely know that it is never morally acceptable to commit an abortion(always gravely evil) and anyone who supports this has excommunicated themselves from the church. Your error is only compounded by the fact that you are a public persona. I wish you would publish the name of the priest so I could thank him for standing up for the teachings of the church.



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Frank

posted September 18, 2008 at 9:01 pm


The last bishop or Cardinal I would want defending me is Cardinal Mahoney. Have you read about the mess he allowed in LA with the sex scandal? If he were not so close to the Democrat Party, he would be in jail.



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Leo

posted September 19, 2008 at 1:46 am


My brother in Christ,
Would any father give you a stone when you ask for bread?
“In charity” I commend all who condemn you into the loving hands of God.
Pax Chisti



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Raymond Towne

posted September 19, 2008 at 8:48 am


Hello Mr Kmiec and commenters.
Thank you for bearing witness. Please consider the following comparison/contrast.
The Catholic Cathecism Section 2 (The 10 Commandments) Chapter 2 (Love Your Neighbor as Yourself) Article 3 (Fifth Commandment) sections 2307 through 2330 present comprehensive teaching on nonviolence. The just war doctrine appears in section 2309 among others, and the anti-abortion doctrine in sections 2322-2323; one could say the anti-abortion doctrine is embedded in the larger nonviolent teaching sections.
In contrast, the August/September 2008 issue of Homiletic & Pastoral Review (Kenneth Baker S.J. editor) presents, inside the front cover, a full-color ad for the United States Army Chaplaincy showing bareheaded soldiers praying kneeling and holding three firearms muzzles held upright. The ad heading is “officers give them instruction, chaplains give them direction”. The second article “Elections and the parish” (by Father Pavone of Priests for Life, an anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia group), states that “we have a responsibility to know wht the moral duties of government are, so that we can evaluate whether political parties and candidates can meet those duties”. So far so good, but then “attacks on the right to life constitute the most urgent moral issue”, “[candidates] who permit the destruction of innnocent life by abortion disqualify themselves from consideration” and “Not all issues have equal weight. The Catholic Church teaches that war and capital punishment, for example, may at times be morally justified, but abortion and euthanasia never are.” I have subscribed to and read this publication carefully for over a year, and, to my dismay, I have not seen any discussion of the just war doctrine. Father Pavone’s emphasis and focus are consistent with Father ______’s mindset, if not his express conduct toward Mr Kmiec. I conclude that this publication’s editorial stance is consistent with use of abortion as a wedge issue, whose effect is to promote American militarism and all that implies.
More consistent with the Catechism, the monthly publication Inside the Vatican (Robert Moynihan, editor in chief) does discuss, but usually in snippets, papal and Curia opposition to the Iraq war before and since its inception. One senses a great reluctance to explicitly challenge America’s present war doctrine and practice, and certainly no express instruction to American bishops to do so. Mary’s comment (9/17/08 12:11 PM) on the United Conference of Catholic Bishops “Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship” illustrates the vagueness of UCCB teaching on this point.
There’s more. Michael AZ (comment 9/17/08 12:35PM) describes his awakening during the Viet Nam conflict (google “Cardinal Spellman”). Small pickles (9/17/08 12:47PM) notes the Church’s role in Croatia in WWII (google author “Avro Manhattan”). Jim Martin (9/17/08 1:34PM) describes the voting-against-your-own-economic-interest effect of Catholic teaching as presented to the average layperson, i.e. the wedge issue effect. Bob (9/17/08 7:45PM) summarizes the present administration’s criminal conduct. Internet research confirms these comments, and yields a clear picture of the Church’s twentieth-century promotion of authoritarian government in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Viet Nam, with big business, notably defense industries, remaining in private hands. Is the Church’s practice in the United States any different?
Cardinal Mahoney sends Mr Kmiec a letter of apology. Will we see it published in The Tidings or other mainstream Catholic publications, or is it more likely a private damage control effort? A word from the bishops, and every parish pulpit in the land would preach Jesus Christ’s full doctrine of nonviolence (see e.g. G.H.C. MacGregor, the New Testament Basis for Pacifism), in the context of the Catholic just war doctrine. Had that occurred before March 2003, about one million Iraqi lives could have been spared, because our politicians would not have dared to cross a line the bishops demarcated. To repeat, in the Catholic Catechism the anti-abortion doctine is embedded in the section on nonviolence, including the just war doctrine. Compare and contrast the long tradition of selective emphasis to support empire. Cui bono? Who benefits?



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Raymond Towne

posted September 19, 2008 at 9:33 am


Hello Webmaster.
I posted a comment earlier this morning, and neglected to give my name, as above. Sorry for the oversight.
Kind regards.
Raymond Towne



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Chris

posted September 19, 2008 at 10:51 am


Never understood that if abortion is a mortal sin and artificial birth control is a mortal sin, and the Church teaches mortal sins are equal in that they condemn you to the fires of hell, then why isn’t communion withheld from married couples with less than a half dozen children until they prove a priest why. And why isn’t the Catholic Church demand that birth control be prohibited in the United States of America?
Also, why is eating meat on Friday no longer a mortal sin? And what ever happened to the Holy Innocents from back in the day when there was a Limbo?



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Ex-Cat

posted September 19, 2008 at 11:03 am


To Dan: WOW! You wrote a succinct, thoughtful & reasoned comment. If we could only have a national dialogue along those same lines, maybe our society could accomplish one goal – reduce abortions to the point where we could move on to other more pressing issues. The cost-benefit analysis of having this one issue gridlock our political process for 35 years is astounding… one which has yet to be published.
The Catholic Church is wrong to maintain its opposition to contraception in light of an out-of-control global population. Today there is little reason(except rape/incest) for unplanned pregnancies ending in abortion when contraception is readily available. The Church’s theologians and members should focus their efforts on prevention.
The cost-benefit analysis was conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, published July 2008, which found that providing contraceptive care under Title X saved more than $4 for each $1 spent, and – more importantly – that without public funding of Title X services, abortions would have been 50% higher. Guttmacher published its findings in July.
PUBLICLY FUNDED FAMILY PLANNING CLINICS PREVENT 1.4 MILLION UNINTENDED PREGNANCIES EACH YEAR, SAVE $4.3 BILLION IN PUBLIC FUNDS
Here, our purpose has been to provide an overall national assessment of the impact on pregnancies averted and cost savings from current investments in public-sector family planning clinic services, without regard to the particular public program(s) used. In comparison, other studies have measured the expected impact of future investments in specific public programs—for example, expanded eligibility for Medicaid-covered family planning services or increased investment in the federal Title X program.
This study provides current evidence that such public-sector investments will not only result in benefits to women and their families, but will incur substantial public-sector cost savings.
Our cost-benefit analysis found that providing millions of poor and low-income women access to free or low-cost contraceptive care unequivocally results in substantial government savings: More than $4 is saved for each $1 spent.
In fact, these results suggest that without public funding for family planning services, the numbers and rates of both unintended pregnancies and abortions in the United States (as well as the unintended pregnancy rate among teenagers) would have been nearly 50% higher than they actually were.
The current study does include a slightly broader definition of perinatal care, including infant care for one year, and this may account for some of the change in per-birth costs. Primarily, however, it appears that most of the increase in cost savings is due to the fact that in the current study, a higher proportion of averted births are estimated to occur to Medicaid-eligible women than in the prior study (92% now, compared with 63% in the earlier study); this is consistent with the fact that between studies, Medicaid eligibility for prenatal care services expanded considerably. The rise in the importance of Medicaid as a source of maternity and infant care therefore means that public funding for family planning care plays an even more important role in generating public-sector savings.
http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2008/07/31/index.html
Study details: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/09_HPU19.3Frost.pdf



