Kansas City archbishop: “It creates a problem for us as bishops when Catholic politicians do that. They teach our people that it is okay to be Catholic and support legalized abortion”
December 8, 2017
Politicians who “flaunt” being Catholic while asserting that they are also pro-abortion are guilty of “misleading” other Catholics and must be admonished, said U.S. Archbishop Joseph Naumann in a recent interview.
Naumann, who was elected last month by his brother bishops over Cardinal Blase Cupich to be the next head of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life efforts, said that openly pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians are “particularly problematic” for the bishops to deal with.
“We have an obligation to dialogue with that individual as much as possible. We want to presume his or her good will and that he or she is misinformed, and to get him or her to think more carefully and honestly about the issue,” he said in the interview with Catholic World Report.
“Where it is particularly problematic is when we have Catholic politicians who flaunt their Catholicity, but take positions that our inconsistent with our Catholic teaching. This was the case with Kathleen Sebelius, who was our Kansas governor previously. She would talk about how Catholic she was, but act totally contrary to Church teaching. It creates a problem for us as bishops when Catholic politicians do that. They teach our people that it is okay to be Catholic and support legalized abortion,” he added.
Naumann called US Senator and former vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine “another example of a politician who flaunted his Catholic background but spewed a lot of pro-choice rhetoric.”
“When they do this they’re taking on a teaching role and misleading our people,” he said.
Naumann called it “less problematic” for a Catholic politician who is pro-abortion but who does not say his position is in accordance with his Catholic faith.
“We still need to dialogue, but he’s not saying, ‘I’m Catholic and pro-choice and you can be Catholic and pro-choice, too,’” he said.
Naumann, who is the Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas, will take over his duties from Cardinal Dolan as chairman of the USCCB pro-life committee in the coming year.
Archbishop Naumann has been unique among the U.S. Bishops in voicing concern over the international aid organization Catholic Relief Services (CRS) on its funding guidelines after revelations that CRS gives millions of dollars each year to pro-abortion and contraception organizations in developing countries.
Naumann said during the interview that priests must not shy away from giving homilies on the topic of abortion.
Priests must speak about it, he said, because failing to address the truth of the issue is negligence, leaving young Catholics at risk for the tragedy of abortion.