South Carolina Priest Says No Communion For Obama Supporters

@spalladino (17925)
United States
November 13, 2008 10:40pm CST
Now I've heard everything. I think this priest is seriously overstepping his authority in that church. A link to the full story is below: COLUMBIA, S.C. – A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil." The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote. "Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein. "Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation." During the 2008 presidential campaign, many bishops spoke out on abortion more boldly than four years earlier, telling Catholic politicians and voters that the issue should be the most important consideration in setting policy and deciding which candidate to back. A few church leaders said parishioners risked their immortal soul by voting for candidates who support abortion rights. But bishops differ on whether Catholic lawmakers — and voters — should refrain from receiving Communion if they diverge from church teaching on abortion. Each bishop sets policy in his own diocese. In their annual fall meeting, the nation's Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights. According to national exit polls, 54 percent of Catholics chose Obama, who is Protestant. In South Carolina, which McCain carried, voters in Greenville County — traditionally seen as among the state's most conservative areas — went 61 percent for the Republican, and 37 percent for Obama. "It was not an attempt to make a partisan point," Newman said in a telephone interview Thursday. "In fact, in this election, for the sake of argument, if the Republican candidate had been pro-abortion, and the Democratic candidate had been pro-life, everything that I wrote would have been exactly the same." http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_on_re_us/obama_catholics Any thoughts?
4 people like this
15 responses
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
14 Nov 08
That is ridiculous and the church should put a stop to it. It is not our place, as human beings, to pass judgment on others and to determine that they should not receive communion.
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
14 Nov 08
I haven't seen anything further about this but I would imagine that this priest's actions have already made their way up the food chain and that, if he hasn't already been spoken to, he will be. This is not how you increase the number of Catholic faithful in this country.
4 people like this
• United States
14 Nov 08
http://www.catholic-doc.org The Diocese of Charleston Regarding Voting and Holy Communion Just a few quotes... "Father Newman's teachings do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church's teachings... Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has performed his or her conscious well, he or she should not be denied communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving communion." My opinion of the matter is that any Catholic who agrees with the above statement should contact the officials of the church and urge them to apologize for their actions and to allow Obama supporters to take communion. If they refuse, leave the Church.
3 people like this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
15 Nov 08
I think the good Father might have already gotten an earful from a lot of folks, including his bosses, Murderistic. I know that I certainly wouldn't sit quietly while one of my church leaders told me what I can and can't support.
3 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
14 Nov 08
That's such nonsense. I learned long ago that abortion can't be the main issue in voting. I come from a large Catholic family and there are a couple of them that actually vote that way but, they are not the majority. In my opinion religion and politics do not mix and nor should it.
4 people like this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
14 Nov 08
I agree with both of you. I Catholic Church, or any church for that matter, should not be involving itself in our election process other than to state it's official position. It's up to the people to determine how much weight to place on that and to vote freely as was intended.
5 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
14 Nov 08
LOL Very nice picture left in my mind MSV...
3 people like this
• United States
14 Nov 08
It's just another way that the church has of trying to rule over everything. One would think that if the church has that much interest in politics, it would pay taxes, huh? I think it is hypocritical of the church, any church, to involve itself in any type of secular activity without paying taxes. Who cares what the church thinks? I certainly do not. Personally, I am surprised that the Catholic church still exists after all their scandals over these many, many years. Pedifiles making judgements? I don't know whether to laugh or gag about it.
4 people like this
@sharra1 (6342)
• Australia
14 Nov 08
This is the usual Catholic bullsh1t. They are trying to punish and brainwash their followers. I cannot imagine why people still grovel to this church. It is one of the worst examples of male chauvinist, patriarchal Christianity around.
3 people like this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
14 Nov 08
It does need to come out of the stone age...I agree with that...which is why I have been attending a Methodist church more often than the Catholic one for a couple of years now. As far as I know this is the first time a priest has attempted to punish his parishioners for casting a vote.
4 people like this
@Barbietre (1440)
• United States
14 Nov 08
This is nuts. I am Catholic and abortion is not an important issue when I consider who I am voting for. To me there is supposed to be a separation of Church and state. And in the long run, since I am not of child bearing age, the opinion of anyone on the issue of abortion has no effect on me. I have always felt there should not be any law on this subject as it is a personal choice and no one else has the right to make that choice for me.
3 people like this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
14 Nov 08
Barb, you probably remember George Carlin's routine about Mary Ellen and all of the sins that were involved in making out with her (he used another phrase starting with the word "feel")...wanting to, thinking about how to get her to, planning where to, taking her to the place to...I think it was seven sins in one feel. It was a joke at the time but it seems that this priest believes himself to be the Thought Police of the Church.
3 people like this
• United States
14 Nov 08
Most churches and synagogues, and probably mosques, are working to open themselves to all members of their congregations. This one apparently can't un-close his mind long enough to think about what is being done here. As far as my research shows, neither Barack Obama not his wife have ever even considered an abortion. They have said they don't think the government should stick its nose into such personal things for women throughout the country. Whether they wish women would choose abortion or not matters not at all. They are simply unwilling to play God in somebody else's life. They've never told anyone to have an abortion. In what way is minding one's own business wrong? And when did this become a Christians-only country?