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Ex-Cat (Eva)

posted September 19, 2008 at 11:59 am


Moderator: I forgot to include my real name. Thank you for posting my comments.
Like many others posting here, I was raised in a very Catholic home, married in the church & was a devout Catholic until the Civil Rights riots in the late 60′s. We lived in north Omaha near the black community & our children started in a school with only 15 white kids, then 5 the next year. The black Catholic community were hard-working families who’s businesses were being burned down & jobs threatened. Yet they dutifully attended Mass on Sundays only to hear this old white priest rant about the sin of using contraception. I am white yet it broke my heart to see black parents, looking for spiritual sustenance & looking dejected by the end of Mass. Many stopped taking communion.
I married & had 2 children by age 19 in 1964. My mother, a very devout Catholic, told me about the pill 2 mo. before my 2nd child was born. I was shocked & reminded her of the Church’s position on contraception. My dear Mother drew herself up to seem much taller than her 5’2″ & declared, “If men could have babies, the Pope would declare the pill a sacrament & distribute it at Mass! Those priests give no thought to what it takes to give birth, feed, clothe & educate children. Its the women who have those responsibilities. The womenalso take care of those priests, bringing them food, cleaning their house & the church. If you don’t get that pill, you’ll end up with 5 kids, be worn out & where will you be then if your husband decides to leave you for another woman?”
Believe me, I listened & realized the truth of her fiery words (she had 6 kids) – that the Church is unwilling to recognize sex as a matter of biology. I was on the pill until getting my tubes tied 10 yr later. So, it was very difficult to attend Mass listening to diatribes against contraception & still receive communion even after receiving absolution in the confessional. I asked God each time for mercy & forgiveness because I knew Mother was right… & that God blessed her & me for doing the right thing.
As a result of the Church’s deafness during those Civil Rights riots and subsequent anti-war riots, I stopped going to Mass & yet raised my children with all the basic religious tenets common to all religions. They grew up to be very caring people & in the end my husband did leave me for another woman. Grieving, I began attending Mass & receiving communion. By then Mass had changed dramatically since Pope John XXIII & VaticanII & believe he would have approved use of contraceptives had he live as long as Pope John Paul.
I abhore abortion, but using whatever means necessary to prevent unintended pregnancies is by far a more effective route to prevent abortion. It is consistent with our Constitutional right to privacy – the basis for the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade & subsequent decisions. Efforts to repeal Roe have been a HUGE financial drain that could have been used to prevent pregnancies & thereby abortions.



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Michael P

posted September 19, 2008 at 12:10 pm


Coming from the Presbyterian tradition, I was astonished. And deeply ashamed for the church of Jesus Christ. For all you FUNDY types, read your bracelet with the WWJD, and ask yourself this question “who did Jesus choose to embrace, eat with, and bless? Church folks? the pretty beauty queens in the temple? the prayer-ful rabbis, pharissees?”
When you treat another human being as dirt, you are denying the possibility that they may be one of God’s children. Perhaps the face of Christ is looking at you not only from the unborn child, but the mother with no options, the doctor trying to help, the homeless people in the streets, and perhaps even in the face of a community organizer who wants to make the world a better place.



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fblaze

posted September 19, 2008 at 12:42 pm


I am Catholic, pro-life and voting for Obama.
I am amazed at how provocative Doug Kmiec’s endorsement of Obama has become.
I greatly admire Kmiec’s life and success, his commitment to his faith, and his thoughtful leadership on how to be a Catholic voter.
My favorite prayer “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, only say the word and I shall be healed.”



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Beck

posted September 19, 2008 at 5:59 pm


There are plenty of other things that Obama stands for that are just wrong (other than abortion) if you’d like a reason not to vote for him.



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Unnamed

posted September 19, 2008 at 6:44 pm


I give my spiritual strength to the unnamed Priest that acted for God.



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Dorry

posted September 20, 2008 at 1:22 am


Your most unfortunate treatment sounds like what Jesus said would happen to those who love Him: “They will put you out of the synagogue thinking they are doing My will.” They had it totally backwards but thought they were serving God! May you find comfort in our tenderhearted Savior.
It seems easier to get angry then to look for inconsistencies in oneself. I am amazed people do not look deeper at why women may turn to abortion. For example, why not boycott the beer companies with their enticing commercials, or the inappropriate music, sitcoms, etc. It these folks who are actually promoting abortion.



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Ex-Cat (Eva)

posted September 20, 2008 at 2:34 am


Previous poster’s comment: “What about someone who supports our government’s use of torture? Or the Iraq war? Or the death penalty? Should they be denied communion as well?” I thought this particular post very relevant.
Pro-LIFE should be just that… support of all human life to be a moral, sane & peaceful society. No life issues are more subject to government than war, especially pre-emptive invasion of a country without being in imminent danger of attack by that country. Human death is its natural consequence. Same goes for torture & the death penalty.
No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, should get involved in politics. The function of religion is moral persuasion… for societies to live in peace. The function of their members is to abide by these moral principles. History hasn’t borne this out too well. Question should be whether such institutions & their member did a good job. If so, abortion could be almost eliminated.
The function of a government is to provide security, safety, currency, trade, transportation & energy infrastructure, etc. The function of citizens is to give serious consideration as to whom they should give this job and vote accordingly. History, and not just recent history, hasn’t borne this one out too well either. Question should be whether voters do a good job this election.
Prof. Kmiec has obviously done his level best to do both jobs well. Given his life was in the public eye, it seems he has lived a moral life as a devout Catholic. As a constitutional lawyer who delved into the complex facets of how far government can go before it meets the wall of privacy for its citizens, he has done his best to inform himself and – thankfully – others who can choose to read his book & make our own minds up.
All churches, not just Catholic, who have chosen to interject into the political governing process run the risk of going too far. Inevitably the pendulum swings back to the more moderate middle ground, but not before expending enormous sums that could benefit society better.
However, we citizens should be aware that political campaigns require such ‘hot-button’ issues like abortion to keep cash flowing in & votes to get elected. That need is far removed from the spiritual needs that drive human beings to seek God.
Now can we focus on those pesky, but very important governing issues?



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Texana2

posted September 20, 2008 at 7:59 am


Douglas’ hope in Obama is too feeble, based on Obama’s record. He doesn’t recognize campaign rhetoric. Obama’s complete support for abortion, homosexual ‘marriage’, and euthanasia are serious reasons to reject him. By his appointment of supreme court judges, he would be the cause of millions more American child deaths for many many years. Doug’s own abortion view is apparently not that serious. (Besides, he is the least competent presidential candidate of my lifetime, anyway, and his soaring rhetoric masks an emptiness that’s not easily apparent, especially if you are grasping for an alternate to the GOP and not thinking critically.)
I believe a note may be necessary here about the ‘millstone around the neck’ mentioned in Holy Scripture. However, God will let us bring upon ourselves what we deserve, as every action brings it’s own reward or punishment.
It is because Douglas is promoting Obama’s failings to others that he is in trouble, not just because he plans to vote for him. That being so, I think he is a candidate for ‘ipso facto’ excommunication and therefore shouldn’t receive the Body of the Lord.
Thank you Father, for standing for Jesus. He is assaulted in His Holy Sacrament every minute by we who think we are so holy.



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Hope

posted September 20, 2008 at 9:11 am


I applaud you for your strength as well as your faith for standing up for what you beleive weather democrat or republican. And that should be what this elcetion is all about “CHANGE”



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Matthew

posted September 20, 2008 at 11:42 am


Jesus speaks directly to that priest in Matthew 23:13
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”



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Shawn

posted September 20, 2008 at 12:09 pm


Amen to Doug!
It still baffles me how people continue to make this a single-issue decision. True, Obama may not be “pro-life”, but neither is he gung-ho about women having abortions. He has explained several times that he does not think that women’s decisions to have abortions are made lightly and that one of his goals is to reduce the number of abortions by making other avenues more accessible. We’ve had a “pro-life” president for eight years, and what has that afforded us in terms of reduced abortions? Let’s see, abstinence education (which is VERY effective by the way…cough…Bristol…cough) and more capital punishment deaths. Seems very effective, if you ask me.
And the other part that gets me about all our supposedly “pro-life” people is that once the baby is born, there is little to no concern about their welfare or quality of life thereafter. What about those kids stuck in the foster care and adoption system? What about all those kids whose parents barely have enough money to put food on the table despite working two to three jobs to make ends meet? What about those kids whose families have to suffer because they have no health insurance to cover the injuries and issues that children often have? No, instead we blame the parents for not working hard enough, for being lazy; we don’t even think twice about the kids moving from foster home to foster home; and we wash our hands of the situation.
Thank you, Doug, for seeing that there is a bigger picture here. And shame on that priest for his scandalous, pharisaical action.



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Matthew

posted September 20, 2008 at 12:57 pm


Right, Shawn. Jesus speaks directly to those voters who claim to vote “pro life” but instead continue to support officials that bring us nothing but war, debt, and death in Matthew 25-28:
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.



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Amy

posted September 20, 2008 at 1:17 pm


How strange it must be for Doug to read the comments of his supporters! They are pro-abortion, atheists, ex-Catholics, and Catholic haters. Yet Doug fashions himself a conservative, pro-life Catholic???



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Molly

posted September 20, 2008 at 1:19 pm


Doug is posting on beliefnet because he received no support for his position from commentators at Catholic Online. In other words, faithful Catholics weren’t buying his sophistry.



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Noreen Connolly

posted September 20, 2008 at 1:27 pm


To Molly and Amy. What poor Catholics you are. Wpeople like Doug Kmiec and myself are not “faithful Catholics.” What hubris.Catholics like Doug Kmiec give me and my children hope.



