Newman in the Lion’s Den

Last week, we at St. Mary’s Church in Greenville, South Carolina, found ourselves in the midst of a perfect media storm. The Sunday after the election, Rev. Jay Scott Newman, the parish rector (I serve as a weekend assistant), published his usual column for the parish bulletin, in which he commented on the election of Barack Obama.
Offering patriotic support and prayers for the president-elect, but also lamenting his radical pro-abortion policy, Father Newman told his parishioners:"Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law." He concluded that, if they voted for Obama, they ought to go to confession before coming to Communion.
Perhaps Father Newman’s statement could have been more nuanced. He could have clarified the matter by adding that, for it to be a serious sin, the Catholic needed to be fully knowledgeable about the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion and Senator Obama’s voting record on the issue. However, this was not a pontifical statement written for the instruction of all Catholics in America; it was a bulletin column in a parish where there has been steady and consistent catechesis on the whole range of Catholic issues, including abortion.
By Monday, the local newspaper picked up the story. Father Newman was careful to ask for written questions and gave written replies, making it very clear that he could not and would not deny Communion to anyone. Nevertheless, by Wednesday the Associated Press ran the story with the headline, "SC priest: No Communion for Obama supporters." Most of the major news outlets picked up the story, and the parish was swamped with responses from across America. In the face of these distortions, Father Newman produced two documents that clarified matters.
By Friday, the Diocese of Charleston issued a statement that was taken badly by supporters of Father Newman, and over the weekend rumors ran riot about protests planned for our parish by busloads of Obama supporters. When the parish Web site crashed due to the number of visitors, parishioners concluded that the diocese had gagged Father Newman and pulled the plug on his site. (Coincidentally, my own Web site was down for servicing on the same Saturday, and before long whispers went around that I had also been gagged by the diocese and had my site pulled. None of it was true.)
What is true is that Father Newman received more than 5,000 e-mails within a few days. When the parish webmaster finally removed Father Newman’s e-mail address from the Web site for his own protection and peace, e-mailers contacted me instead. I received nearly 500 replies. What interests me about the feedback from the fracas is what it says about American Catholics and American culture generally.
The mail we received can be put into four categories: Loyal, Lame, Defiant, and Demonic.
Addressing the worst first: A small number of e-mails were spitting with irrational rage, profanity, and vulgarity. We were called pedophiles, rapists, and insane perverts. Some went on to blaspheme in the most extreme terms against the Holy Father, the Blessed Virgin, and anything sacred they could think of. These e-mails were so brimming with brimstone that they were obviously from a demented or demonized person. These I deleted with a prayer for protection and deliverance.
Those e-mails I classified as "defiant" were angry and vociferous. We were idiots and bigots. Didn’t we know it was priests like us who drive people away from the Church? The writers rarely defended Obama but usually attacked Bush and McCain, assuming that Father Newman and I are ardent Republicans. The usual theme was that poverty and war were as bad as abortion, and why did we never discuss these other matters? The Catholic Church was attacked and smeared, and in most cases the writer finally revealed that he was a lapsed Catholic.
The third category I call "lame." These e-mails had little to do with Father Newman’s original bulletin column, but were simply emotional responses to the misleading AP headline. They were mostly sentimental, uninformed, and rambling. Some accused us of being nasty, judgmental, and intolerant. Others accused us of hating animals and the environment and not believing in global warming. And still others worried that we were fomenting racial hatred and hoped we would mend our ways. They were mostly from souls with a particular agenda who would direct their sad anger and fear toward anyone who grabbed their attention in a news headline.
The fourth category of e-mail was from loyal supporters. Heartening e-mails from all around the country poured in expressing solidarity, support, and sympathy. Converts told how priests like Father Newman and me gave them hope and drew them to the Catholic Faith. College students and old people wrote saying that they were encouraged in their faith and were determined to renew their pro-life fight because of Father Newman’s letter. Priests and religious wrote thanking us for our stand and telling us to fight the good fight. Loyal, informed, and dedicated Catholics wrote simply to express their thanks and goodwill.
The thousands of e-mails we received reveal four American responses to full-fledged, red-blooded Catholicism.
The demonic were understandable: The devil will be a gentle dog as long as you feed him, but if you kick him, he bites back. The lame are those who are largely ignorant of the Catholic Faith, and can best be helped with prayer.
But the "defiant" category makes up the largest number of our respondents, and is the saddest category of all. Statistics show us that these are the Catholics who sealed Obama’s victory. They are people who were poorly catechized over the last 40 years in America. They have been nurtured in the Protest Generation and told that it is fine, even noble, to disagree with the Church. They have been taught to act according to their conscience without taking the trouble or time to inform it.
Caught up in the trendy agendas of the day, they have jumped on the bandwagons of feminism, environmentalism, homosexualism, socialism, and sentimentalism — mistaking their favorite cause for the Catholic Faith. When they are confronted with clear, concise, and consistent Catholicism they are shocked and angry, and their response is (if they haven’t done so already) to leave the Church, preferring their own wisdom to the wisdom of God.
In the next 20 years, this sort of Catholic will become extinct. As America descends further into decadence and decline, the lines will be drawn between the forces of darkness and the forces of light. People will have to choose whether to serve God and His Church or the dark side. Catholics will have to choose to be fully committed or not. If they choose to be Catholic, let them be informed and involved and integrated. If they choose to leave the Church, then they should be honest and stop referring to themselves as Catholic.
If those in my "defiant" category are Catholics at all, then what kind of Catholics are they? We have heard the terms "cultural Catholic" and "cafeteria Catholic," but they might as well be called "chameleon Catholics" — not only because they change color with every new trend of thought, but because there is something reptilian about them.

