Barbara Shelly’s column titled, “Archbishop seeks improper church-state mix” (5/16, Opinion) is an example of bias interfering with logic. Obviously, Shelly holds a “pro-choice” personal conviction, and Archbishop Joseph Naumann is “pro-life” due to his Roman Catholic faith. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is both Roman Catholic and “pro-choice,” which Naumann is simply pointing out as inconsistent. Further, he is assuming the responsibility as a church leader by pointing out the contradiction in Sebelius’ choice.
The logical fallacy in the column is that Sebelius is allowed her convictions while Naumann is not. It is not the archbishop that has created an “uncomfortable intersection,” but the governor. The church official is not mandating how Sebelius must behave as governor, rather how she should behave as a Roman Catholic. Sebelius is free to associate with organizations more consistent with her personal convictions.
Ms. Shelly’s conclusion that Sebelius’ contradictory choices are more ethical than Archbishop Naumann’s consistent convictions is evidence of bias overriding logic.
Kathleen Sebelius, the governor of the state of Kansas who represents our total population, has chosen to follow her conscience. According to Vatican II, she has that right within the church. Equally, as has been explained, she has that same right in legislation. What is it about following one’s conscience that the archbishop does not understand?
Archbishop Naumann, although he would like to govern the state of Kansas, does not. He is an appointed official in a church of his own expression. He reports to the Pope and not to us, the people. As a citizen of Kansas, he must abide by both federal and state laws. In Kansas, the Roman Catholic Church adds up to a very small part of our total population, and many of them clearly understand Sebelius’ position.
Naumann’s arrogant, public attempt to shame her is typical. If he is going to tell us how to vote, his tax-exempt status should be revoked.
He no doubt can try to “buy” a new governor, but I believe that the citizens of Kansas are too smart to elect a puppet.
As a Catholic, Gov. Sebelius should know that reception of Communion in the state of serious sin is a sacrilege. Those who procure or promote abortion are perceived as being in conflict with Christ and his church, and therefore should not receive Communion.
Archbishop Naumann counseled her privately, but the governor chose to show her disdain of the archbishop and her disrespect of the Blessed Sacrament by receiving Communion anyway.
The governor has made her choice and taken her stand, and I pray for her. Archbishop Naumann has preformed his job admirably as teacher and shepherd of our local church. I applaud his defense of the unborn and, most important, his defense of the Sacrament which most Catholics hold very dear.
Kathleen Sebelius may have been raised as a Catholic, but she chose to be a controversial governor. By the bills she signs and the political donations that she accepts, Gov. Sebelius puts herself at the intersection where Catholic and politician are mutually exclusive.
Archbishop Naumann was right to respectfully respond to the governor publicly in order to differentiate her abortion-rights position from the sanctity-of-life position of the Catholic Church.
If Archbishop Naumann remains silent, he holds Gov. Sebelius and the rest of his flock to very different standards of conduct and morality.
Kathleen A. Sexton