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Greg

posted September 20, 2008 at 1:50 pm


I have just a few friendly thoughts for my fellow Catholics who seem to have written the majority of the 217 comments at this time. Love it or hate it, Jesus established the Catholic Church as a teaching authority to bring all Christians to a greater understanding of the truth. Christ gave the Apostles full authority on earth to Bind and loose the laws of the church and through the gift of Apostolic Succession, the Bishops, Priests and Deacons continue to assume these responsibilities today. The Sacrament of Confession along with the Absolution of Sins for the Repentant sinner was another gift that Jesus gave his bride. The Priest is acting In Persona Christi (in the person of Christ) by granting absolution to any Catholic who makes a perfect act of contrition and agrees to avoid repeating those confessed sins in the future.
If you love someone, would you let them drink a cup of poison, wouldn’t you try to stop them? The Apostle Paul instructs the Corinthians that: “Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord”. Eating and drinking the most holy of all Sacrifices in an unworthy manner is really no different than drinking that cup of poison, except it mortally wounds the life of the soul…a much greater problem. Please remember, if you should happen to die in a state of Mortal Sin, you go straight to Hell (for all eternity), no Purgatory, no Heaven, and no do-overs.
As members of the Body of Christ, it is our primary responsibility to prevent fellow Catholics from committing Mortal Sin. While many of you were correct in your statements that Jesus loved the Sinner, but hated the sin, you need to keep in mind those sinners were repentant and pledged to correct their errors. God loves us so much that he granted us each the free will to live our lives as we please and to choose between life and death. That’s why he gave us a church to teach us right from wrong and to aid in forming our consciences. Therefore if someone is condemned to Hell, it is by their own choosing.
Abortion has always been considered an Intrinsic Evil by the Catholic Church, thus making it morally wrong to support the killing of innocent souls. I commend the Priest who refused Mr. Kmiec communion that day by preventing him from compounding an already serious Mortal Sin. Furthermore, it is my sincere hope that Mr. Kmiec and his Wife will someday find it in their hearts to thank the Priest for doing what he did, go to confession and receive absolution so that they may resume receiving the graces from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please continue to pray for our Priests, they have a very difficult job and seldom receive the thanks they deserve. If you really want to support our Catholic Faith and put an end to the issue of Abortion, why not consider the following: 1) Pray the Rosary on a daily basis. 2) Attend First Friday Mass to support Vocations for the Family, Holy Orders and the Single Life. 3) Attend Sunday Mass on a regular basis, arriving 10-minutes early, sitting in the front pew and leaving after the closing hymn is over. I will keep each of you in my prayers, please do the same for me and may Almighty God bless us all in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…..Amen!



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Molly

posted September 20, 2008 at 1:57 pm


The hubris is Doug’s.
Noreen, since you are Catholic, you’ve obviously heard of Father Richard John Neuhaus, right?
Here’s a bit of what he has to say about Doug Kmiec…
“I do not know what has prompted Mr. Kmiec’s current advocacy, and I take him at his word that he has convinced himself that his position is consonant with being a faithful Catholic.
The fact is, however, that, after all the tortured reasoning and misrepresentation of the positions of others, Doug Kmiec has put himself into the position of supporting for president a candidate whose track record and publicly stated views represent the extreme position of pro-abortion advocacy against the Church’s repeatedly stated teaching, at the highest level of magisterial authority, respecting the moral and political imperative to protect innocent human lives.”



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John McNamara

posted September 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm


Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia Pro Familia Pro Civitate explains what’s going on with the “Douglas Kmiec ’30 Pieces of Silver’ Tour”.
“…The purpose of Kmiec’s media blitz and his adopting the left’s intellectually lazy and emotion-laden terminology about “using Communion as a weapon” and Communion denial as being “anti-community” and “divisions exploited for political purposes” is to blur the lines by conflating this single instance of Kmiec wrongfully being denied Communion by an overzealous priest with the completely unrelated and entirely distinguishable actions that some Bishops have taken in exercising their episcopal authority in such matters as pro-abortion politicians presenting themselves for Communion (see, e.g., Cardinal Egan with regard to Mayor Giuliani, Archbishop Burke with regard to Sen. Kerry and with respect to instructing priests in his diocese when he was Bishop of LaCrosse to deny Communion to three Wisconsin politicians unless they publicly recanted their pro-abortion rights positions, and Archbishop Naumann with regard to Gov. Sebelius).
Blur the lines, stir up outrage, intimidate the Bishops, make abortion go away as an issue for Catholic voters in this year’s election. That’s what’s going on here.”



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Sam

posted September 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm


Obama is airing ads blasting McCain for opposing abortion, yet Kmiec is still insisting that pro-life Catholics should vote for Obama. Let’s all pray for Professor Kmiec.



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Carol Lindberg

posted September 21, 2008 at 2:00 am


Dear Mr. Kmiec,
I’m so sorry that you were hurt and embarassed when you were denied Communion by this unnamed priest. What he did may not have been rightful under Canon Law, but maybe God was trying to send you a strong message through this priest’s righteous indignation. The priest was not judging you. He was judging your actions. He was trying to tell you that your actions were not in communion with the Church and that you were not repentent and thus not worthy of receiving the Body of Christ. You separated yourself from the Body through your actions of trying to convince Catholics to vote for a candidate who supports the killing of innocent babies. Other “life issues” are not as important as the fundamental right to life. The murder of the unborn human person should be outlawed, not merely “reduced”.
It looks like you’ve published a book to convince Catholics that it is okay to vote for politicians who support abortion rights. Why would you think that is sound advice for Catholics? As Catholics, we know what the Church teaches. We are supposed to oppose abortion, and thus oppose politicians who support abortion. It should be clear to you, especially considering your Catholic education.
You seem like a man of character, a good Catholic, who has got himself in a tight space. Maybe you promised something that you’re not able to deliver. I think you ought to spend a great deal of time in prayer.
Please don’t alienate yourself from the Body of Christ in order to back a political candidate. I think you’re making a huge mistake that you’ll later regret. Please re-evaluate the lesson here.
In Christ,
Carol



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Iris Alantiel

posted September 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm


Mr. Kmiec,
Please don’t listen to people who are trying to tell you what you need to do to be a good Catholic. Your story made me very sad about the Church I’m a part of, but it also inspired me. It’s hard to struggle against the judgment of people who want to condemn you for seeing Christ’s teachings in a slightly different light. For every person like you who speaks up publicly, there are ten people like me, hanging back silently without a public platform and thinking, “Yes, that’s right. That’s compassion. That’s balance. That’s what we need. Amen!”
I cannot see Jesus condemning you the way this priest has done. He came that we might live abundantly . . . not just make it out of the womb, but live abundantly! Making it out of the womb is part of it, sure, but living abundantly is about more than that. It’s about not being sent to die in faraway wars. It’s about having enough to eat. It’s about access to reasonable medical care, education, and job opportunities – hey, maybe with that, not so many women who made it out of their mothers’ wombs would feel compelled to abort their own pregnancies! It’s a complicated issue. It’s easy for the Republicans to say “We’re pro-life”, but what have they actually done to support that claim? Would you rather support the candidate who says he’ll oppose abortion (a political claim we’ve all heard before), or the one who’s actually doing things to make choosing life a viable, feasible choice in actual people’s lives? Say, isn’t there a parable about that or something?
All the people here who would condemn Mr. Kmiec, maybe you should take your own advice and spend some time in prayer as well. Take as your subject the words of Christ “Thou shalt not countenance abortion.” Oh, wait: Christ never said that. He said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. Think about it.
Cheers,
Iris



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Sarah Towne di Cicco

posted September 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm


RE Mr. Kmiec’s experience at his Church: I confess that I find Mr. Kmiec’s incomprehension at his pastor’s conduct toward him somewhat puzzling. Surely, Mr Kmiec has read 1 Corinthians 8:10-13, which reads in part, “For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died?” Mr. Kmiec’s public endorsement of Mr. Obama can cause some to question the very foundation of the Catholic faith: our spiritual link with our Divine father. This is the reason why human life is sacred from the moment of conception. Mr. Kmiec is publicly known as a practicing Catholic. As such, his endorsement for Mr. Obama carries far greater weight than that of a less well-known person whose religious views are unknown. Hence the public endoresement of Mr. Obama by such a well-known Catholic naturally sets up conflict.
This conflict is not over a minor issue, or a “wedge issue” as some would wish to conveniently characterize it. It is over our essence, what makes us human beings: that each of us is called to life through the divine breath of God. It is this connection that makes us God’s children, called to communion with our Divine Father. I would encourage Mr. Kmiec to read, if he has not done so already, footnote 1 of section 2270 in the Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which quotes from Donum vitae 1,1. It appears Mr. Kmiec has forgotten that the basic human right upon which all others are based is the right of all of us, wherever we are in our stage of growth and development, is life.
Even for those who are not Catholic, or do not believe in God, the humanness of the fertilized egg as it grows in the womb cannot be denied biologically. A fertilized egg does not become human as it develops. It is human,unique, and looks as it should whatever its stage of development. As Father Tadeusz Pachelczyk says, “The location of the child does not dictate its humanity.”
S. Towne di Cicco



