The Archdiocese of Washington DC recently filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Obama administration of adopting a "conscious political strategy" to delegitimize Catholic views on contraception (as reported in California Catholic Daily). In a memorandum filed before the court, the Archdiocese specifically accused Secretary Sebelius of ridiculing Catholic views on contraception (although apparently she did not mention Catholics by name).
|Kathleen Sebelius: U.S. Secretary of HHS|
Archbishop's Rebuke Looks Good on Vita
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Indeed, in May 2008, Most Reverend Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, publicly called for Sebelius to refrain from communion when she was governor of Kansas, after she vetoed a bill passed by the Kansas legislature to put restraints on abortions in the state. Archbishop Naumann requested Governor Sebelius to "refrain from presenting herself for reception of the Eucharist until she had acknowledged the error of her past positions, made a worthy sacramental confession and taken the necessary steps for amendment of her life which would include a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion."
Of course the Cardinal's rebuke did nothing to diminish her esteem in the eyes of Barack Obama, who appointed her Secretary of Health and Human Services after he was elected president in 2008. Who knows? She may have put Archbishop Naumann's rebuke on her CV.
I did not know until today that Archbishop Naumann had instructed Sebelius not to appear for communion more than five years ago, but I am glad he took that action. Catholic bishops all over the United States need to publicly bar pro-Catholic public officials from receiving communion; and these sanctions need to be publicized. There is a a long list of politicians who are worthy of rebuke, so it is time to get started.
Archdiocese of Wash. D.C.: government marginalizes Catholics--mock Church on contraception. California Catholic Daily, October 23, 2013. Accessible at: http://cal-catholic.com/wordpress/2013/10/23/archdiocese-of-wash-d-c-government-marginalizes-catholics/
Joseph Naumann. Governor's Veto Prompts Pastoral Action. TheLeaven.com. Accessible at: http://www.theleaven.com/oldleavenwebsite/V29/V29N37ColumnistNaumann.htm
Sheryl Gay Stolberg. Sebelius Thrust into Firestorm on Exchanges. New York Times, October 23, 2013, p. 1.