Rev. Dwight Longenecker is chaplain of St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina. Visit his Web site at

Rev. Dwight Longenecker


Rev. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, South Carolina. His latest book is The Romance of Religion published by Thomas Nelson. Check out his website and blog at

  • charbel

    Rev. Dwight Longenecker, keep up the good fight. It’s good to see that you are not afraid to express your views and defend the church without having to be politically correct and appease others. Keep up the good work and God bless

  • JDCand

    Excellent column, Father!

    A question:

    He could have clarified the matter by adding that, for it to be a serious sin, the Catholic needed to be fully knowledgeable about the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion and Senator Obama’s voting record on the issue.

    Isn’t also the case that one can be virtue of serious sin when there is a case of grave, culpable ignorance? If one is gravely culpable of his ignorance that an act is a mortal sin, doesn’t he sin mortally when he commits it?

    Thanks again!

  • Deacon Ed

    I find it impossible to believe that any Catholic with an IQ of over 90 and who has not been in a deep coma for the past 30 years would not know the Church’s teaching on abortion and its sinfulness. I am one to give people a pass when it’s warranted but in this matter, I think it’s one more instance of winking at evil.

    These defiant Catholics want their cake and eat it too. I have only one thing to say to Catholics who practice contraception, support political candidates who make abortion possible, divorce and re-marry, have sex with people they’re not married to and such other objectionable moral behaviors: God will not be mocked.

    Thank God for Fr. Newman. One last thing…only one disciple stayed with the Lord to the bitter end. He was called “Beloved”

  • Sue

    Didn’t Father Newman say his letter had been “hasty” and didn’t he say he regretted publishing it? So why the extended treatment here?

  • Deal Hudson

    I haven’t made any comment on the ruckus until now, because I knew there was more to the story than was being reported in the media, and no one should be surprised that the AP would be the primary culprit in twisting the facts.

    I knew Fr. Newman back when, and know him to be very articulate, intelligent, and a great priest. His only mistake, in my opinion, was not realizing that his message in the church bulletin would take about a nano-second to make it into the national headlines, and from there nothing could control the spin.

    I appreciate knowing the real story of what happened in South Carolina, and sorry for all the heartburn this must have caused, but I’m also glad the so many more people know about Fr. Jay Scott Newman who is one of the finest priests I have ever known.

  • Rick

    One of the silliest things about the whole bulletin controversy was that Fr. Newman should have known that South Carolina gave its electoral votes to McCain. Thus, it did not really matter that any of his congregation voted for Obama. SC chose McCain.

    The Catholics in PA, Ohio, and other states in the midwest were the ones that elected Obama.

