May 15, 2008

Archbishop Naumann, God Bless!

The Kansas City Star (here and here) is furious that Archbishop Joseph Naumann, a big man with an even bigger heart, continues to try to persuade Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius that she cannot be a good Catholic and still receive Holy Communion when she promotes abortion. The Archbishop is kind but firm:

Since becoming archbishop, I have met with Governor Sebelius several times over many months to discuss with her the grave spiritual and moral consequences of her public actions by which she has cooperated in the procurement of abortions performed in Kansas. My concern has been, as a pastor, both for the spiritual well-being of the governor but also for those who have been misled -- scandalized -- by her very public support for legalized abortion.

I have not made lightly this request of Governor Sebelius, but only after much prayer and reflection. The spiritually lethal message, communicated by our governor, as well as many other high profile Catholics in public life, has been in effect: “The church’s teaching on abortion is optional!”

I reissue my request of the faithful of the archdiocese to pray for Governor Sebelius. I hope that my request of the governor, not to present herself for holy Communion, will provoke her to reconsider the serious spiritual and moral consequences of her past and present actions. At the same time, I pray this pastoral action on my part will help alert other Catholics to the moral gravity of participating in and/or cooperating with the performance of abortions.
The Archbishop's comments address a number of other critical and interesting issues. Please read his full, but not lengthy, statement.

St. Meinrad's and Ferdinand Community

We stopped at Ferdinand, Indiana as we traveled east because the "Sisters of St. Benedict" brochure obtained at a rest stop advertised their beautiful monastery church of the Immaculate Conception. The magnificent edifice took nine years to build--from 1915 to 1924. It is truly a testament to the faith of the people of that time who funded, designed, and constructed the church.

From one picture in the brochure (we saw no nuns during our visit), the community members no longer wear their habits. We also saw a "no-nuclear" sign as we entered the grounds. Their web site advertises "centering prayer," Sr. Joan Chittister's books, and other "liberal" stuff. I concluded that the monastery is populated mostly by nuns who would not be comfortable with their founders' lives and beliefs.

I didn't get the same disturbed feeling when we visited St. Meinrad's ArchAbbey and Seminary that lies several miles south of the Benedictine nuns. We actually saw two men dressed in black cassocks! This large seminary has been used by the Archbishop of Kansas City, KS to train future priests. Again we saw a magnificent structure built by our forefathers in faith.