Frj82’s Blog

November 14, 2008

Wait, You Couldn’t Receive Communion?

One thing that is nice about being a Polish National Catholic is that you don’t have to worry about one of your higher-ups saying something controversial and getting 15 minutes of fame.  Capitalizing on some of the going-ons of the meeting of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, a priest in South Carolina decided to make news.  Another slant is seen here, along with a video.


Now, as a Catholic, be it Roman Catholic or Polish National Catholic, you should be pro life.  There are instances where an abortion would be allowed, such as if child birth would cause grave danger/risk loss of life for the mother.  Even in instances of rape, priests are to teach the people that the accepted thing to do is carry the child for the full term and bring it for adoption.


Now, that paragraph wasn’t very difficult for me to write.  I don’t personally know anyone who was faced with that dilemma.  I think when people (54% of Catholics) voted for Barack Obama last week, they looked at the big picture, not one issue.  For the other 46%, maybe they listened to their bishops, whose job is to be adamant about moral and spiritual issues.  I wrote previously about blurring the lines of church and state, but to take a step back and look at the morality of it is key.  Abortion is wrong, but what if an impregnated rape victim was brought to depression and suicidal tendencies (highly plausible) due to that traumatic event?  Who am I to tell someone, who will be haunted by that experience for the rest of her life, that if she can’t abort this baby, even if she is certain she will commit suicide if she doesn’t?


That is a very extreme example, but I feel that some of these reactions are very extreme.  Really?  Some ho-dunk parish priest in Greenville, South Carolina is the voice of the Catholic Church in the United States?  Ugh.  This guy will watch his video on TV for years, but it probably won’t be worth the hate mail, nasty comments on blogs (see underneath each article) and people who will come to his church for the wrong reasons, like “to see the TV priest” or because “that guy is straight shooter.”  When you are a priest and are involved in some public ministry (like a blog or tv interviews) you have to know how to temper what you say, even if it is withholding how you really feel.  In a lighter tone, I love how he congratulates President-Elect Obama in his letter, while at the same time telling his people that they have to go to Penance for electing him. 


I cannot stand the fact that this guy will get away with what he is doing.  The reason why many people hate (and why many people revere) Bishop Martino in Scranton is because he says stuff like thisalways…well, he is a bishop, and he has every right in his jurisdiction to teach.  But I can’t stand how politics must be involved.  It really fires people up for the wrong reasons.  And to want to deny communion but won’t because it’s against church teaching?  By saying that, this guy either a) will turn off people who voted for Obama from Catholicism or worse yet, Christianity, or b) will make people wear “Obama” pins on their shirts while they smugly receive communion from him. 


Catholicism gets such a bad name from people like this, and it stinks that it reflects on Polish National Catholics.  I am not under the pope – my bishop did not say I risk going to Hell or cannot receive communion because I may have happened to vote for the guy who was more pro-choice over the guy who was more “pro-war” or whatever McCain has been made out to be now.  Of course his agenda wasn’t “pro-war” but being pro-life just isn’t as controversial.  You vote for who reflects your overall values and ideals.  Supposedly Obama saves the economy, gives out all sorts of tax breaks, reaches agreements to bring our troops home, avoids war, throws out nothing but strikes for all his baseball ceremonial first pitch’s, smiles and speaks in the way that got him elected, lowers gas to under $2 a gallon, all during his 8 year reign.  That would be epic, amazing, and of course, it wouldn’t be all him, but it would reflect on his presidency.  Lets say he does all of this…while remaining pro-choice.  Will that, through the eyes of Roman Catholics, or Polish National Catholics, make him a bad president then?  I guess only time will tell.


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