3 people like this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
14 Nov 08
We have a Bishop in our area, Bishop Joseph Martini of the Scranton Diocese who wrote a letter directing all of the "faithful" to remember the church's position on abortion and other issues on Election Day and he also decreed that Scranton native and practicing Catholic V.P. Elect Biden be denied communion in the Scranton Diocese. http://www.larrymccallister.com/2008/09/scrantons-bishop-martino-vote-like.html Ironically, despite the high Catholic population in Scranton's Lackawanna County Obama/Biden won with well over 60% of the vote. I'd never tell anyone to disobey their chosen church's teachings but this is a violation of the separation of church and state, in my view. Annie
• United States
14 Nov 08
This is NOT a violation of church and state separation! The Constitution states clearly that Congress shall make no law regarding religion or the free practice thereof. Congress is not telling Catholics they should/shouldn't support abortion! Their religious leaders have the right to tell them what their religion believes about abortion, just like they have the right to tell them divorce is wrong. The Holy Communion is very sacred and the Bible clearly teaches that it is NOT to be taken lightly, and that if you see some sin in yourself, that you have not confessed and turned from you should immediately take care of that BEFORE accepting Communion. If the priest were stopping people and demanding to know who they voted for, and then refusing Communion to Obama voters, I could see people complaining. But to explain what the Scripture says, is nothing strange or unacceptable. This is a religious matter, and has nothing to do with separation of church and state.
• United States
14 Nov 08
"This is a religious matter, and has nothing to do with separation of church and state." Voting is in no way a religious matter. It has everything to do with the separation of Church and State.
3 people like this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
14 Nov 08
I agree that Holy Communion is most sacred, however, the Catholic Church has never been the Thought Police and Confession has always been limited to one's personal sins. Declaring a vote for someone whose beliefs fly in the face of church doctrine as constituting material cooperation with intrinsic evil is beyond a reasonable standard to place upon Catholics or the faithful of any religion. Although this is not the classic separation of church and state issue as written in the Constitution, it's the moral equivalent. We, as a country, are not directed to vote for our leaders based on religion...we vote for them based on their policies and their political track record. The Church has no right to attempt to infringe upon our voting rights or to threaten it's members afterwards.
3 people like this
• United States
14 Nov 08
Well enless the actually own up to voting for him than I do not see how this will do anything. No one knows who anyone voted for unless you tell them. The church is within their right to do this I guess. I do not agree with it. But there is really nothing we can do unless someone wants to write a letter to the Pope and complain. This just shows me that while reproductive rights maybe important to that church. Its followers were more concerned with the ecomony. they voted how they wanted anyway. My parents go to a catholic church and they said it never once told them how to vote or ever really brought up the election. Too bad these churches did not follow their example.
2 people like this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
14 Nov 08
The priest in this case is using the threat of eternal damnation in order to force those who voted for Obama to either repent or to fear receiving Holy Communion. It ticks me off really. Being a Catholic involves carrying a lot of unnecessary guilt as it is...we don't need priests trying to give us any more.
4 people like this
14 Nov 08
That is so wrong i wont that place but God will and who ever did that will answer to the most high and he will have to explain himself to God and he will be judged accordingly. What does it matter who they voted for? As long as he does what he says he would do is ok with me. U cant judge him cuz of his religion or what party he is in.
2 people like this
@cbreeze (1207)
• United States
14 Nov 08
Just another example of how religion is designed to control the masses.
1 person likes this
@ronaldinu (12445)
• Malta
13 Dec 08
a priest does not make the whole catholic church. so one cannot generalize.
@cbreeze (1207)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I agree and I don't mean to generalize. I have nothing against the Catholic church. I was raised in the Catholic church and on those rare ocassions that I do attend, I prefer Catholic Mass to other various church services. However, I do feel like religion in general, not any specific one is designed to control our behavior. That is not totally bad because many people need to feel that their is an authority greater than themselves that tells them what to do in order to do the right thing. But I like to rely on my personal relationship with GOD to lead me instead of what a head of a church or any religious dogma dictates since man is after all very fallible. Thanks for responding.
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
14 Nov 08
I think this is horrible. Many people of the catholic faith that I know are also pro-choice. I think they take communion. This priest is overstepping his bounds. And I don't that God approves at least not my version of him.
@katrhina23 (1282)
• United States
14 Nov 08
I just think this is unfair and not correct. I am still hoping this is not true. I just cant believe a priest can say this. I just hope that the priest knows the difference between the state and the church.
@ronaldinu (12445)
• Malta
13 Dec 08
I do share your views. If this happens in my church I would seek an advice from the bishop and if necessary I would contact the Holy See. AS a Catholic I would not be too happy too back a President who is in favour of abortion. However one has to weight everything in context.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
16 Nov 08
Well, he has a right to his views, opinions and beliefs. One of his beliefs seems to be that pro-abortion is the same as murder. Alot of ppl have that belief. As for him telling them not to take Communion if they voted for 0bama...he is the priest of the church and if the ones that own and run the church agree, that's their business. Every church has it's own rules and if you don't like them then you shouldn't attend it. [b]~~IN SEARCH OF PEACE WITHIN~~ **AGAINST THE STORMS, I WILL STAND STRONG** [/b]
@jb_vete (323)
• Philippines
15 Nov 08
hi! I'm not from United States and definitely know little about the happenings in US. I just knew from your post that Obama is pro-abortion and this truly disappoints me a bit. I should admit i somehow believe that Obama would be a good leader of the United States. But this stand of him doesn't earn my applause. However, for me the issue regarding the supporters not accepted to receive Holy communion is absurd. I guess it is not for us humans to decide to whose conscience is clean and who is not. Our church leaders are their only to guide us but should not stereotype who is and is not worthy of the sacraments of God. It is own responbility to clean-up our conscience.