Priest Denies Communion to Man Who Supports Obama

A Catholic priest recently denied communion to a parishioner, in violation of Canon 912, which specifically states that “Any baptized person who is not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to Holy Communion…” unless otherwise directed by a superior.

In spite of this, a Catholic priest chose to deny Professor Doug Kmiec communion, a former White House Legal Counsel and Justice Department staffer for President Reagan and President Bush, because he endorsed Barack Obama.

Kmiec is currently a law professor at Pepperdine University.

Obama is pro-choice and evidently this doesn’t sit well with Doug Kmiec’s church. The priest presiding over mass went on to discuss his personal politics during the homily, indicating that supporting a pro-choice candidate was engaging in a “grave moral evil.” He was obviously referring indirectly to Kmiec. The priest then proceeded to nod his head from side to side when Kmiec presented himself for communion, and denied him.

Kmiec, by his own account, said to the priest, “I think you’re making a mistake father.” The priest disagreed.

There have been other instances of this type of behavior from Catholic priests and bishops. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City has played an indirect role in the 2008 campaign by calling on Kathleen Sebelius, the popular Democratic governor of Kansas who has been mentioned as a possible Obama running mate, to stop taking Communion because of her “actions in support of legalized abortion.”

We also remember John Kerry being denied communion in 2004.

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I taught Sunday school for three years in my younger days, and I learned a few things. 

For one, this priest has violated Canon law and should be punished. The Catholic altar is not a political stump or opinion pulpit, and secondly, the Catholic faith preaches the embodiment of life to the full. However, it does not speak to, or comments on the politics of parishioners during mass, nor does it allow for priests to sit as moral judges while delivering communion. Canon law experts universally agree.

Kmiec’s priest was categorically wrong for his actions.

Senator Obama aims to transcend the current partisan divide in this country that manifests itself in people like Kmiec’s priest, and specifically in those who believe that people must leave their politics at the door before entering church – or reject those beliefs altogether, in the name of quasi political-religious imposed morals. 

As evidence of this, conservative blogs have declared Kmiec “self-excommunicated.”  

The irony in all this is that Kmiec is an arch-conservative, anti-abortionist! He is pro-life through and through, however he is willing to trade off for Obama’s other positive positions. Conservatives who are traditional one-issue voters, typically reject this. All they see is an “anti-gun” or “pro-choice” tunnel. The rest doesn’t really matter to them.

McCain killed people in Vietnam, and swindled people in his dealings with the Keating 5. Does that count as immoral? That’s who conservative Catholics will be voting for, yet it all seems hypocritical to me on many levels.

Religion’s purpose, if it has one, is not to politically oppress parishioners as they attend church. It’s purpose is to liberate  and fulfill people, and ultimately lead them to salvation. Religion and morality are intertwined as Kmiec’s priest suggests, however religion’s true power is in what it offers in spirit, not what it imposes upon it’s followers socially. 

A message to America – you are not precluded from voting for Senator Obama. I’m Catholic, and I will be voting for him. You should do the same. He is a moral man, with the practical reasoning and vision this country needs after eight years of incompetence.  

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5 responses to “Priest Denies Communion to Man Who Supports Obama

  1. I find it ridiculous that this priest would withhold communion to a parishioner not based on his beliefs but that of the candidate he supports.

    Someone needs also to tell this priest that just because someone is pro-choice that it does not mean he is pro-abortion. I covered this in my blog a while back…

    Yes, a shameless plug for my blog.

    Conservative churches (some) have been known for years to give their members voting checklists which I believe should bring in question their tax exempt status. The Bush administration of course has done nothing about this.

  2. What really burns me up is this under culture of denying communion and politicizing the church, that is working to undermine the democratic principles that this country was founded on. You and I have discussed this issue many times, that is to say, how dangerous these religious zeolots are and the political ramifications.

  3. Alfie

    I was looking at this topic a couple of weeks ago for real world reasons. The parishioner in the article has the legal right you speak of. The priest is really stretching the past precedents to a point that it doesn’t fly. Saying that the KS. Governor is actually fair game but she isn’t without recourse. Specifically for her she would seem to under the use of 915.

  4. em

    Papists: I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth NOT in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought NOT to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to REPENT: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

    Christ commanded you to REPENT.. not go tell a pedophile in a box your sins. Put away lying!
    You are rabid members of the antichrist army ..still in your sins and NOT forgiven .. only devils from hell would pay a pedophile or hang skulls in their church of their victims..How will this be for you in the day of judgement ? See THE rape of the souls on google video and consider you ways, my friend.

  5. Harvlis

    So, we can be at war with thousands dying, the economy can be in the toilet, everyone can be out of work, energy prices can be out of control, schools can cost a fortune, parishioners can be losing their homes — and someone who belongs to that church can’t vote to change the party who caused the current state of affairs. I say, it’s time to find a new place to pray. This priest has a screw loose. War is okay and a woman’s right to choose means that people can’t wait to get abortions. Religion sucks.

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