Friday, May 07, 2004

Ecclesial Tyrant?

Apropos of the recent discussions concerning John Kerry and other pro-abortion rights politicians possibly (or actually) being refused communion, a number of Catholic bloggers have pointed to the actions of Archbishop Joseph Rummel, the archbishop of New Orleans in the early 60's. In 1962, he excommunicated three Catholics who opposed his efforts to desegregate Catholic schools. What did they do in response? Gave speeches, organized rallies, wrote letters to the major local newspaper, and withheld church contributions.

Hmm... I wonder what those who up in arms about the statements of some bishops about refusing communion to Kerry et al would say in response to this? Would they complain that Archbishop Rummel was blurring the line between church and state, or that he was putting his nose in places it doesn't belong, or that this was just another example of an intolerant, un-pastoral Catholic hierarch? Somehow, I doubt it.

(Thanks -- in order of my seeing it mentioned -- to Stuart Buck, Bill Cork, and Dale Price.)

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