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Sarah Towne di Cicco

posted September 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm


RE Mr. Kmiec’s experience at his Church: I confess that I find Mr. Kmiec’s incomprehension at his pastor’s conduct toward him somewhat puzzling. Surely, Mr Kmiec has read 1 Corinthians 8:10-13, which reads in part, “For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died?” Mr. Kmiec’s public endorsement of Mr. Obama can cause some to question the very foundation of the Catholic faith: our spiritual link with our Divine father. This is the reason why human life is sacred from the moment of conception. Mr. Kmiec is publicly known as a practicing Catholic. As such, his endorsement for Mr. Obama carries far greater weight than that of a less well-known person whose religious views are unknown. Hence the public endoresement of Mr. Obama by such a well-known Catholic naturally sets up conflict.
This conflict is not over a minor issue, or a “wedge issue” as some would wish to conveniently characterize it. It is over our essence, what makes us human beings: that each of us is called to life through the divine breath of God. It is this connection that makes us God’s children, called to communion with our Divine Father. I would encourage Mr. Kmiec to read, if he has not done so already, footnote 1 of section 2270 in the Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which quotes from Donum vitae 1,1. It appears Mr. Kmiec has forgotten that the basic human right upon which all others are based is the right of all of us, wherever we are in our stage of growth and development, is life.
Even for those who are not Catholic, or do not believe in God, the humanness of the fertilized egg as it grows in the womb cannot be denied biologically. A fertilized egg does not become human as it develops. It is human,unique, and looks as it should whatever its stage of development. As Father Tadeusz Pachelczyk says, “The location of the child does not dictate its humanity.”
S. T di C



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Sue Grant-Smith

posted September 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm


The teaching of the Catholic Church is very explicit on the subject of abortion. Anyone who supports a politician that is pro-abortion commits the same grave sin as the politician. The Fifth Commandment says, ‘thou shalt not kill’. This includes abortion, assisting with abortion, the morning after pill and voting for pro-abortion candidates. Mr. Kmiec is fully aware of the Church’s position and writing a book that tells other Catholics it is okay to not just support a pro-abortion candidate, but you can vote for a pro-abortion candidate,and still remain a Catholic in good standing, is heresy. He was refused the Eucharist for preaching heresy and should consider himself excommunicated from the REAL Catholic Church.Pelosi, Biden, Kerry, Kennedy and the rest of the ‘cafeteria’ Catholics are a disgrace to OUR faith. For this reason Real Catholics are supporting McCain because of his stance on abortion while the dissident Catholics are supporting Obama because he has promised to raise taxes, socialize medical field, and impose his Marxist views on the masses. I’m voting CATHOLIC, NOT OBAMA/BIDEN.



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Fr. Andy

posted September 21, 2008 at 8:23 pm


Oh, you wrote a book! Great Doug! Now only are you promoting the abortion candidate, you are profiting from it as well.



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Elenore Clement

posted September 21, 2008 at 11:20 pm


Kmiec is traveling the country with Obama on a “faith tour” to con Catholics into voting for the most radical pro-abortion candidate for President in our nation’s history.



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LEE

posted September 22, 2008 at 6:04 am


Ye Hipocrites, all unrighteousness is sin. You don’t have a problem with Senator McCain lying about many things, ie. the footsteps in the sand, the economy,the savings and loan scandal, his age to his second wife, the divorce of his rightful wife to marry his mistress,his vote on the war that has caused untold lives, and on and on. That doesn’t sound like pro-life to me. To agree to bomb some place and cause massive pain and suffering only because you THINK they may attack you is in no way representive of Christ. Yet you support him. It is not up to the priest to judge anyone as to their fit to receive communion. God thru His son Jesus is the only righteous judge. So the one thing you don’t like about Senator Obama is his stance on abortion, but you agree with bomb bomb bomb Iran and kill untold innocent people? If a person makes a decision for themselves which affects them and their unborn child, and another makes a decision that affects thousands, perhaps millions, which is worse? Choosing the lesser of two evils is apparent. When Senator McCain speaks, he apparently only speak to the top 2% of Americans as he indicates Senator Obama will raise taxes which we all know Senator Obama has said if any one makes less than $250,000.00 per year, our taxes will decrease. Jesus came and dwelt among the common people and had their best intrest at heart. As does Senator Obama.
It is sinful and shameful to attempt to judge why anyone supports one candidate over another in a spiritual service. All I can say is the same judgment you meet out, you will get on the last day. then what will you say? think? do?



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Lee

posted September 22, 2008 at 6:26 am


I forgot to add, why don’t individuals simply state clearly instead of hiding behind the religious veil, the real reason they won’t support Senator Obams, ( because of the color of his skin). But remember he is just as much black as he is white. I think we can all agree that the vast majority of people born in Egypt, Israel, AFRICA, are of darker complexion, which would put us all in the cradle of civilzation with JESUS who was ( not WHITE). So get over this color issue( more easier said than done) and concentrate on the many many issues facing this great nation. You can of course close your ears and not see the totality of our many issues and vote with your eyes only and this country will suffer more and more. I believe there are millions who wished they had not voted for Mr. Bush the second time around and are poised to repeat a third Bush term in that Senator McCain voted with Mr. Bush 95% of the time. If you think you are better off today than you were 10 years ago, it may be because you are earning over $250,000.00 per year in which case Mr. Bush lowered your taxes. I ask you just for once think about all the millions and millions of people less fortunate than you. I heard Mr. Bush say from his own mouth,” I am for the haves and the have mores”, not the kind of attitude of a servant of the people or of GOD. Pray and ask for guidance with your choice. Just think, some of us send our most cherish to school each day and do we ask the teacher, the bus driver, the taxi driver, the cook in the restaurant ( whose food we ingest), car, dealer, our barber, our attorney, our doctor, dentist, most of our mayors, govenors, little league coach, the big question of all questions, ” Are you pro- life or pro choice?” Then we support an illegal invasion, and say” Holy mother full of grace ” Think, Pray, Vote



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NotPolitical

posted September 22, 2008 at 6:15 pm


The politics in all this, IMHO, is calling this “political”, as in, “denied communion for endorsing Obama”. I cannot speak for the priest, who indeed may have been out of line, but from what I have read of Mr. Kmiec’s arguments, I feel he misrepresents the teachings of the Church. This, especially for a man of such stature, is the basis of his excommunication. We are talking about principles, not personalities, and on this matter the Church’s teachings are clear. Mr. Kmiec’s fault is not in being on the other side of this issue, but in attempting to justify it through other Church teachings.



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vee

posted September 23, 2008 at 4:42 pm


I am a Catholic/Roman Catholic, very strict that once you walk into the church you’re not to look back..that’s just one of the strict rules we had to abide..Abortion, you didn’t have to question any of us about abortion, we all knew the answer “NO ABORTION”!!!! at any cost!!!
I still believe in that but as a women I would like a choice..for those who are raped, incest victims and so much more who will suffer or already suffering from the situation they’re in..it’s their choice..it’ll be between them and God, no man should judge but God..
for Mr.Kmiec, the priest was out of line..he spread/teaches God’s word, not judge for God..we, Catholics know the importance of Communion, so to be refused is horribly wrong.. and shunned/humiliated in front of the whole congregation, you are a better person/catholic than I am, Mr. Kmiec…he went too far, priest or no priest..
as far as Obama goes, do you christians out there really believe that McCain will do better than Obama??? McCain is still George Bush and look what the presidents was asking congress to do??? A BLANK CHECK for goodness sake, to bail out CEO who’s been making millions while we all struggle..what kind of @#%# is that????
Good Luck Mr. Kmiec, I hope you found another church to worship at..



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megan

posted September 23, 2008 at 9:45 pm


Vee you have taken the words right out of this Catholic’s mouth. Mr. Kmiec needs to find another church to worship at, and NOT a Catholic church.



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NotPolitical

posted September 25, 2008 at 4:08 pm


Vee – well said, but your comments are not consistent with Church teachings. It is disturbing to me that you value selection of a candidate based on economics over moral values. Don’t misunderstand – you are certainly entitled to this opinion and to exercise your vote based on that, and that is not the reason I am making this post. However, this is the same error as Mr. Kmiec, IMHO – please don’t attempt to represent it as Church teaching, even if you are in communion with the Church in other areas. Respectfully posted.



