Frank Kessler's "As I See It" on Bishop Naumann's public rebuke of Gov. Sebelius makes a point, but not the one he intends (5/21, Opinion, "Archbishop Naumann was properly doing his job").
What many find offensive about Naumann's behavior is his selective application of Catholic doctrine to coerce voting behavior.
Far from combating "cafeteria Catholicism," Naumann exemplifies the practice. Naumann never publicly rebukes politicians on any issue, save abortion. Name one called to task over their support of the death penalty. When has he condemned justices who condone the use of torture? Show me where he publicly castigated politicians who voted to wage pre-emptive war.
With my vote I can't stop women from having abortions (they just have unsafe, illegal ones) but I do know that if Bush were not president 4,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would still be alive, and there would be 2 million fewer refugees in the world. Canon law does not give bishops the right to use sacraments as weapons to bully those who make different and, I would argue, more moral, political choices than their own.
I guess if Bishop Naumann can be a cafeteria Catholic, so can the rest of us.
In regard to the "As I See It" written by Dick McCoy (5/15, Opinion, "Kansas archbishop's stand on abortion reaches too far"), I am amazed by the ridiculous ways in which he demonizes Archbishop Naumann and the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Naumann has no intention of telling Gov. Sebelius how she should vote. It is not within his authority to dictate politics. and he understands that. What Mr. McCoy doesn't understand it that the governor's example to the world is not Catholic. The archbishop did not tell her how to vote or what to veto. He simply said that her public actions are not Catholic and she should not receive Communion because of that, which is within his jurisdiction.
As far as Mr. McCoy's stand that babies are not the central issue in the abortion debate, I can only say I feel so bad for someone who could stand by and allow these atrocities to be committed and call them liberties. He was once a baby, and his mother obviously didn't have what he calls liberties. She gave him life so that he could be free to voice such heinous opinions.