Courageous priest puts his beliefs and his Catholic responsibility...right on the line!

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest (Father Jay Scott Newman Pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina) has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

Father Newman is in for a lot of controversy and criticism. Our admiration for his brave stance is huge.

Herein is the most unfortunate response this afternoon from the Diocese of Charleston - God help the poor Catholics of this diocese. (This statement is by the Administrator of the diocese, as it is without a bishop at this time.)
Statement of Monsignor Martin T. Laughlin
Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (November 14, 2008) - This past week, the Catholic Church’s clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion has been pulled into the partisan political arena. The recent comments of Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C., have diverted the focus from the Church’s clear position against abortion. As Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, let me state with clarity that Father Newman’s statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions.” The Catechism goes on to state: “In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path; we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.”

Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.

The pulpit is reserved for the Word of God. Sometimes God’s truth, as is the Church’s teaching on abortion, is unpopular. All Catholics must be aware of and follow the teachings of the Church.

We should all come together to support the President-elect and all elected officials with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child. Let us pray for them and ask God to guide them as they take the mantle of leadership on January 20, 2009.

I ask also for your continued prayers for me and for the Diocese of Charleston.

Office of the Administrator
119 Broad Street · Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Post Office Box 818 · Charleston, South Carolina 29402
Phone (843) 958-2150 · Fax (843) 958-2152

(The phone number above is Msgr. Laughlin's direct line. You may not get an answer, but you can leave a message.)

Here is the parish web site that contains Father Newman's response to the diocese's criticism. Update: (Saturday a.m.) - This response has now disappeared from the parish website and in it's place is a link to the diocese's website statements. No doubt this is a small capitulation by Fr. Newman due to intense pressure by the diocese's Administrator. Our prayers for this courageous priest will continue.


TGL said...

Congratulations to the Diocese of Charleston for putting the brakes on this arrogant priest. Fr. Newman needs to take some time to reflect on his priestly vocation and decide if he wants to be a flame thrower or a good shepherd.

SeriousCatholic said...

tgl -

Surely you must be joking. Obama is about to invoke a holocaust on the innocent unborn. A few brave bishops have spoken out clearly about this. Bishop Finn, for example, taught that the immortal soul of a supporter of Obama is in grave danger.

This is, to my knowledge the first parish Pastor that has also spoken out without ambiguity. Those millions of Catholics who voted for Obama and Biden and other politicians who support ands encourage murder greatly need to be encouraged to repent and run (not walk) to the confessional.

This priest is just doing his job and trying to save his own immortal soul which would be jeopardy if he took another course.

TGL said...

No, I'm not joking, and don't call me Shirley! (from the movie Airplane) I am a regular, practicing Catholic (though I gave up the Latin Rite mass when I grew up.) I voted for Barack Obama because I voted my conscience which has been shaped by 12 years of Catholic education and 56 years of baptism. What evidence do you have that "Obama is about to invoke a holocaust on the innocent unborn?" Just because Bishop Finn said so? Grow up and think for yourself.

Another point of view! said...

In response to the April 18, 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, prominent Democratic members of Congress the next day reintroduced the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA), a proposed federal law to nullify virtually all federal and state limitations on abortion.

One of the Senate sponsors of this bill was Barack Obama.

On July 17, 2007 Barack Obama said, "the first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do." He was speaking to the Planned Parent Action Fund.

I pray that you reconsider your vote for this man and make any appropriate amends that you can.

God bless you tgl. It is not your fault. I suspect that your conscience was formed during those "12 years of Catholic education" you spoke of...during one of the most terrible periods in the history of our Church. This Msgr. Laughlin in South Carolina is one of these heretical Catholic educators that are slowly dying off to be replaced by good priests like Father Newman.

Jack in KC said...

No, I won't call you Shirley, TGL.
Unfortunately you may not be able to be called Catholic either.
If you voted for Mr. Obama knowing his full position on abortion, and his campaign promises, you are most probably in a state of mortal sin.
If you do not believe this, or don't care, then you should consider finding another religion instead of mocking the True one.
The good news is that modern "catholics" (lower case c) contracept to the point that in another generation, real practicing Catholics will outbreed them.
The sight of tons of families averaging six or more kids must strike fear into the very depths of our liberal friends.
Ahhhh...there is something to the strategy of "strength in numbers".
Jack in KC

TGL said...

In response to the previous two posts-- first, you better not comment on those twelve years of Catholic education. Those nuns and priests were WAY out of your league. Second, you're on a slippery slope when you say this priest is OK, but that bishop is a heretic, this monsignor is OK but this cardinal is bad. Who are YOU to judge? As to the second post, if it makes you feel good to judge those who do not agree with you, go right ahead, but don't call yourself Catholic.

Anonymous said...

Those baptized in the faith who hold to all the Church teaches without reservation should feel justified in calling themselves Catholic. Those who, in matters and faith and morals, feel qualified to establish their own beliefs should not feel so justified. Further, anyone who cooperates in a sin, such as supporting a pro-abortion politician when other options present themselves, should tremble for the fate of their own soul. The only arrogant one here is the one who presumes his own entry into heaven based upon the renderings of his own, likely malformed, conscience.