Author Topic: 48 Catholic Congressmen Warn Bishops on Bigotry!!!!  (Read 985 times)

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Offline Nacho

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48 Catholic Congressmen Warn Bishops on Bigotry!!!!
« on: May 20, 2004, 04:18:50 PM »
48 Catholic congressmen warn bishops on bigotry
By Alan Cooperman, Washington Post  |  May 20, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Forty-eight Roman Catholic members of Congress have warned in a letter to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., that US bishops will revive anti-Catholic bigotry and severely harm the church if they deny Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

The letter's signers, all Democrats, include at least three House members with strong antiabortion voting records.

"For many years Catholics were denied public office by voters who feared that they would take direction from the pope," they wrote. "While that type of paranoid anti-Catholicism seems to be a thing of the past, attempts by church leaders today to influence votes by the threat of withholding a sacrament will revive latent anti-Catholic prejudice, which so many of us have worked so hard to overcome."

The three-page letter, dated May 10, was sent to McCarrick because he heads a task force of US bishops that is considering whether and how the church should take action against Catholic politicians whose public positions are at odds with Catholic doctrine.

McCarrick's spokesman, Susan Gibbs, said he would not comment on the letter. She said the seven-member task force is "listening to many different voices" and will grant the 48 House members' request for a meeting. "They will be heard; it just hasn't been arranged yet," she said.

A few of the nation's 300 Catholic bishops have caused a political furor this year by threatening to withhold the Eucharist, which Catholics believe is the body and blood of Christ, from presidential candidate Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts., and other Catholic officials who vote for abortion rights.

On May 5, Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs issued a letter saying that ordinary parishioners should not receive Communion if they vote for politicians who support abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research, or gay marriage.

McCarrick made clear last week in the Catholic Standard, the Washington archdiocese's newspaper, that he does not agree. "As a priest and bishop, I do not favor a confrontation at the altar rail with the Sacred Body of the Lord Jesus in my hand," he wrote. "There are apparently those who would welcome such a conflict, for good reasons, I am sure, or for political ones, but I would not."

Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, and Representative Nick Lampson, Democrat of Texas, circulated the letter among the 73 Catholic Democrats in the House. It was not circulated among Republicans or in the Senate, because it arose from meetings that began last year among a small number of Catholic Democrats in the House who wanted to talk privately about faith and public service, DeLauro said. "This was not about politics. It was about us and our church and our own faith," she said.

In their letter, the Democratic House members said they "firmly believe that it would be wrong for a bishop to deny the sacrament of Holy Communion to an individual on the basis of a voting record. We believe that such an action . . . would bring great harm to the church."

Noting that the Supreme Court has ruled that women have a constitutional right to choose an abortion, they said that members of Congress "who vote for legislation consistent with that mandate are not acting contrary to our positions as faithful members of the Catholic Church."
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."--Mere Christianity

Offline Nacho

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Re:48 Catholic Congressmen Warn Bishops on Bigotry!!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2004, 04:28:00 PM »
Moderators,

If you feel this steps over the bounds of the ban of political threads, feel free to close it. This seems like this could cause a big upcoming scandal in the RC church. It will be interesting to see if the RC Bishops cowar down to these lowly politicians, or for once take a stand.
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."--Mere Christianity

Offline David

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Re:48 Catholic Congressmen Warn Bishops on Bigotry!!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2004, 04:37:24 PM »
Nacho,

I appreciate you posting the article as I would not have seen it otherwise, but I think it is necessary to lock the thread anyway.  Having discussion over these issues goes against the moratorium we've set up.  I'm sure there will be many political articles that will need to be posted after the moratorium is over.  

If there is another news item like this that you feel is important, I would suggest posting it the article without commentary in the Christian News forum.  I feel that that does not violate the moratorium, but I must confer with my brother moderators and admins before I can state so conclusively.
"When looking at faults, use a mirror, not a telescope."
-Yazid Ibrahim