Monday, December 1, 2008

Priest urges confession for Obama supporters

The McClatchy Tribune carried the following article on November 30, 2008:

Priest urges confession for Obama supporters
Homily singles out president-elect's stance on abortion

MODESTO, Calif. - The Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Modesto, Calif., has told parishioners in a homily and in a follow-up letter that if they voted for Barack Obama
, they should consider going to confession because of the president-elect's position on abortion. (Read More)


It appears that Fr. Illo's bishop, The Most Rev. Stephen Blaire of the Stockton Diocese, disagrees with him. "Blaire said Catholics who carefully weighed many issues and settled on a candidate, such as Obama, who favored abortion rights, were not in need of confession. He said confession would be necessary 'only if someone voted for a pro-abortion or pro-choice candidate - if that's the reason you voted for them.'"

Our bishops are not speaking or teaching with the same voice, it appears. Is this what happens when the hierarchy enters the political arena.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Dear Standing Maryanna:

You concluded your post with the following statement:

"Is this what happens when the hierarchy enters the political arena."

I see this issue 180 degrees the other way: this is what happens when the state oversteps its bounds and enters the area reserved for the Church. The Church is merely reacting to this, in an unorganized way.

It is the abortion laws that declared an entire class of human beings as not human, contrary to Church teachings. In this context, our Church is not entering a political arena, it is the state that has entered Church grounds and is attempting to dictate terms.

Our Church cannot abdicate Her teachings on human life, just because the issue has been politicized by misuse of the law. If, in the future, the state decides to redefine marriage and legalize polygamy or "polyamory", or institutionalize euthanasia of those who "no longer qualify as human", I hope the Church hierarchy will stand the ground and defend our culture.

If one honors a correctly understood "separation of Church and state", then one should view the state as barred from entering certain cultural areas reserved exclusively for the Church. Otherwise we'll have an ever expanding power of the state, and a shrinking Church - something our Founding Fathers warned against.