by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City is calling the nomination of Kansas’ Catholic Governor Kathleen Sebelius “troubling on both a personal and policy level.”
In the March 6 edition of The Leaven, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Archbishop Naumann said that while he can understand why President Obama would nominate a “bright and gifted leader” like Kathleen Sebelius to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), her strident pro-abortion views make this appointment particularly troubling.
“The appointment of Governor Sebelius as the secretary of HHS concerns me on many levels,” the Archbishop wrote. “With her history of support for legalized abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, it is troubling the important influence that she will have on shaping health care policies for our nation.
“The secretary for HHS will be a key figure in developing and implementing health care reform for the nation. There are those who have great influence within the Obama administration and with whom Governor Sebelius has been associated throughout her political career (e.g., Planned Parenthood, National Organization for Women, NARAL, etc.), who want abortion not only to be permitted in this country but considered a right.”
If these forces are successful in their efforts to have abortion included among “basic health care services,” then it is entirely possible that doctors, nurses and health care institutions will be compelled to cooperate in the provision of abortion, he said.
“Those advocating for abortion to be considered a ‘right’ would love to see Catholic hospitals faced with the choice to either cooperate in providing abortions or close.”
Archbishop Naumann goes on to cite the long association Gov. Sebelius has had with late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller, which includes receiving large campaign donations from him.
“Kansas has one of the most restrictive laws regarding late-term abortions. Yet, it has become, in large part because of Dr. Tiller, the late-term abortion capital of the Midwest. How is this possible? It is possible because our current laws have not been enforced. Each time the Kansas Legislature has passed statutes in an effort to improve enforcement of late-term abortion restrictions, Governor Sebelius has vetoed these laws.”
In lieu of these associations, and her long pro-abortion history, in May of 2008, Archbishop Naumann asked the governor to stop presenting herself for Communion.
“I did this in the hope that it would motivate Governor Sebelius to reconsider her support for what is an intrinsic evil — the destruction of innocent human life by abortion. I also took this pastoral action to protect others from being misled by the governor’s public support and advocacy for legalized abortion.”
Governor Sebelius ignored the Archbishop’s directives and has reportedly received communion in Kansas churches since that time.
“I am also concerned personally for Governor Sebelius,” the Archbishop wrote. “Her appointment as secretary for HHS places her in a position where she will have to make many decisions that will in all probability continue her personal involvement in promoting legalized abortion and her cooperation in this intrinsic evil.”
He expressed his sorrow that so many Catholic politicians, “to gain political advancement, have chosen to compromise their Catholic faith by their failure to defend the most fundamental of all human rights — the right to life.”
He concluded by calling upon the faithful to pray for Catholics who serve in public life, “that they will have the courage and integrity to be true to the teachings and principles of our faith, no matter the political consequences.”
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