  • Rick
  • Dal

    I believe Father Newman sincerely meant what he said. And I totally agree with what he said. He said that he would not deny Holy Communion to any parishioner but he suggested anyone who voted for pro-abortion candidate should go to Confession first before receiving Communion. Why? Because they have committed a grave sin by being an accomplice or condoning in killing innocent unborns. They could agonize much over the matter before they casted vote as they wanted, but that was not a good excuse after the available modern technology allowed them to witness the embroyic life inside the womb, especialy after they were taught by the Church. After all, all souls who were condemned to hell had distorted conscience. Thus, conscience is not excuse for sinning but more accurately, having conscience is a reason for the final judgment.

    So if one committed a grave sin, one should go to cleanse one’s soul before he receives the Body and Blood of Christ again. Failing doing so is sacrilege or desecrating the Holy Ones. And the punishment for this act is eternal death according to St. Paul’s epistle.

  • Dal

    Dearest Mother,
    Please forgive me for my monstrous abominations I have committed in giving no or insufficient reverence to our priests who are the anointed representatives and ministers of Jesus our Lord on earth. May I learn to treat all priests of the Most High with utmost holy reverence, human esteem and respect. May I support them and their ministry by my affection and prayers. I pray that their holy poverty and heaven-minded life and conduct will be the sources of inspiration to all Christians. I pray that all worldly riches will have no hold on their opinions and disposition, and most of all, on their spiritual dignity which is ordained by God Himself. May I serve them whenever being called as my true masters. I will try, Mother, to make up for our faults as far as possible to restore the dignity of the priesthood. I will adore the hands which consecrate the common bread and wine, which elevate the Precious Body and Blood of our Redeemer. May I always remember your words,

  • Adriana

    You notice that Father Newman himself qualifies the vote by implying a “plausible” alternative.

    Since he does not define “plausible” then his parishioners were free whether McCain was nor not “plausible”, and many of them decided that the man described as the continuation of the catastrophic Presidency of Bush was not plausible by any means.

    If Father Newman wanted his parishioners to be repentant, he should not have included that escape clause.

  • Kathy

    Count me as one of Fr. Newman’s faithful supporters, and was among those who contacted him expressing prayerful support and gratitude. I must admit though, that I was somewhat disappointed by Fr. Newman’s apology. Please understand, there are thousand of hungry Catholics out here, just waiting for our priests and bishops to take up the gauntlet and fight the culture of death with zeal and courage. I cannot tell you how many wishy-washy, mamby-pamby PC homilies I’ve endured, here in North Carolina, since coming here in August, as well as in my home parish on Long Island. The good priests and bishops who had courage in speaking the truth of the sin or abortion were usually quickly relocated, or they suddenly toned down their homilies. We need our priests and bishops to speak without fear. I don’t care what people think of me….I will not soft-pedal my passionate feelings on this subject. I say to those priests and bishops who possess a correctly formed Catholics conscience, to speak with courage….you aren’t out there to win a popularity contest, but to help us to preserve our immortal souls. I say to all faithful Catholics, pray, pray, pray for our priests and bishops, and for our Church.

  • Diane Kamer

    A prominent pro-life advocate here in the Charlotte (NC) Diocese once told me that, if you want to see spiritual warfare erupt with unprecedented violence, work in the pro-life movement.

    Apparently even speaking out for life and the unborn has the same effect.

    My prayers are with the wonderful priests of Saint Mary’s. May their courageous stance for Truth and for the unborn be vindicated. May the Catholic hierarchy support them, and may hearts and minds be changed because of their brave witness.

    God bless Fathers Newman and Longenecker!


  • R. A.

    For 40 years, since the issuance of Humanae Vitae – Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Paul VI on the regulation of birth, 25 July 1968, the Catholic Church in this country has been silent on the evil of contraception, the mother of the child called abortion, aka murder in the womb. For 40 years, those charged with the grave responsibility to pastor and shepherd His flock have ignored the reality of that prophetic document. NOW, we come out guns blaring. NOW, we denounce the evil offspring of abortion, but say nothing about the root of the evil, contraception. If our priests and bishops would come out with clear teaching on the evil of contraception, we would never have to address the abortion issue. Instead, the theologians of the late 60’s and 70’s have born great fruit in forming priests and bishops who declare the right of conscience on matters of married conjugal love. Although I appreciate the good Father’s comments and his stand today, I would suggest that he start preaching tomorrow from Humanae Vitae. I can hear the objections already, but better you speak the truth now, though the hour is late, than not at all.

    Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for our church, our country and our families.

  • Francis Wippel

    Thanks, Fr. Longenecker, for posting this.

