The Scandal of Sebelius
“For more than 25 years, Gov. Sebelius has advocated and supported legalized abortion. She has opposed such modest protections as parental notification for minors, waiting periods, informed consent and improved regulation of abortion clinics.
“In the hope to awaken her to the grave spiritual consequences of her own actions and in an effort to prevent her from leading others into error, it was my responsibility to request that the governor refrain from receiving the Eucharist.”
Those are the words of Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, explaining why he last year requested that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius not seek to receive Communion because of her promotion of abortion rights. Sebelius has been nominated by President Barack Obama as his Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The quote is excerpted from a column published March 16 by the Kansas City Star.
“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,” Archbishop Naumann writes at the start of his column.
“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.”
Archbishop Naumann’s column reiterates the reality that Sebelius has excluded herself from being fit to receive Communion by virtue of her insistence on promoting the evil of legal abortion.
And it explains once again that the archbishop was forced to publicly request that the Kansas governor not present herself for Communion because by doing so, Sebelius was causing public scandal — that is, she was leading others astray about what the Catholic Church teaches about any area of fundamental importance of faith and morals and about the necessity to be in union with the Church when receiving the body and blood of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion.
The only unfortunate aspect of the column is the misleading title given to it by the Kansas City Star: “Archbishop Naumann attacks Sebelius over abortion.”
Archbishop Naumann isn’t “attacking” Sebelius in any way. For her own good, for the good of other members of the Catholic flock that he is called to shepherd, and for the common good of every Kansan and American, Archbishop Naumann is seeking to call the attention of the Kansas governor to actions she has taken that separate her from the Church, endanger her eternal salvation and that have the potential of leading others into similar danger.
And, it should also always be remembered, actions that have served to increase the numbers of innocent unborn lives lost in her state to the tragedy of legal abortion.