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cATHERINE SIMS

posted September 26, 2008 at 2:41 pm


the failed projects of democrats have resulted in the welfare state which rewards people who don’t get married. Because of the Democratic support for busing and teacher unions, inner city public schools lost neighborhood support and incompetant teachers can’t be fired. I am a Republican because Republican policies create jobs, help the poor,and respect freedom. Supporting someone like Obama, who voted to allow infanticide (BABY murder) is beyond understanding for a good catholic.
I can only think that the poor soul who wrote this article does not understand economics, and has never looked at what kind of tax system creates wealth and jobs. or he’s being paid off (?) I pray he can be honest with himself, and humble enough to research about what really helps the poor, starting with The Tragedy of American Compassion, contining with Havel’s work on the dangers of the Democrats on environmental issues, and also reading South American economist Hernando de Soto. This is too important to ignore–the democrats are creating generations of people stuck in poverty–something they don’t seem to feel guilty about at all–



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S. Raycraft

posted October 1, 2008 at 10:19 pm


Don’t be hypocritical. John McCain has supported and voted for Embrionic Stem Cell research. This is a non-negotiable strike against the Catholic system. Neither candidate is suitable under Catholic law. I guess nobody can go to communion!



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lkb3

posted October 3, 2008 at 1:33 pm


NotPolitical wrote:
“It is disturbing to me that you value selection of a candidate based on economics over moral values.”
Once again, you have missed a central truth: economic justice IS a moral value. If I believe that a candidate’s stance on taxes or spending on a war is more likely to cause irreparable harm to the poor, both in this country and abroad, that becomes a moral issue.



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Viejo Vizcacha

posted October 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm


Church has survived because adapted to fight for its economy. We cannot take this out of focus to start with. Economy rules everything, economics is the first thing we have to get safe and clear and out of focus to continue with other matters of life.
Then comes the “be fruitful and multiply”.
I cannot be fruitful if I do not understand that have to give to and benefit from a common societal sharing. I even am responsible for society around me, in some aspects.
Then comes Compassion; in first place.
Importantly to me, I cannot be compassionate and let other human beings suffer, because that is a contradiction of terms.
Enters abortion: An unwanted pregnancy will generate societal harm, and I feel I cannot be accomplice on that.
I think I am more Catholic supporting abortion. It is my position.
And please refrain to tell me I am not a Catholic, because I feel myself in the higher skeletons of Catholic spirituality.
So, as I consider Republicans enemies of Society and of Humanity at large (i.e. they are Rapacious, and i.e. they are Racists), I must support and vote Democrat.
Additionally, I am totally sure Barack Obama is highly interested in societal and Humanity growth.
How could I not vote Obama? Impossible. It would be a contradiction of my persona.
I will vote Barack Obama for President of the United States of America, because I am Catholic.



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Kathryn

posted October 10, 2008 at 9:35 pm


The main point of the article was that a priest abused his power and decided to judge, not guide, a parishioner. A parishioner who made an agonizing analysis and came to the conclusion that Obama’s abortion reduction agenda will be more successful in preventing abortion than McCain’s point-blank assault on Roe vs. Wade. A parishioner who thought that perhaps more could be achieved with a whisper than a shout.
25% Feels unready for child/responsibility $ *
23% Feels she can’t afford baby $ *
19% Has all the children she wants/Other family responsibilities $
8% Relationship problem/Single motherhood $ *
7% Feels she isn’t mature enough *
4% Interference with education/career plans $ *
1% Parents/Partner wants abortion
6.5% Other reasons
4% Mother’s Health $ *
3% Baby may have health problem $ *
http://www.nrlc.org/ABORTION/facts/reasonsabortions.html



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sanmonei

posted October 15, 2008 at 1:16 am


I don’t think that “poor soul” was paid off, I think you saw the opportunity to jump in the wagon to make a quick buck, and in the process you abandon your ethics and human morale. I hope you are happy with the wealth you accumulate at the expense of selling out in such a very important issue, my God forgive you (I wont).There is probably nothing I can say or any one can prove to you, as you more than likely are a commited fanatic, which unfortunately leaves no room to common sense and sensible reasoning. These are the facts! Pretty obvious, really!



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Tim Brown

posted October 18, 2008 at 8:27 am


Too bad Mr. Kmiec doesn’t get the point. Too bad Cardinal Mahony abused a priest and forced him to apologize. Mr. Kmiec is also known for distorting Abp. Chaput’s views. But Chaput himself has now responded:
Archbishop Chaput Says He’s No Kmiec
Affirms Defense of Life as Top Church Priority
DENVER, Colorado, OCT. 17, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Charles Chaput says Catholic legal scholar Douglas Kmiec “couldn’t be more mistaken” in comparing his own moral reasoning regarding the 2008 presidential election to that of the archbishop.
Archbishop Chaput said this tonight at a dinner sponsored by ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women). The talk, which he said reflects his own opinion as a private citizen, is titled “Little Murders.”
The prelate spoke at length of Douglas Kmiec’s book “Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama,” in which the Pepperdine law professor argues why Catholics should cast their vote in November’s presidential election for Senator Barack Obama.
Kmiec publicly endorsed the Democratic candidate earlier this year, stating in an article for Slate that Obama is a “natural” for Catholic voters.
Archbishop Chaput noted that his own book, “Render Unto Caesar,” was heavily cited by Kmiec in his defense of Obama: “In fact, he suggests that his reasoning and mine are ‘not far distant on the moral inquiry necessary in the election of 2008.’”
“Unfortunately, he either misunderstands or misuses my words, and he couldn’t be more mistaken,” said the archbishop.
No regrets
“I believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most committed ‘abortion-rights’ presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973,” he added. “Despite what [...] Kmiec suggests, the party platform Senator Obama runs on this year is not only aggressively ‘pro-choice;’ it has also removed any suggestion that killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing.”
The prelate affirmed that the platform of the Democratic Party that emerged from its national convention in August “is clearly anti-life.”
“Kmiec argues that there are defensible motives to support Senator Obama,” continued Archbishop Chaput. “Speaking for myself, I do not know any proportionate reason that could outweigh more than 40 million unborn children killed by abortion and the many millions of women deeply wounded by the loss and regret abortion creates.”
The prelate continued: “To suggest — as some Catholics do — that Senator Obama is this year’s ‘real’ pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse.
“To portray the 2008 Democratic Party presidential ticket as the preferred ‘pro-life’ option is to subvert what the word ‘pro-life’ means.”
Archbishop Chaput said he thought Kmiec’s endorsement of Obama has “done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.”
Uncomfortable
“The truth is that for some Catholics, the abortion issue has never been a comfortable cause,” said the Denver prelate. “It’s embarrassing. It’s not the kind of social justice they like to talk about. It interferes with their natural political alliances.
“And because the homicides involved in abortion are ‘little murders’ — the kind of private, legally protected murders that kill conveniently unseen lives — it’s easy to look the other way.”
The archbishop called it “wrong and often dishonest [...] to neutralize the witness of bishops and the pro-life movement by offering a ‘Catholic’ alternative to the Church’s priority on sanctity of life issues.”
“As I suggest throughout ‘Render Unto Caesar,’ it’s important for Catholics to be people of faith who pursue politics to achieve justice; not people of politics who use and misuse faith to achieve power,” he said.
Archbishop Chaput lamented that for 35 years he’s watched the pro-abortion lobby fight tooth-and-nail against the pro-life movement: “Apparently they believe in their convictions more than some of us Catholics believe in ours. And I think that’s an indictment of an entire generation of American Catholic leadership.”
The prelate continued by affirming that being pro-life is much deeper than looking to overturn Roe v. Wade, or being a “single issue” voter: “The cornerstone of Catholic social teaching is protecting human life from conception to natural death. [...] Every other human right depends on the right to life.”
He added: “So I think that people who claim that the abortion struggle is ‘lost’ as a matter of law, or that supporting an outspoken defender of legal abortion is somehow ‘pro-life,’ are not just wrong; they’re betraying the witness of every person who continues the work of defending the unborn child.
“And I hope they know how to explain that, because someday they’ll be required to.”
— — —
On the Net:
Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-23964?l=english



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Theophane

posted October 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm


It is very revealing that Prof. Kmiec should have to have resort to the good offices of Cardinal Mahoney, the leading example of the Americanist, hermeneutic of rupture bishops in the US, and evidently the “worthy” successor to Cardinal Bernardin in that role, among others.
FWIW my suggestion is as follows: Prof. Kmiec and those Catholics who follow his lead in voting for Obama should spend next Lent doing extra penance for their participation in evil, and the rest of us should do likewise, for our failure of charity and example that has let our brethren fall into such error. This is a scandal of immense proportions that should be addressed by the Holy See but likely won’t because they are too hog tied by considerations of collegiality, fear of loss of revenue, or other examples of false prudence.
St. Pius X (vide the “Sillon” matter) and Pius XI (vide the “Action Francaise”) would have known how to deal with this, you betchum.



