Archbishop Joseph Naumann wrote an op-ed today in the Leaven declaring that Governor Sebelius of Kansas is not eligible to receive Communion.
Having made every effort to inform and to persuade Governor Sebelius and after consultation with Bishop Ron Gilmore (Dodge City), Bishop Paul Coakley (Salina) and Bishop Michael Jackels (Wichita), I wrote the Governor last August requesting that she 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.
Recently, it came to my attention that the Governor had received Holy Communion at one of our parishes. I have written to her again asking her to respect my previous request and not require from me any additional pastoral actions.
The Governor has spoken to me on more than one occasion about her obligation to uphold state and federal laws and court decisions. I have asked her to show a similar sense of obligation to honor divine law and the laws, teaching and legitimate authority within the Church.
I have not made lightly this request of Governor Sebelius, but only after much prayer and reflection. The spiritually lethal message, communicated by our Governor, as well as many other high profile Catholics in public life, has been in effect: “The Church’s teaching on abortion is optional!”
I reissue my request of the Faithful of the Archdiocese to pray for Governor Sebelius. I hope that my request of the Governor, not to present herself for Holy Communion, will provoke her to reconsider the serious spiritual and moral consequences of her past and present actions. At the same time, I pray this pastoral action on my part will help alert other Catholics to the moral gravity of participating in and/or cooperating with the performance of abortions.
This is pretty amazing stuff. Will update later.