The Rev. Jay Scott Newman told The Greenville News on Wednesday that church teaching doesn’t allow him to refuse Holy Communion to anyone based on political choices, but that he’ll continue to deliver the church’s strong teaching on the “intrinsic and grave evil of abortion” as a hidden form of murder.
Both Obama and Joe Biden, the vice president-elect, support legal abortions. Obama has called it a “divisive issue” with a “moral dimension,” and has pledged to make women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a “priority” as president. He opposes a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court decision.
At issue for the church locally and nationwide are exit polls showing 54 percent of self-described Catholics voted for Obama, as well as a growing rift in the lifestyle and voting patterns between practicing and non-practicing Catholics.
In a letter posted on St. Mary’s Web site, Newman wrote that “voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.”
Catholics who did so should be reconciled to God through penance before receiving communion, “lest they eat and drink their own condemnation,” Newman wrote, echoing a I Corinthians admonition for anyone who partakes “without recognizing the body of the Lord.”
The response from parishioners has been supportive by a margin of 9 to 1, Newman said. He also cited Scripture in urging parishioners to pray for Obama and cooperate with him wherever conscience permits.
via The Greenville News: Priest Advises Penance for Obama Vote