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edw morrissey

posted October 19, 2008 at 8:34 pm


Will read Prof K’s book. Will look for his reasoning. His pro-life background is excellent, not to mention his intellectual achievements.
But, at first blush, it looks to me like Prof. K’s has been taken in by the Obama people. They want very much to get votes among Catholics. Obama is a kind of phonie– wholly pro-ab’n,while now talking “common ground” after years of never deviating from NARAL But I’ll buy & read the book. Will withhold judgment on whether Prof K is an unwitting stooge or whether his book persuades me.
ed morrissey



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yes

posted October 20, 2008 at 6:09 am


I find it distressing that the attack from the ambo, the condemnation in front of the congregation is being justified and accepted by the commenters. (“YOU will not forgive?” How Absolutuely Christ like!)Whether I agree or disagree with the author, MY church taught me that we are brothers. This is what American politics has done to the Church and I mourn the Church. Nowhere did AB Chaput recommend excommunication. Certainly not ex tempore. And to condemn a man for writing a book and possibly making money? God help us if that comment goes un-challenged.



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Elizabeth Lawrence

posted October 21, 2008 at 12:16 pm


As a Cradle Catholic, who happens to love and support the church, I try to understand the teachings of the church. I want to follow the rules set by the Holy Catholic church.
What I do not understand is what exactly is Mr. Kmiec guilty of? He has endorsed a Presidential candidate. I don’t know that has ever meant any one else was refused the sacrament.
Is it because Senator Obama is not Senator McCain? Ok, but what does that matter?
Is it because Senator Obama has not stated that he is Pro-Life? Senator McCain has said as much, but during the third Presidential Debate, he said it was not a test for his choice for Supreme Court. What other authority does a President have in this matter at this time?
Is it because Senator Obama has stated that he wants women to CONTINUE to have the right to choose? Sadly, that law was put on the books when Senator Obama was a child.
At this time, we have questions about how to handle the law that is on the books. We have choices in how that is handled. Senator Obama and Senator McCain have two different perspectives.
What I do not understand is denying any one the Eucharist when he is not 1) an abortionist himself and 2) is not endorsing an abortionist himself and 3) is not endoring someone that is encouraging or endorsing or funding an abortionist.
Please help me to understand why there is so much passion about Senator Obama’s ideals of how to handle a law that is already on the books, and why the support of this man would lead any one to say they should be denied the Eucharist.
Mr. Kmiec is not the only Catholic of high profile that is supporting Senator Obama in his bid for the Presidency.



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NotPolitical

posted October 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm


This is not about personalities or politics – this is about Church teaching. For those asking questions about what the Church’s teachings are, please see the links below. For those trying to frame the question in a different manner (“was the priest right”, “what is the ‘central’ question”, “Kmiec isn’t the only one…”), when we look at the Church’s teaching, we see Roman Catholic persons in public light in opposition to those teachings. I offer these respectfully, not to try to convince anyone, but to give sources for these teachings.
http://www.usccb.org/dpp/questions.htm
(see especially the last paragraph)
http://www.usccb.org/dpp/gregory.htm
(a comment on the Doctrinal note)
http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2008/08-129.shtml
(this shows the error being promoted by certain Roman Catholic politians)
http://www.usccb.org/prolife/constantchurchteaching.pdf
(in no uncertain terms, affirms the right to life as the “fundamental” social teaching)
http://www.usccb.org/prolife/Rigali-Murphy-Joint-Statement.pdf
(affirms the fundamental necessity to oppose Row v Wade)
Clearly many bishops and priests are silent on the matter. Others, like the priest referred to in this article, may be confusing personalities with principles. I respectfully hope that these links will clear up any misconception about Church teaching on this matter.
Those outside the Church can argue about the validity of these teachings, but for those inside the Church, we are called to form our consciences based on these teachings. Those inside the Church especially those in public light, commit a disservice (or worse) by trying to represent these teachings as other than they are.
Respectfully submitted.



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VERY Pro-Life and VERY Catholic

posted October 22, 2008 at 10:06 pm


I agree with the priest. Senator Obama voted against the Born Alive act which is a legislation that saved babies that lived through abortion and were then born. The law was put in place to attempt to save the babies once they were born, instead of letting them die in a trash room; He has promised Planned Parenthood to pass the “Right to Choice Act” which is a legislation that will stop all progress we have made towards overturning Roe Vs. Wade, Senator Obama has made it very clear his entire campaign how he feels that unwanted pregnancies are similar to STD’s and are a punishment! His beliefs are Anti-Catholic to the most complete extent! To get an apology from a Cardinal is discusting. While, I admit that you shouldn’t be completely ex-communicated forever, you should look into your heart and if there’s no regret there, ask Christ if you can look into his Sacred Heart and see why you were repremanded so harshly. Maybe you’ll see that if you vote for Senator Obama all the babies who are subsequently aborted will be on your conscience on Judgement Day.
Please, don’t be offended, if I don’t tell you, the judgement will fall on me as well.
Pax Christi



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Tyndl Feine

posted October 23, 2008 at 5:11 pm


It was wrong to deny him the Eucharist, simply wrong. How many evils does it take before the loss of one aborted child is outweighed? That is what I am being told to do, weigh the evils. Simple fact of the matter is no candidate meets the Catholic standard, not one! Abortion is not the only evil here, nor is the Church’s five non-negotiable standards. Mortal, yes, the Church says so. Every single person, every single day is guilty of mortal sin by continuing to have soldiers and civilians die in Iraq in an unjust war; guilty in the of allowing torture and death; guilty of allowing capital punishment; guilty of the deaths of millions of babies and children in war torn Africa and communist controlled China and Burma (to name a few places). Guilty, simply because you know those evils exist! Who is to judge ultimately? Who knows our heart and soul?
Only God can make the final judgment on any person’s life. Only God! There have been many situations like this throughout the church’s history, lest anyone forget. Rest assured all will be judged, as Luke stated in Luke 12:2, “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore, whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.” (cf: CCC 678). Hebrews 4:13, “No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.” The things spoken (probably unspoken 100x’s over) in this 2008 presidential campaign have gone beyond credible and have ventured into the twilight zone of the mortally deadly. What McCain and the RNC is doing with their anti-American, make the rich richer, putting government into the hands of the greedy and self-serving, the terrorist-under-every-rug, guilt by association and putting racial and voting fears into the minds of unsuspecting citizens in beyond deplorable. For example, the arguments of such noted theologians, like Dr Cathleen Kaveny, over the issue of abortion, are not being widely read out of fear and misunderstanding.
People are waging a war against the symptoms of moral decline and depravity, a war in which there never can be any winners only the lost. In countries like Russia, after 4 generations of Stalinist rule, abortion is so ingrained in the hearts and minds of the people that you simply can’t just say, “ban abortion”, you must work from the bottom up, and this may take another 4 generations, just to get where the US is right now. If we focused our attention on the causes of this decline and depravity, the symptoms may not vanish, the human condition being as it is, but would be greatly reduced. However, people do not want to take the time needed they jsut want a quick fix. Is any person really willing to give up the fight against the causes of moral decline and depravity? I am not and that is why I am not voting for McCain/Palin or anything RNC. This is not the first time issues like this have divided the Church, nor will it be the last.



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Anita S

posted October 26, 2008 at 4:41 pm


Murder is a mortal sin. You cannot receive the Eucharist when you are in a state of Mortal sin. Supporting the ongoing murder of innocent babies is aiding and abetting grievous evil. You can’t have it both ways. If you murder a person and choose to say it’s not murder, does that make it so? This is the most important issue of our time. Mass murder of the innocent. This nation is going to be gravely punished for allowing this. Catholic’s more so than others because they know better. The state of the teaching of the faith since Vatican 2 is abominable. I know many people who claim to be Catholic, like many of these commenters, but they don’t know their faith. God have mercy on us.



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Steve K.

posted October 30, 2008 at 3:06 pm


The priest was absolutely right to refuse Doug Kmiec the Most Holy Eucharist as he has made himself an apostate to the Church by his fallacious support of a clearly pro-abortion candidate who is diametrically opposed to Catholic teaching. That Mr. Kmiec calls himself a conservative Catholic is a joke, albeit not a funny one. Whatever his great achievements in the past have been, they have been erased by this most grievous of offences to the Faith and intelligence of true Catholics and true conservatives. He should be ashamed. It takes only one treacherous act to erase a lifetime of good deeds.



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Chris

posted October 30, 2008 at 3:21 pm


Is birth control a mortal sin?



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Steve K.

posted October 30, 2008 at 3:48 pm


Furthermore, that your champion was none other than Cardinal Mafoney is not a surprise but only lends credence to the action of Father ______ who absolutely does represent the Church’s thinking. It is you sir, and Cardinal Mafoney who do not. So as you cry foul about a priest who, unlike yourself, represents the Catholic Church, remember the words of Abe Lincoln: “Elections belong to the people. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”



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Tim

posted November 1, 2008 at 12:52 am


I agree with the priest as well…our shepherds need to stand up for what is right and thanks be to God for the 80+ bishops who have rightly spoken out about the grave evil of Abortion.
Kmiec has inserted himself in this election and has misled how many Catholics into thinking his stance is correct?



