[Tom Smith (visiting from The Right Coast), June 5, 2004 at 12:06pm] Trackbacks
Communion Kerfuffle
Our house is full of guests for William's first communion tomorrow, so it seems a good time to address the communion kerfuffle, the controversy over whether public officials who support abortion rights ought to be able to receive communion in the Catholic Church. "Catholic" means "universal," apparently in the sense that absolutely everybody is entitled to an opinion about what the Church should do, whether or not it is their wish that St. Peter's will someday be a car museum. People who would no more go to Mass than they would last year's Manhattan eatery are suddenly full of advice about how Peter should manage the big ministry. The New Yorker weighs in, in its usual psuedo-fluffy way, with these, among many other observations:

Theodore Sorensen, the Unitarian who was President Kennedy's closest aide, wrote that while his boss faithfully attended Mass on Sundays, "not once in eleven years—despite all our discussions of church-state affairs—did he ever disclose his personal views on man's relation to God." John Forbes Kerry, who also attends Sunday Mass, has been similarly reticent about the intimate details of his spiritual beliefs.

And the world is a poorer place for not knowing JFK's conception of God-Man relations. Perhaps it resembles the jihadist idea that heaven includes lots of babes, just like Vegas. Just a suggestion for the New Yorker crowd: American Catholics, even my mother, are so over the St. Jack nonsense. The Kennedys are Catholics, yes, and so are the Corleones.

The critics and kibbitzers are right about one thing — it is an issue of tolerance. The standard line is that the various prelates who have proclaimed that communion is not for supporters of abortion are being intolerant, not being open minded enough about the varities of conscience. The interesting thing is that it is just assumed that to be a good Democrat, you have to support abortion, and not only abortion, but even the forms of it very few doctors will touch with a referral, let alone perform, that is, the killing of infants who could survive in a neo-natal ICU. When it comes to its infallible teaching on abortion, the Democratic Party is more than willing to exercise its power of excommunication and anathema for heretics and apostates. "I'm a good Democrat, but I'm against abortion" are the words of a Democrat not long for her party. And this hypothetical person would be drummed out, to switch metaphors, for what? For being intolerant, of course.

Much more could be said on this, but I've imposed on Eugene's hospitality enough, and there are guests to attend to, every single one of them, curiously enough, very solid Democrats.