    I live in upstate SC, and watched this play out over the last couple of weeks. I was very pleased to see Fr. Newman speak up about this to his parishioners, and he took the heat from the press with class. He obviously takes his role as a shepherd of his parish seriously. I only wish more priests had his courage. His message in the bulletin was not written out of anything other than great care and concern for the souls of his flock.

    While I live in a neighboring town, and do not belong to St. Mary

  • Harry

    Could this controversy be more a fear of the Church losing it’s 501c(3) status? Maybe it would be better to ‘pay Caesar’ (as Jesus said) than have our mouths sewn shut.

  • Victoria

    Thank God we have priests like Fr. Newman and Fr. Longenecker. Thanks to both of you for teaching the Catholic faith in its entirety, without apologies or edits. The last generation of Catholics were very poorly catechized. I was one of those badly catechized Catholics. When I started college I stopped going to mass. I thought I was too smart and sophisticated to be told what to do or how to think. However, I had tremedous respect for John Paul II because he always taught the Church’s teaching and explained why it taught that way. After seven years of wandering in a moral desert, my personal life was a disaster. After having an abortion, I decided enough was enough. I’d lived my life completely on my terms and had made a mess of it. I decided I’d try the Church’s way again. I went to confession and thus began a 20-year long love affair with Jesus and his Bride. I got my hands on every book I could find that explained the teachings of the Church and was amazed at what I read. I had never learned this stuff before; I guess we were too busy singing “Kumbaya”! Sarcasm aside, when I see priests like you guys, I’m encouraged. I’m never leaving the Church again, I’m involved in the pro-life movement, and I’m in it all the way, to the cross even. God bless you both.

  • Monica

    I also live here in the Greenville, SC area and went to St. Mary’s Church last weekend to pray for Father Newman with his parishioners.

    Father Newman had been shepherding his flock with the TRUTH at St. Mary’s Church weeks, if not months, before the election. Their consciences had been well-formed, and therefore, they are accountable. As for the mainstream media getting hold of his letter and putting it forth as though he were speaking to all Obama voters, was inappropriate. But no surprise there.

    However, I still believe in my heart that God won’t accept the weak argument from Obama Catholics or any Obama voter for that matter, that the Iraq war, the economy, global warming (note well – it’s freezing down here today!), was more important than the lives of 50,000,000 babies murdered in the USA. Did not God put His Law on every heart? Just my opinion, but I feel very strongly about it.

    Please read Father Euteneur’s Part I Election: “We Have No King But Caesar” – it’s very sobering.

    God bless.

  • PJC

    I am pleased to have the opportunity to attend St. Mary’s in Greenville when I visit. He is an orthodix priest. Fr. Newman is not someone who goes out of his way to offend people just for the sake of doing so. He truly wants to see Catholics reach heaven.

    In a time when a lot of Catholics care more about their IRA performance rather than their spiritual performance, the job of a pastor is to shephard and correct misunderstandings. Even though SC voted for McCain and the majority of Catholics in SC did so, the fact remains that Pres.-elect Obama is so counter to the one major fundamental life issue that he needed to make mention of the “cooperation of evil” aspect because Catholics already waiver on the issue due to lack of leadership in the Church (apart from the few strong souls that spoke up before and people like Fr. Newman). I think we can all name a few people who call themselves Catholic that voted for Mr. Obama without even considering the life issues justifying their vote becauyse he has a good healthcare plan. Abortion somehow did not even enter the spectrum of issues to use when rating a candidate.

    I applaud Fr. Newman for doing what he did and taking the heat for it.

    Thanks you Fr. Newman.

  • Lorraine

    Catholics will have to choose to be fully committed or not. If they choose to be Catholic, let them be informed and involved and integrated. If they choose to leave the Church, then they should be honest and stop referring to themselves as Catholic.”

    Amen to that!!! Pope Bendict XVI has worked vigorously as a priest and cardinal and now as the Vicar of Christ on earth to rid the Church of dissent and liturgical abuse and has said that the Church may be a smaller Church in the future but a more pure, holier Church – a real Catholic Church. He said this in an interview he had with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN when he was Cardianl Ratzinger… and I’m quite sure it is in the Ratzinger Report as well.

    I am SO tired of people claiming to be Catholic when they are so far from being Catholic! And of course they are the ones who get all the media coverage. Did you read the article about Maria Shriver being proud to say she is a “cafeteria Catholic”. And of course she is pro-death!