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Chester W. Paine

posted November 1, 2008 at 11:35 pm


Good for that priest. Anyone causing public scandal by the endorsing of something akin to the holocaust – denying of life to the innocent – because of “some commensurate causes” is greatly misled should NOT receive Communion out of self-protection. That holy priest did you a favor. You should seek out some good spiritual direction.



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In Christ

posted November 2, 2008 at 12:46 pm


Maybe now you will be free to take another look at church history and the history of the eucharist in the light of its original Jewish setting, as well as the earliest extant eucharistic practices and beliefs, and come to understand that the Catholic Church’s doctrines of “real presence” and “transubstantiation” are false teachings.
This priest has done you an immeasurable favor, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.
May God be with you as you begin asking the questions this should cause you to ask.



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Joaquin V. Tagarao

posted November 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm


Judgmental and “holier-than-thou” attitude. Let the Supreme Being be our judge. Let us remember what our Lord has been inculcating to all of us: “He who is without sin, may cast the first stone.” Amen.



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RIANNA

posted November 7, 2008 at 3:50 pm


Which church was this? I want to go there. It is not generous or compassionate to confirm people in their sins.



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Columbus School of Law

posted November 10, 2008 at 9:18 am


Well, Doug, Obama won.
Did you get your 30 pieces of silver yet?



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Mary P

posted November 10, 2008 at 10:50 am


I love you Doug and I love my Catholic Church. I give praise to God for our Canon 915…those who would like to live with out the Canon of the Church should go to prayer and let the Holy Spirit instruct their hearts.
God has given it to us for a reason.



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DANIEL

posted November 13, 2008 at 11:45 am


OBAMA WON NOW ABOUT HIS SUPPORT FOR FREEDOM OF CHOICE. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION DOUG? AND EMBRYO RESEARCH GOOD BAD OR OK? DANIEL ANDERSON h53pnj



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Rhonda

posted January 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm


I can’t imagine a man of God acting having an adolescent tantrum in his church. It sounds like the man is unfit to be a priest, and mentally unstable. An apology is fine, but he is not to be trusted with anyone’s spiritual well-being.
I would change churches and not look back.
No wonder Catholic churches are half empty in a lot of parishes. The church I attend is the most inclusive I have ever been to, the priests are full of love, and it is a vibrant uplifting Catholic experience to attend.



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Your Name

posted January 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm


Catholics who voted for Obama don’t care enough about the murder of the 4000 innocent Americans killed each day in this country. If more of us Catholics rejected pro choice candidates, legalized abortion would end promtly in this country. How can a Catholic vote for someone who says its okay to muder 4000 innocent americans every day. A candidate that puts into place and will keep in place the laws that permit these murders to occur. Catholics who voted for Obama have sinned and excummunicated themselves from their church and recieve no graces but only further harm when eating the body of Christ in their state of sin. The priest was one of few who had the guts to do the right thing of deneying Doug the sacrament and was just being obedient when wrongfully forced by those over him to apologize. Obama voters – Please stop particapating in the sin of killing 4,000 innocent americans each day thru the sinful way you vote. Repent and apologize the murders that u have participated in.



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Your Name

posted January 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm


Problems here are several…and complex:
1. The Catholic Church does good but is hypocritical…it does Judge, inspite of The alleged word of God not to…first the priest, then
his boss.
2. We have elected a man we don’t know yet….a man who speaks well about good…but has said one thing in the primaries and the opposite in the general election….WHO IS BARACK O’bama. The issue about his “associations,” for me is not the associations…but the hypocrisy of his lack of loyalty to them. In each case he says: “I did not know.” Have we elected an idiota or a weasel?
Hitler duped his people with his oratory…have we just fallen into the same trap?…Truth, I pray not! I am not saying O’prmisa is Hitler-esque…I am saying it is deeds not words….Words do not matter, unless cinsistant with deeds!



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Anonymous Catholic

posted January 6, 2009 at 5:54 pm


I personally know the priest in question here. Kmiec has fabricated most of this incident. All the priest did when Kmiec presented himself for communion was to shake his head slightly and move on. He did not declare “No, you are the one who made the mistake.” Nor did he say that “He has judged himself and been found unworthy.” After the priest shook his head slightly, Kmiec stormed out of the chapel.
Kmiec is exaggerating his grievance and libeling this priest.



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Your Name

posted January 15, 2009 at 8:12 pm


Sorry, Doug. You are wrong on so many levels. The fact that you decided to make this incident so public to vindicate how “right” you are lacks any humility on your part whatsoever. You try to act “humble” by not releasing the priest’s name but that is a false piety, a false humility. Everything is this post reeks of how right you are, how humiliated you were in not receiving the Eucharist and your overblown sense of how important you are.
You really do a disservice to all the nuns, priests & “saint” who taught you by refusing to acknowledge that Christ can only be revoked through your OWN choices, not that of any priest. And all you have to do to gain Christ back is to go to Confession–through your own choice, your own free will.



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Your Name

posted January 19, 2009 at 1:27 am


I’m so tired of the veiled whining about oneself instead of focusing on truth and facts. Obama publically supports abortion and a whole other range of intrinsic evil acts and morally reprehensible acts. Don’t compare prudential jugment of one administration to go to war to prevent further wide-spread death on a global scale that is still arguably in keeping with just war principles with the wanton destruction of 10s of millions of children every year hear and possibly many more abroad. I have no means of discounting this story; however, it seems as if the most important aspect of the event was Dr. Kmeic’s hurt feelings and not the question of whether the Body and Blood of our Lord was handled properly. Citing Cardinal Mahoney as the final arbiter of what the church should or should not do is falacious at best as well… why not say read what the Holy Father wrote or Cardinal Arinze or a host of others along with the Catechism itself. You publically defend a man who pledged to further the war on the unborn and act surprised when you are publically called out for it. Perhaps the many articles justifying yourself will help salve your conscience. In the meantime, may the intercession of the Holy Innocents pray for this country in her time of need and may God bring us leaders with the courage to speak and act on the truth with courage. Let us hope in God, not man…



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William Cavender

posted March 3, 2009 at 10:27 am


Not only God, but Satan, knows the mind, heart and soul of Douglas Kmiec.
Kmiec sides with the latter and like other Kennedy Catholics uses sophistry and just plain lies.
May God have mercy on him; Satan will not.



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Your Name

posted March 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm


I believe the priest was absolutely correct in refusings you communion. He is held guilty if he gives communion to you with knowledge of your sin. To support Obama is to reveal deep error in your thought. He stands for too much wrong to ever believe that you can fool the rest of us into believing he will do anything other than what his record, such as it is, loudly states. I have seen him making speeches in support of abortion, abortion without restraint, is his goal. He is an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood as a foundation. Obama has repeatedly shown great lack in his knowledge of history. Surely he could not really know the history of Margaret Sanger and her true hatred of black people, people of color as she might have stated. I don’t believe he would support her “child”, Planned Parenthood, if he did. We have troubled times ahead of us with this deciever in the White House.



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old fashioned catholic girl

posted March 26, 2009 at 6:14 pm


The priest did the right thing by refusing communion. We need more priests like him.
As far as referencing Cardinal Mahoney in a positive light. That explains everything. You found someone to justify your wrongdoing to ease your guilt. How convenient.
Mahoney himself is a complete fraud and should be removed from the priesthood. The devil is lurking within the Church and only God can help us open up our eyes to see the wolves in sheeps clothing.
I can’t see for the love of God how you could ever support an ego-maniac like Obama who supports partial birth abortion.
You are obviously ignorant on protecting the lives of this babies that are born alive and aborted. Have mercy on you.



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anonymous

posted May 9, 2009 at 4:25 am


I agree with the previous post. As a Christian myself, I wish Mr. Kmiec would stop calling himself a Christian if he isn’t willing to vote like one. No rational person can accept his argument for Obama. It only proves that another one has been duped. And he should also stop saying he’s conservative. Obama is a radical that makes Kennedy look like Reagan and Clinton like Bush. God help us all.



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Frank Galmish

posted May 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm


Not being allowed to recieve communion is indeed at sad day. It ought to make you reflect for it is rarely done these days but for the gravest reasons in the Catholic Church. Could it be in your pride that maybe the bride of Christ is right and you are wrong? A man named Saul once felt strongly like you that he was right and the christians wer heretics. Then he had an encounter on the road to Damascus with someone he didn’t know. He became Paul and changed the world. I hope that you met the person Saul did with the same results for it will be an even sadder day to die and face the person and here “I do not know you”. Then it is too late and too late the is forever. I pray for you as we are all sinners and need His love.



