Monday, March 16, 2009

Archbishop Naumann in Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star gave space this weekend for Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann to explain his request of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to refrain from the Eucharist. He begins explaining the importance of the Eucharist for the largely non-Catholic audience, excerpt:
As a Catholic priest, my life is dedicated to attempting to bring people to Jesus Christ. In our Catholic faith, we believe that Jesus makes himself uniquely present to us through our reception of the Eucharist.

Catholics, in receiving the Eucharist, profess their faith in the real presence of Jesus as well as their communion with His Church.

Catholics have a personal responsibility not to receive Holy Communion if they have with knowledge and intention committed a grave evil.

While I realize that most readers of The Star do not share my faith in the Eucharist, I share this brief description of Catholic belief to provide the context for my request that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius not receive Holy Communion.

Read on for the specifics.

The Star also ran a piece by Dave Helling titled, "Bishops’ comments renew church vs. politics debate". The comments in question are Archbishop Naumann's recent column on Governor Sebelius, Kansas City - St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn's recent statement on President Obama's embryonic stem-cell policy and various statements made by both bishops in the run-up to the presidential election. You can find most of those in the October and November archives of this blog.

In all, I think Helling gave the bishops much room to explain their responsibilities as pastors. The counter-voices are Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and Catholics United, which makes sense: The two groups are united in their opposition to the public witness of Catholic bishops. Read it here.