    Let them leave – forget their collection envelopes – they are causing more pain by carrying on this facade!!!! I truly believe that the Culture of Death is being more propogated from within the Church than from without! Satan has entered and is trying to destroy Her (and our culture as a result) from within…

    Let’s face it, there is no such thing as a “cafeteria Catholic” – they are either heretics, apostates, schismatics but they are not Catholic. So they should get themselves right – go to Confession – humble yourselves before the teachings of the Church for they are “Christ’s teachings and NOT man’s! Or please just leave!

    Please think of Jesus’ Heart when He is being received by so may souls in mortal sin… And they could care less…

  • nobody

    If my current employment scenario ever changes, I’ll consider moving to Greenville, South Carolina. I want to be close to people like Rev. Dwight Longenecker and Rev. Jay Scott Newman.

  • Monica

    Hey “Nobody”, y’all come down soon! We would love to welcome more faithful Catholics like you! God bless.

  • Donato Infante III

    If those in my “defiant” category are Catholics at all, then what kind of Catholics are they?

    How about calling them Catholics struggling with their faith?

  • James Pawlak

    As both Natural Law and the Civil Law allow for the use of deadly force to protect the innocent against deadly attacks, is there any moral or legal bar to stop a rational person from using such force to terminate abortionists?

  • Ann

    Thank you Fr. Longenecker for writing your upclose account. And thank you to Mr. Hudson for publishing it.

    I was sickened by this story, just sickened, and I knew there was more to it, more than the AP was reporting.

    I made the mistake of checking out some liberal blogs reaction over the weekend, it was literally a stomach-churning experience.

    This story is also a very interesting tale of how people react when someone of authority dares to tell them that they might be wrong.

  • Ann

    I couldn’t agree more Lorraine. It’s going to take courage by the church’s leaders to to gently guide these Cafeteria Catholics towards the door. It will require letting their money go, and yes, it will require letting go of some political power as well.

  • Steve

    Of greatest concern in this episode is the appearance that the local authority, an acting admin admonished this fine priest for taking a stand for Church teaching. Division with the world is to be expected but division inside the Church is most troubling.

  • EM

    One of the silliest things about the whole bulletin controversy was that Fr. Newman should have known that South Carolina gave its electoral votes to McCain. Thus, it did not really matter that any of his congregation voted for Obama.

    It matters as pertains to committing sin and their eternal salvation.

  • Rose

    Thank you so much for the wonderful article and all the very articulate comments.
    This gives me hope for the future of our Church, for indeed, there are many well-catechized Catholics who are willing to defend the faith. We must be each other’s strength.
    When I read the comments by Maria Shriver, I felt disappointed, but then heartened that at least she prays. Through prayer our hearts are enlightened and I hope that is what happens for Maria and her husband, who is obviously a cafeteria Catholic as well.
    I am so grateful for our many holy priests who fight the difficult fight every day and share God’s love by their incredible service.
    Let us pray for an increase in conversions and vocations.

  • Nancy

    I am so greatful for dedicated priests like you two. It is time that our faithful stood up for what is right not what is popular.

    We need to stop worshing money and material things and relearn to worship God and Jesus. We need to pray for our dedicated priests and bishops. And we need to remember that the mainstream media has nothing but loathing for our Church and our beliefs.

  • Mechele Pron

    I agree with you & support you & your church. We were so happy to hear what needs to be said versus what people want to hear. A wonderful priest that I knew would tell parishoners that just because you don’t want to hear that you did something wrong, doesn’t make it right. He also said that he had to speak the truth because God would not let him into Heaven if he led others astray. Hearing that we have done something wrong is never easy even if we did it in ignorance of the sin. But, that is why Jesus gave us Penance. He loves all & forgives all who are truly sorry. We have to get back to the basics of our faith & start defending it instead of compromising it. It is wrong to white-wash it to appeal to the masses. That being said, so many people miss out on Penance. We are only human and are prone to sin. If the Church points out sin, it is not being evil, it is trying to save those it cares for. It is filled with love, guidance & forgiveness. Looking in the mirror as a parishoner may not be easy, but it is the only way you can grow as a child of God. The devil has made his way into every aspect of our lives because we were not deligent in teaching our faith to our children. It is a lesson from the Old Testament. Teach your children about their faith, or we will reap what we sow.

