Denying Communion To Pro-Abortion Catholics: The Hypocrisy Factor
Let’s roll the clock back almost 50 years, to Louisiana where Catholic politicians who were segregationists were disciplined by the church for their opposition to church teaching about racial integration.
Three Louisiana Catholics were well known for their diehard stances against integration. Leander Perez was once a state judge but is best known as the political boss of Plaquemines Parish, an extremely isolated rural area south of New Orleans at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Under Perez’s leadership, many of the black people of Plaquemines lived in a debased state of peonage little better than slavery. In 1960, Perez retired and devoted himself full time to the battle against integration. Perez was joined in the public fight by Una Gaillot, the leader of a militantly segregationist group called Save Our Nation, and Jackson Ricau, who was executive director of the New Orleans Citizens’ Council. All three publicly repudiated the theological arguments behind Rummel’s statements on racial equality and led efforts to encourage other lay Catholics to defy Rummel and to undermine the church.There is more here.
On March 31, 1962, Rummel sent letters to Ricau, Gaillot, and Perez, warning them that their actions were in direct defiance of his authority over Catholic schools and that they were in danger of excommunication. All refused to curtail their activities. On April 16, 1962, the chancellor of the archdiocese, Msgr. Charles J. Plauche, announced that the three had been excommunicated. They were to be denied the sacraments and a Catholic burial, and were forbidden from attending Mass (although they would not be physically ejected if they did so). The Vatican later commended Rummel for his courage in the face of entrenched American racism.
So, did the Church violate the “separation of church and state” here?
Did in interfere with “freedom of conscience” here?
The average liberal Catholic will say “but that was segregation, and that was bad.”
But of course, for the Church abortion is bad. Indeed, segregated black people are at least alive, while abortion kills babies, and disproportionately black babies.
Quite simply, it depends on whose ox is gored. Liberal Catholics are quite happy to see the Church enforce, with excommunication if necessary, positions that they agree with.