Catholic Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas has made public what he calls a “pastoral action,” telling Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that she is not to present herself for communion. This action is taken as a quid pro quo for her recent veto of a piece of legislation the Bishop favored. News report. Bishop’s statement.
The Kennedy compromise is ancient history. The Catholic church’s reluctance to engage in such retaliation for political votes is also over, at least in Kansas City.
The message from Archbishop Naumann is clear: “If you are a Catholic in public office, you will do what I tell you to do. You will obey. You will take directions from the hierarchy.”
This is what Protestant Americans have always feared, and yet Catholics have always said such fears were unfounded–mere “anti-Catholicism.”
It’s a clear example of what Catholic writer Russell Shaw condemns as “clericalism.”
The question is, will we be seeing more bishops act like this?