Monday, November 17, 2008

Fellow Priests To Stand By Father Newman
Too bad the same can't be said of the Diocesan Administrator

No comment needed. Some of the article from the Catholic News Agency; (Emphasis mine) Local priests support S.C. pastor in trouble over misreported communion ban

Charleston, Nov 17, 2008 / 01:18 pm (CNA). - Fr. Jay Scott Newman, a South Carolina priest whose parish bulletin letter gained national attention due to an inaccurate Associated Press headline “S.C. Priest: No communion for Obama supporters,” is receiving support from priests in his diocese. The show of priestly support comes after Fr. Newman was criticized by the diocesan administrator for pulling the Church’s teaching into the “partisan political arena.”

Fr. Newman’s letter originally prompted a largely favorable reaction, with parishioners saying by a 9 to 1 margin that they appreciated his column on the election.

In fact, sources close to the matter told CNA that after Fr. Newman published his original column for the parish bulletin and provided responses to The Greenville News for an article on the column, he received a supportive email from the Diocese of Charleston Administrator Monsignor Martin Laughlin. In the email Msgr. Laughlin thanked Fr. Newman for his statement and said, “I wish the bishops would have been as forthright. Why did they not speak before the election?”

However, when the Associated Press picked up the story from The Greenville News, it twisted the facts in its headline, which reads, “S.C. Priest: No Communion for Obama supporters.”

The original article in The Greenville News correctly noted that Fr. Newman said that “church teaching doesn't allow him to refuse Holy Communion to anyone based on political choices, but that he'll continue to deliver the church's strong teaching on the ‘intrinsic and grave evil of abortion’ as a hidden form of murder.”

Following the publication of the AP article this past Friday, Monsignor Laughlin did an about-face and issued a public repudiation of Fr. Newman’s statements based off of the inaccurate headline that accompanied the AP story.

In his statement, Msgr. Laughlin wrote that the Catholic Church’s “clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion” was “pulled into the partisan political arena” by the priest’s letter and that Fr. Newman’s actions have “diverted the focus” from Catholic teaching on abortion and “do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated.”

Since the Diocese of Charleston does not have a bishop, Archbishop Gregory has the final say on diocesan personnel decisions and was likely consulted on the statement repudiating Fr. Newman’s remarks.

In the wake of the statement from the Diocese of Charleston, a group of local priests is organizing a public statement of support for Fr. Newman. The priests’ statement will also criticize the way his words were distorted by the media, CNA has learned.


Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Until the local priests publish their defense of the good Fr. Newman, laymen should continue to leave their own messages of support on his voice mail:


8:54 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

"Archbishop Gregory has the final say on diocesan personnel decisions and was likely consulted on the statement repudiating Fr. Newman’s remarks."
If Atlanta's Archbishop Wilton Gregory was involved, it's no wonder Newman was thrown under the bus.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

According to Sitemeter "Bishop of Charleston" visited my blog on Mon. Judas Laughlin today. Interesting.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Apparently the diocesan spokesman is unaware of the plethora of bishops who have been writing letters about pro-choice politicians lately.

12:22 PM  

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