Kansas Archbishop Urges Pro-Abortion Gov. Sebelius to Skip Communion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 9, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Archbishop Urges Pro-Abortion Gov. Sebelius to Skip Communion

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 9
, 2008

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A leading Catholic official in Kansas says the state’s pro-abortion governor, Kathleen Sebelius, needs to refrain from receiving communion until she changes her position supporting abortion. Sebelius recently came under fire from pro-life advocates for vetoing a bill that would limit abortions.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, and a strong pro-life advocate himself, criticized the veto as well and called on Sebelius to take the "necessary steps for amendment of her life."

In a column published in Friday in the diocesan Catholic newspaper The Leaven, Naumann said he wrote Sebelius in August and urged the potential Democratic vice-presidential running mate to refrain from communion.

Following the letter, he learned she had taken the sacrament and he wrote to her again asking her to respect his request and "not require from me any additional pastoral actions."

"I hope that my request of the governor, not to present herself for Holy Communion, will provoke her to reconsider the serious spiritual and moral consequences of her past and present actions," the Archbishop wrote.

He indicated he has met with Sebelius many times since he’s been the Archbishop to urge her to back down from her pro-abortion position.

Naumann stood up firmly for Catholic teaching and said Sebelius and other pro-abortion Catholic politicians are doing a disservice to the Church and their faith.

"The spiritually lethal message, communicated by our governor, as well as many other high-profile Catholics in public life, has been in effect: ‘The church’s teaching on abortion is optional!’" Naumann wrote in the newspaper.

According to an AP report, Sebelius spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran said the governor hasn’t seen the column.

"Receiving Communion has not been a problem in the past for her," Corcoran said.

The issue of pro-abortion elected officials receiving communion has been a hot topic of late.

Earlier this week, Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl responded to the recent controversy involving pro-abortion politicians taking communion during the Pope’s visit. He says Catholic politicians should oppose abortion and not take communion if they do, but said local enforcement is necessary.

During Pope Benedict XVI’s visit last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. John Kerry, Christopher Dodd and former mayor Rudy Giuliani came under criticism for taking communion.

Cardinal Edward Egan issued a statement condemning Giuliani and saying he wanted to meet with the former presidential candidate; and pro-life advocates called on Wuerl to issue a condemnation as well.