  • Palmetto Papist

    I am member of St. Mary’s parish and have learned at least one thing from this incident: it’s hazardous to speak about that which we do not know! Many commenters, even well-wishers, did not know that we are without a bishop in this diocese. Others thought that Fr. Newman was insulting Barack Obama by including his middle name. Some thought that Fr. Newman’s bulletin was meant for them, though they live elsewhere and aren’t even Catholic. The fact is, anyone at St. Mary’s who has paid any attention to Fr. Newman, knew exactly what he meant in the bulletin, and his clarification only confirmed our understanding. Even if Fr. Newman made the mistake of making this statement public, given that anything we say now is or can be made public, I think we can’t let that stop us from having personal conversations or speaking to a particular group of people, even if we must do so bluntly.

    The other thing I learned was the difference between moral courage and cowardice.

  • Isabelle

    Seems there was a political motive to the silencing of Fr. Newman. As Jesus said, “You can’t serve God and Mammon.”

    Memorandum Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:42 AM

    Subject: The Political Season in English & Spanish

    FAX-EMAIL MEMORANDUM (English & Spanish)

    TO: All Priests

    FROM: Rev. Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin, P.A.

    RE: The Political Season

    DATE: October 16, 2008

    As a sequel to my Memorandum of October 6, 2008, on the need to reserve the pulpit for the teachings of Christ

  • JM

    I join in the many who stand by you, Father, and with Fr. Newman. We must speak up when evil stands before us, even if those to whom we speak are not willing to listen. But then they can’t say that they were not warned. Thank you, Father.

  • George Kadlec

    Some Chesterton quotes:

    “I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.”

    “Only a live fish can swim against the current, the dead go with it”

    Is one religion as good as another? Is one horse in the Derby as good as another?

    “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

  • yet another guitarist

    Gentlemen: Okay, for starters the going to confession about voting for Barack is a wonderful idea… having said that, has anyone of you taken the time to READ Barack Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope”? Perhaps it would surprise you to learn that President-Elect Obama has confronted this issue before, and that he and the First Lady to-be are NOT Pro-Abortion. There also is no mention in the Constitution of The United States, or the first ten Constitutional amendments, of a “wall of separation between Church and State” …that, I think, is from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. …look, it would be great if everyone went to Communion all the time. If you feel strongly that President-Elect Obama should take some action toward changing existing legislation and moving it toward Pro-Life views, then why not write him a letter directly? With due respect, I urge you to submit to the authority of the Pope in this matter. Also w/respect, Father Dwight, you’re evidently not a Franciscan Friar, and correct me if I am wrong… it seems to me that you have said that “over the next twenty years” the United States is basically going down the tubes???!!! …is this because the United States Catholics and Non-catholics have elected an African-American, baptized, non-Catholic CHRISTIAN who does not believe in the pro-abortion agenda…? Again, Correct me if I’m wrong…wasn’t the Invasion of Iraq delared to be unjust by Pope John Paul II? and if so, what does this say about the Republican Party’s overall agenda? The Republican Party has made no move to change the Pro-Abortion laws whatsoever. Yes, I agree that everyone should go to confession as often as possible; at least twice a year, or better, once a week maybe; but your views imply that anyone who voted for John McCain does NOT ever have to go to confession!!! …and frankly, McCain expressed no desire to change any of the existing law. McCain’s views on changing the existing law and Obama’s views on changing the existing law are evidently identical. This doesn’t excuse what I did, I suppose: I voted for Obama, and I am definitely not pro-abortion. If every Pro-Lifer in the country would write the President-elect a letter, ( a personal letter, not an email )…then I promise you he would pay attention to this.

  • Paul Abbe

    Just thought you’d be interested in this… I looked up the term “cafeteria Catholic” in my dictionary, and it said, “oxymoron;(see ‘Protestant’)”.

    I was a Lutheran pastor for almost 14 years, so I believe I have the right to say, “If you want to be a ‘cafeteria Catholic’, fine — the line forms over there, BEHIND LUTHER.”

    In the meantime, “St. Michael, the archangel, DEFEND US IN BATTLE…”

    Please assure Fr. Newman of the intercessions of Our Lady of Victory, which have been requested on his behalf.