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Bartman

posted June 28, 2009 at 6:41 am


The priest should apologise publicly. He should not have refused communion on the grounds indicated. He literally, according to Catholicism was interferrring in your relationship with God; a relationship that according to the Gospel really doesn’t need a priest at all to be fulfilled. Many will speak out in support of the priest. Take comfort that they are lost as well. There are many Old testiment Catholics who don’t understand what the new testiment really means. Christ was all welcoming of everyone; except for one group- The Pharisees. He spoke more critically of then any other group. He really disliked them and had frequent confrontations about their judgmentalness; see the Pharisees were more intersted in rules to the point they lost the spirit of their gospel. They took pleasure in pointing out the faults of others and shortcomings of others; kinda like some of the people who have posted on this board, and Christ spoke more of his dislike of this group, then he did of Satan.



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Ioannes

posted July 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm


Douglas Kmiec,
You are an apostate, faux Catholic. Denying you communion was the least that should be done. This should be followed up with public excommunication of yourself, Joseph Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, Dennis Kucinich and every other liberal Demokrat politician who places the false gospel of social justice ahead of teh true Gospel of Jesus Christ. You apostates support sodomy as the right to equal marriage and infanticide of the unborn as the right to chose. You will one day stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ and have to answer for your support of that baby murderer Obamolech. Repent now before you damn your soul to the eternal fires of hell. Repent, you wicked, wicked man.



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USC

posted July 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm


From his first few lines: “April 2008. On that day the children were not with us [at church]. It was only my wife Carol and myself.”
It’s too bad this moron doesn’t know to use reflexive pronouns correctly.



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Your Name

posted July 3, 2009 at 11:27 pm


It wasn’t a typo either. The 8th paragraph down, he did it again: “But I was not to receive the Eucharist that evening. The couples who stood in line before my wife and myself…”
Hilarious!! It’s “me”, you dolt! 3rd grade English and you can’t get it right. “Myself” has very limited uses as a reflexive pronoun (I went to the store by myself) or an intensive pronoun (I did it myself). Using it in place of “me” or “I” is downright idiotic. I hear it daily and it never ceases to amuse me. (“I’m doing fine. How about YOURSELF?” That’s my favorite. LOL!!)



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Your Name

posted July 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm


Now I know Frank Galmish to be a hardworking, dedicated family man, with a deep understanding of Catholic tradition and the Catholic doctrine. I know Frank Galmish as a humble Christian, one who prays in his closet and not on the street corner. He is devout and works diligently at living a life that epitimizes Chrit’s teachings. I’m not questioning Frank’s beliefs. And I understand that Frank has some, shell we say, misgivings about the judicial system, judges and lawyers. (He is fond of quoting Charles Dicken’s with regard to the law being an ass.) But I have a question that perhaps he, Frank, can answer. I beleive he would agree that Christ is the essence of what is meant by love. And I would venture that he would agree that Christ would want all of us to be in heaven with him. However, in his letter concerning Mr. Kmiec being denied the right to take communion, Frnak suggests (a lawyer might say “infers”) that if Mr. Kmiec doesn’t meet and accept Christ some day, he will not be able to enter heaven. My question is, for someone who is very critical of the judicial system and particularly of judges, doesn’t it seem a bit excessive, even vindictive and petty, that just because one doesn’t accept Christ s/he won’t be able to enter heaven? I mean, doesn’t Frank believe that the punishment should fit the crime? I mean, isn’t Christ a just and righteous God who loves us all and takes us all, even if we don’t accept him? “Jesus loves me, this I know.” Curious, me thinks.



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David Pratt

posted July 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm


Now I know Frank Galmish to be a hardworking, dedicated family man, with a deep understanding of Catholic tradition and the Catholic doctrine. I know Frank Galmish as a humble Christian, one who prays in his closet and not on the street corner. He is devout and works diligently at living a life that epitimizes Chrit’s teachings. I’m not questioning Frank’s beliefs. And I understand that Frank has some, shell we say, misgivings about the judicial system, judges and lawyers. (He is fond of quoting Charles Dicken’s with regard to the law being an ass.) But I have a question that perhaps he, Frank, can answer. I beleive he would agree that Christ is the essence of what is meant by love. And I would venture that he would agree that Christ would want all of us to be in heaven with him. However, in his letter concerning Mr. Kmiec being denied the right to take communion, Frnak suggests (a lawyer might say “infers”) that if Mr. Kmiec doesn’t meet and accept Christ some day, he will not be able to enter heaven. My question is, for someone who is very critical of the judicial system and particularly of judges, doesn’t it seem a bit excessive, even vindictive and petty, that just because one doesn’t accept Christ s/he won’t be able to enter heaven? I mean, doesn’t Frank believe that the punishment should fit the crime? I mean, isn’t Christ a just and righteous God who loves us all and takes us all, even if we don’t accept him? “Jesus loves me, this I know.” Curious, me thinks.



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Your Name

posted July 8, 2009 at 12:29 am


A lawyer would not say “infer” unless he received a 2nd rate education. An inferrence is how something is RECEIVED! It’s “Frank implies”!! (being SENT)



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Dave Pratt

posted July 16, 2009 at 9:10 am


Infer: 1. (Obs)To bring on, induce, inflict. 2.To derive by reasoning or implication. 3.(Colloq) To surmiose; guess. 4. To indicate3; point out. Syn: Infer, deduce, conclude, judge, gather, in popular use often comes close to surmise. Websters (2nd Rate) New Collegiate Dictionary. As with many lawyers, we seem to quibble over minutia. The question remains whether Frank, or anyone else, “implies” that unless Mr. Kmiec meets, and accepts, Jesus he will not be able to enter heaven.



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Unfogettable post about The Day I Was Denied Communion for Endorsing Obama, by Douglas Kmiec
- Steven Waldman!



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posted January 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm


I appreciate all your hard work and your post about The Day I Was Denied Communion for Endorsing Obama, by Douglas Kmiec
- Steven Waldman!



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posted January 12, 2011 at 6:08 pm


Excellent read about The Day I Was Denied Communion for Endorsing Obama, by Douglas Kmiec
- Steven Waldman!



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posted January 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm


Essential blogpost with The Day I Was Denied Communion for Endorsing Obama, by Douglas Kmiec
- Steven Waldman!



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posted September 20, 2011 at 5:17 am


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History hasn’t borne this out too well. Question should be whether such institutions & their member did a good job.



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Patrick

posted February 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm


Good…You should have been denied communion. Your open support of the most anti life President in American history places you outside the Catholic Church.



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Linda in PA

posted February 15, 2013 at 9:33 am


Obama has very openly proclaimed his pro-abortion agenda. For any Catholic to have endorsed and voted for him is scandalous and contrary to the teaching of the Church. By endorsing him, you endorsed his abortion agenda – grave matter. EVERY Voter Guide “even hinting at a Catholic duty as a matter of faith and morals to vote against Senator Obama” was right on track, in accord with the Catechism – you were informed, and rejected it. Your endorsement indicated consent. This fulfills the three requirements of mortal sin. I hope you did not vote for Obama a SECOND time! My priest would also say that you should not have presented yourself for Communion, unless you have since sincerely confessed your sin.

Fortunately, I live in a diocese where our bishop has made it known to the public and to his priests that pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ politicians be denied Communion. If they then chose to ignore the bishop, our priest would merely give them a blessing if they came forward.

It makes it easier, as a member of our RCIA team, to have a bishop who practices what the Church teaches regarding mortal sin, scandal, and the worthy reception of Communion. In Washington, D.C. and in New York City, I would have to tell candidates to do as the Cardinal says, not as he does.

Those shepherds who persist in giving Communion to those in a state of mortal sin put their own souls in peril, as well as the souls of those who receive Communion in a state of mortal sin. As my priest says, it is an act of charity, and in accord with Church teaching, to deny individuals in a state of mortal sin, including, or, perhaps, especially, public figures.

It boggles my mind that any faithful Catholic could have endorsed, let alone voted, for Obama. Though I was not there, I cannot comprehend how you could justify presenting yourself for Communion after listening to your priest’s homily. It is not fully clear to me if he addressed you by name in his homily, or was speaking to the issue of those ‘Catholics’ endorsing our most pro-abortion president. Your priest was right if he was addressing an issue, even if you took it personally. He was wrong if he used your name in his homily. Our priest spoke passionately to the issue of individuals supporting pro-abortion candidates, and their complicity in his sinful conduct. To my disbelief, we had a few Obama supporters in our parish. It was scandalous to see pro-Obama bumper stickers in our church parking lot. I did not find those homilies offensive because my conscience was clear.

Instead of presenting yourself for Communion, you should have spoken to your priest in private after Mass.



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