Friday, May 14, 2004

Vote Wrong, No Communion, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the NY Times are reporting that the Roman Catholic bishop of Colorado Springs has stepped up the earlier warning by a number of US bishops that politicians who go against church doctrine in their legislative activities will be barred from taking communion. Bishop Michael J. Sheridan has now announced that any voters who support any politician who in turn supports abortion rights, same-sex marriage, euthanasia or stem-cell research will also be barred from communion. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Anyone who professes the Catholic faith with his lips while at the same time publicly supporting legislation or candidates that defy God's law makes a mockery of that faith and belies his identity as a Catholic," Sheridan wrote.

In a telephone interview, Sheridan said: "I'm not making a political statement. I'm making a statement about church teaching."

Other catholic officials have spoken out against using communion as a means of punishing individuals for their political ideals or actions.

I find this level of intrusion into the individual choices people make appalling. What happened to free will, rational dialogue, the power of persuasive argument? What value is blind adherence to religious dogma (which changes periodically) if it is only accomplished through threats? Wouldn't church members who adhere to church teachings because they actually believe in the validity of those teachings much more valuable? Can you save the soul without addressing the heart and mind as well?

Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:22 PM