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Thursday, May 06, 2004

Catholic politicians, redux.

Up front--I don't know what the proper response to straying Catholic politicians is. Though, at a minimum, it has to involve an effort to personally correct them, starting in private. Denial of communion is a trickier issue, fraught with more perils than those of us who support the idea in principle (including me) are willing to admit. Especially when you have priests at places like the Paulist Center who will give the host to literally anyone who asks.

But let's not pretend that there isn't a severe precedent from the recent past, involving desegregation in the South. Indeed, this ground was covered a little over forty years ago, when the Archbishop of New Orleans excommunicated (not denied communion--the whole shebang) three segregationists.

I somehow doubt the Anna Quindlens, Eileen McNamaras, Andrew Greeleys, etc. would refer to Archbishop Rummel as some kind of ecclesial tyrant for his actions. So what is the distinction, then?

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