A South Carolina Catholic priest has told his parishioners that if they voted for Obama they can not partake in the communion ritual. Rev. Jay Scott Newman had a letter distributed on Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville.
The letter stated that by voting for Obama they were risking their souls.
The Associated Press reports:
“Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president,” Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.
“Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”
Many bishops spoke out against Obama during the campaign because of his pro-choice stance. A few churches told their congregations that by voting for Obama they were risking their eternal souls.
The Catholic church has differed on whether or not parishes should refrain from weekly Communion when voters and lawmakers diverge from the church teaching on abortion. Each diocese sets their own policy on the matter.
National exit polls showed that 54 percent of the nation’s Catholics voted for Obama. Obama himself is Protestant. Greenville, South Carolina voted in favor of John McCain with 61 percent of the vote.
“It was not an attempt to make a partisan point,” Newman said in a telephone interview Thursday. “In fact, in this election, for the sake of argument, if the Republican candidate had been pro-abortion, and the Democratic candidate had been pro-life, everything that I wrote would have been exactly the same.”
Few other Catholic bishops are taking Newman’s stance. One group, Catholic Democrats question the extreme nature of the move.
Father Newman is off base,” said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats. “He is acting beyond the authority of a parish priest to say what he did. … Unfortunately, he is doing so in a manner that will be of great cost to those parishioners who did vote for Sens. Obama and Biden. There will be a spiritual cost to them for his words.”