Thursday, September 24, 2009

Archbishop Naumann Responds to Sebelius’ WaPo Interview Claim

Last week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sat down for an interview with the Washington Post. When asked about last year’s request by Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann that then-Governor Sebelius not present herself for communion because of her repeated executive actions against human life, Sebelius said:

Well, it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life, and I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state, and I feel that my actions as a parishioner are different than my actions as a public official and that the people who elected me in Kansas had a right to expect me to uphold their rights and their beliefs even if they did not have the same religious beliefs that I had. And that's what I did: I took an oath of office and I have taken an oath of office in this job and will uphold the law.

The claim is outrageous, because Governor Sebelius was not corrected by her bishop for upholding the law of Kansas or the wishes of the electorate. Rather she repeatedly vetoed modest pro-life proposals passed by majorities in Kansas’ elected legislature.

Archbishop Naumann sets the record straight in reply to a query from Lifesite News today:

"Secretary Sebelius misrepresents the issue by her attempt to invoke separation of church and state," wrote Naumann.  "At no time did I ask her not to execute her oath of office. 

"Secretary Sebelius makes it appear that she was asked not to receive Holy Communion because she was the victim of merely upholding the law.  In reality, Secretary Sebelius opposed even such modest restrictions on abortion as parental notification of minors, required waiting periods before an abortion, as well as meaningful regulation of abortion clinics to protect, at least, the mother's health."

Naumann said it was "very painful" to ask Sebelius not to receive Communion.  "However, I had exhausted every reasonable means to convince her to change her position," he said.  "I also had a serious obligation to uphold the integrity of the Eucharist and to protect other Catholics from being misled by the former Governor's support for legalized abortion.

"I continue to pray for Secretary Sebelius that she will accept the grace to acknowledge the grave evil in which she has been involved and will have the courage to take the necessary steps to correct the scandal created by her past actions."

See the full story at Lifesite for all the background.