An Associated Press piece on abortion and communion once again misses the mark badly.

The piece starts:

Three years after a few outspoken U.S. Roman Catholic bishops tied together presidential politics, abortion and the Communion rail, leaders of the nation’s largest denomination are starting to speak out again.

Of course, before 2004 sin and our ability to receive communion had nothing to do with each other. The piece continues:

Only this time, the political climate is much different. The Catholic presidential hopeful under criticism for championing abortion rights is a Republican instead of a Democrat, the general election might pit two candidates who believe abortion should remain legal, Democrats control both chambers of Congress and immigration reform has surfaced as a major issue.

As most of the nation’s 268 active Catholic bishops met for a private retreat this week in New Mexico, questions were building about how prominent their voices will be in the 2008 race.

Will some follow the example of Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, who last month called the pro-abortion rights position of Catholic Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani, “pathetic and confusing?” Will abortion dominate the bishops’ statements on the election, or will immigration and poverty?

That misses the point by such a distance this reporter needs a GPS to find a relevant point. The Church does not endorse candidates. She speaks about love and sin every Sunday. The Church speaks about helping the unfortunate every day. The Church speaks about giving of oursevles in a radical way every day. To ignore the poor, to victimize the unfortunate, and to kill the unborn are all sins and they are discussed often. To speak about the Church being on opposite sides of the political fence on these issues is wrongheaded. The Church is consistent on all these issues.

The Church implores us to love. We are to love immigrants, Republicans, Democrats, the poor, and the unborn. This shouldn’t be that difficult.