The Catholic Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina has repudiated the actions of Father Jay Scott Newman who told his parishioners that anyone who voted for Barack Obama should confess and do penance before receiving communion. So that there is no mistake, the Diocese released both a statement and a video denouncing the actions by Rev. Newman.
Monsignor Martin T. Laughlin, Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, issued a statement that says in part:
This past week, the Catholic Church’s clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion has been pulled into the partisan political arena. The recent comments of Father Jay Scott Newman … have diverted the focus from the Church’s clear position against abortion…. [L]et me state with clarity that Father Newman’s statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated….
Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion…. We should all come together to support the President-elect and all elected officials with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child.
It is not clear what penance will be required from Rev. Newman, but it is clear that tickets to the inauguration are out of the question at this point.
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