By Michael Baggot
Archbishop Joseph F. NaumannKANSAS CITY, KS, May 27, 2008 ( – Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City on Friday published a question and answer explanation and defense of his May 9 public request to Governor Kathleen Sebelius to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until repenting of her political support for abortion. The Archbishop also confirmed plans to address other pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

“In this column, I want to provide you with my responses to some of the more common questions and misunderstandings regarding my pastoral action,” wrote the Archbishop in the diocesan newspaper The Leaven.

“Governor Sebelius holds the highest elective office in the state of Kansas, making her the most prominent Catholic in public life,” responded the archbishop to accusations of “singling out” Sebelius.

“It is a time-intensive process to enter into verbal and written dialogue, as is necessary, to insure a person is aware of the spiritual and moral consequences of their actions, as well as to understand the scandal their actions cause for others.”

“It is my intention eventually, as much as the limitations of my own time permit, to have similar pastoral dialogues with other Catholics in elective office who support legalized abortion,” added the Archbishop.

  Naumann went on to explain why Sebelius’ abortion support is particularly scandalous, i.e. capable of leading others to sin through bad example.

“Governor Sebelius’ public support for legalized abortion, as a Catholic, naturally leads others to question the moral gravity of abortion. In effect, her actions and advocacy for legalized abortion, coupled with her reception of Holy Communion, have said to other Catholics: ‘I am a good Catholic and I support legalized abortion. You can be a good Catholic and support legalized abortion.’”

  Sebelius is known as an aggressive supporter of radical abortion “rights” and has vetoed a number of pieces of common-sense legislation over the years that would have reigned in an out-of-control abortion industry in Kansas.  As a result, abortion mills remain uninspected in spite of documented substandard conditions, and abortion laws meant to protect women and viable babies remain unenforced.

  Sebelius has close ties to abortionist George R. Tiller, who has funneled huge amounts of campaign contributions to Sebelius in the past. Tiller currently faces 19 criminal charges, a grand jury investigation, and two open investigations with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts for criminal conduct and violations of the standard of care. Nevertheless, Sebelius remains supportive of Tiller and his notorious abortion business.

  The Archbishop also refuted “pro-choice” rhetoric contending that a Catholic politician could be personally opposed to abortion while still supporting a woman’s “right to choose.”

“Freedom of choice is not an absolute value. All of our laws limit our choices. I am not free to drive while intoxicated or to take another’s property or to assault someone else. My freedom ends when I infringe on the more basic rights of another.”

  Naumann also rejected accusations that bishops have been using the Eucharist in a political attack on the Democratic Party and approvingly cited the example of Cardinal Edward Egan’s request for pro-abortion Republican Rudy Giuliani to refrain from Communion.

“I encourage Catholics who are Democrats to remain Democrats, but to change the extremist position of the party on abortion. If the majority of Catholic Democrats objected to the platform of the party supporting legalized abortion, it would change tomorrow,” added the Archbishop.

  While not yet requiring ministers of the Eucharist to deny Sebelius Holy Communion, the Archbishop left open the possibility of such a mandate in the future.

“I have, at this moment, not asked the ministers of the Eucharist not to give Holy Communion to the governor.”

  In his letter titled “Worthiness to receive Holy Communion,” then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that a Catholic politician who would vote for “permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” after being duly instructed and warned, “must” be denied Communion.  Ratzinger’s letter explained that if such a politician “with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.”

  See the archbishop’s full article on the issue:

  Governor’s Veto Prompts Pastoral Action

  See related coverage:

  Archbishop Publicly Tells Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Not to Receive Communion

  Bishop: Denying Communion to Obstinate Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians “in many cases becomes the right decision and the only choice”

  Abortion-Politician-Communion Scandal Shows Real Lack of Pastoral Concern – Editorial

  Read the Archbishop’s Q&A:

  Read the Ratzinger on denying Holy Communion:

  To contact the Archbishop for addressing pro-abortion politicians:

  Archbishop Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann
  12615 Parallel Parkway
  Kansas City, KS 66109
  Phone: (913) 721-1570
  FAX: (913) 721-1577
  Email: [email protected]