    Paul Abbe
    Spiritus Gladius Ministries

  • Dave

    It is time for the Church to shake off the dead wood. Enough of keeping things toned down to reduce strife. If these people are choosing to act this way, namely the demonic and defiant ones, they are not a part of the Catholic Church and we should stop continuing the illusion that they are. We are coming to a time when everyone needs to choose the side they will fight for. The stubbornly obstinate might as well go to the Episcopal Church, since they go with the political winds anyway.

  • Chris

    Oh Isabelle…you must be one of those Defiant Catholics spoken of in the article. I encourage you to read over your comment…I mean really read it. What you are saying is that the Church should throw out their moral teachings, or at least significantly curb them, to keep within an IRS law?

    Good luck with that argument when meeting our Creator! Let us know how that goes.

  • maggie

    I, too am disappointed for Fr. Newman’s apology; he is a courageous priest! What he said was the truth and in today’s climate the truth is anathema . . .

    I e-mailed Fr. Newman immediately – what a breath of fresh air: a priest willing to stand up in the face of evil!

    God bless you Fr. Newman and bless you Fr. Longenecker for writing this excellent column – stand tall and keep the greatest weapon known to the human close at hand – The Rosary.

  • Trish

    Dear Fr. Dwight,

    Some of us oppose abortion with all our hearts, minds and souls, yet supported Barack Obama for President, not because we were angry, lame or demonic, but because we sincerely believe that by tackling some of the social inequalities that lead a woman to believe she “needs” an abortion, we can make a real difference. Most of us are not cafeteria Catholics, or occasional Catholics, but are practicing, devout Catholics who struggle every day to try and follow Jesus, mindful that not one of us, regardless of how we voted, is fit to receive the Body and Blood of our Savior.

  • Isabelle

    The memorandum to all the priests was sent out by the Diocese. I think you misunderstood.

    The Bishops have been serving Mammon and not God since the late 1970’s when they chose to drop all efforts to pass a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution because the Government suddenly began pouring money into Catholic Charities (2 billion dollars) and Catholic Colleges and Universities. They sold out the children, the Faith and Jesus Christ for silver and gold.

    The memorandum to the Priests of the Dioces of Charleston is probably similiar to memorandums going out all over the country to silence the gospel of Life and good priests who will to guide souls in holiness.

    Please reconsider and read the memorandum again and understand that Fr. Newman got a copy of this from Msgr. Laughlin but chose not to compromise our Faith even for the Almighty dollar and the Politically correct religious ideology so adored by the unfaithful Episcopal left.

    Certainly the Apostles would not have compromized the Gospel for a tax exempt status. If that is what has so many priests and Bishops in fear, I say renounce the status and let us live our Faith in Courage and in union with the Saints and Martyrs before us.

    Again, Here is the memorandum Fr. Newman received:

    Memorandum Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:42 AM
    Subject: The Political Season in English & Spanish
    FAX-EMAIL MEMORANDUM (English & Spanish)

    TO: All Priests

    FROM: Rev. Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin, P.A.

    RE: The Political Season

    DATE: October 16, 2008

    As a sequel to my Memorandum of October 6, 2008, on the need to reserve the pulpit for the teachings of Christ

  • Gene Zurlo

    Father Newman takes seriously his responsibilities to shepherd souls and to bring people to holiness. Would that all of our priests and bishops do the same. Unfortunately, too many of them lack the faithfulness, wisdom, holiness and courage exhibited by Fr Newman.

    Too many bishops and priests evade their responsibilities by listening to misguided lawyers who wrongly advise them that teaching the faith will imperil tax exemptions. Bishops need to remember that they wear red as a sign of possible martyrdom. Unfortunately, some of them fear criticism, let alone death.

    Let us pray for priests and bishops who are faithful, wise, holy, and COURAGEOUS and God Bless Fr Newman and Fr Longenecker.

    Gene Zurlo, KCHS

  • Judy

    I agree with Father Longenecker and Father Newman for speaking openly about what it really means to be Catholic. I have seen so many people who claim to be Catholic and yet have not voted the way that a Catholic should in regards to moral issues of today. I have even had a few Catholic family members who have voted for Obama, based on more than the abortion issue. I have had the discussion with them about why I thought voting for a pro-death (for that is what abortion really is) candidate. I cannot change how they voted, but pray that God gives them the grace to truly understand their mistake and make amends for it before it would be too late. I think ultimately, Father Newman was saying that you should ask God for forgiveness for voting against the principles of what the Catholic faith teaches.

