In what may be the beginning of an election year trend, Douglas Kmiec, faithful Roman Catholic, long-time Republican, and alumni of Reagan’s Justice Department, was denied communion after endorsing Senator Obama, a supporter of abortion rights.
At a mass in April for Roman Catholic businessman, which he was scheduled to address later in the evening, Kmiec was denied the Eucharistic elements. The officiating priest suggested in his homily that Catholics who endorse or vote for candidates that support abortion rights are “participating in a grave moral evil.” As Kmiec approached the elements the priest shook his head and refused to administer the bread and wine.
In an interview with NPR Kmiec objected that “Faith isn’t a weapon,” and argued that the individual priest had no right under canon law to refuse communion to Catholic in good standing with the church. The incident was reminiscent of a similar one in 2004 when Senator John Kerry was also refused communion by a Roman Catholic bishop in Missourri.
Despite the fact that this incident occurred in April, nearly seven months before the general election in November, it offers yet another religiously themed headline in the contest for the Whitehouse.
Read The Center for Progressive Christianity’s article on the indicent at http://www.tcpc.org/news/item.cfm?news_id=230
Listen to NPR’s Nina Totenberg interview Kmiec at
Read the Baltimore Sun’s piece about Kmiec and the controversy at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.communion09jun09,0,7586458.story
Read Kmiec’s endorsement at http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/convictions/archive/2008/03/23/endorsing-obama.aspx