Catholic Senators Who Voted Against Late-Term Abortion Ban Must Be Excommunicated, Popular Priest Says
A priest with a popular blog has called upon the Church to excommunicate Catholic senators who voted against the late-term abortion ban bill.
Last month, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act bill failed to get the necessary 60 votes to pass a motion to proceed, with the final tally being 51-46.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker posted a recent entry to his website in which he demanded accountability for the 14 Catholic senators who voted against the motion.
"Today is the day for their bishops to issue a formal statement acknowledging that these men and women have publicly denied their Catholic faith, and if not formally, then have informally excommunicated themselves," wrote Longenecker.
"Since their offense is public it should be acknowledged publicly and their pastors should publicly rebuke them and ask them not to receive the sacraments."
Longenecker called on Catholics to demand action from the senators' bishops and priests if they do not issue statements of excommunication.
"If the bishops and priests do not do this, the faithful in their parishes and dioceses should rise up and blizzard them with letters, emails and the one thing that will really make them sit up and take notice: withholding their contributions," continued Longenecker.
"This hideous crime against humanity, this hidden holocaust will not stop until those in authority stand against it publicly and vehemently."
It has been well-documented that many Catholic politicians in the Democratic Party have long taken public policy stances at odds with Church teaching.
Some argue that this goes back to John F. Kennedy, who during the 1960 campaign season assured concerned Protestant voters that the Pope would not influence his administration.
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote," said Kennedy at a September 1960 speech.
Longenecker is not the only Church official to take issue with the way that Catholic Democrats in Congress vote on social issues like abortion.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City told The Catholic World Reporter in a December interview that he was concerned about when "we have Catholic politicians who flaunt their Catholicity, but take positions that our inconsistent with our Catholic teaching."
"[Former Gov. of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius] would talk about how Catholic she was, but act totally contrary to Church teaching. It creates a problem for us as bishops when Catholic politicians do that. They teach our people that it is OK to be Catholic and support legalized abortion," said Archbishop Naumann last year.
"Tim Kaine, a U.S. senator and former vice presidential candidate, is another example of a politician who flaunted his Catholic background but spewed a lot of pro-choice rhetoric. When they do this they're taking on a teaching role and misleading our people."