    And in response to Rick, I live in Pennsylvania and I did not vote for Obama.

  • Hayden

    The current administration has done some things to curb abortions. 1) Appointing pro life judges which when enough are on the Supreme Court will overturn Roe vs. Wade; 2) ended partial birth abortions; 3) blocked funding for embryonic stem cell research. President elect Obama is a cosponsor in the Senate with Barbara Boxer for the FOCA bill which is the most pro abortion law ever written.

  • A Catholic transplant

    It seems apparent that posters and pundits are polarizing into two camps, Fr was absolutely right or the diocese was fully justified. Neither is accurate.

    Father Newman was right in addressing the issue. His treatment was simply incomplete and open to misinterpretation.

    The Administrator did have a need to clarify what was said, but muffed it big time.

    Fr Newman should have been more thorough in this age of worlwide communications.

    The Administrator should have used the opportunity of all the press coverage to clarify the teachings of the Church rather than throw a good priest under the bus for the sake of tax status.

    Next time throw the lawyer under the bus;-)

  • just a mom

    I’m wondering… no one talks much about “sin of omission” anymore, if I understand it right…if you don’t speak up or when you see/hear things happening/not happening that should/should not be happening, it is sin of omission. Then the punishment do to those sins now becomes yours too. (?)
    So with that in mind, when we go to vote, and knowingly vote for a person of pro-choice, are we now taking those sins that he (& we) are allowing to happen, by our vote, down on us. Because we could have spoke up at the poles by our vote. When Jesus talks to visionaries and what not, he says that their blood (aborted babies)will be on us all. Does he mean just that???? Because we didn’t speak up with our vote? Those sins will now be on us all and we will all have to pay for it? Unfortunatly the innocent have to suffer along with the guilty, like it is in all things… Think… if you are pro-choice, how many lifes YOU”VE touched, and how many of us ere ment to be touched by some of those helpless children, why are the children always the ones that suffer for our adult stupidity is our pocketbook more important? Remember how Jesus came to us. Pray for the conversion on Obama & his family.

  • Chris

    Yes, I misundestood the letter to be yours. My sincere apologies. We are in complete agreement.

    I guess what this all proves is that no one ever said it would be easy to be Catholic. It’s not about the easy way out, it’s about the truth.

    The Church’s teachings about abortion and any support, direct or indirect, thereof is quite clear. It is so very clear in fact that it does amaze me there is so much debate.

    If we had a candidate for President that was all for bringing back slavery…or for euthanizing our senior citizens, I don’t think there would be even one person in this blog saying it would be OK to vote for that person, religion or not. At the core of this issue is the sad fact that we don’t all think of the unborn as being human beings who have an unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we did, we would not be having this debate. I think that is what we really need to realize and try to rationalize – if we can.

    God Bless.

  • Dal

    The only explanations for our pastors, bishops, and priests are mostly silent and timid in defending the Truth are the lack of courage or the fear of losing tax-exempt status. For the first reason, we the faithful have to pray harder for our priests to be courageous like Fr. Newman; for the second reason, our religious leaders just heed the command of the Lord Jesus: ” Give to Ceasar what belong to Ceasar, give to God what belongs to God.”

    If the Catholic churches lose their tax-exempt status, they might get tax credit from IRS anyway because their budgets are often on the deficit.

  • Terry Buckley

    We to, here in New Zealand have just had an election, one I did not vote in. In my opinion our leadership is leading this nation on the road to Hell. I have and will continue to pray with others here for our nation.

    In the bible God says ” if my people will repent and turn away from their sinfulness I will cleans the land ”
    I wish that our Church leaders here would be more like Fr longnecker and Fr Newman and yet I know that our prayers here will be answered and through suffering my nation will be cleansed and will to put Christ back into the center of the nation and in our individual hearts.

  • Brother Andr

    Dear Father,

    Thank you for manly and priestly words. It is an edification to the faithful to hear some real plain talk. God bless you in your work.

  • Elaine Knecht

    Read Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson. Way back in 1907 Msgr. Benson, himslef a convert, wrote this prescient novel, outlining just what Father said: …descends further into decadence and decline, the lines will be drawn between the forces of darkness and the forces of light. People will have to choose whether to serve God and His Church or the dark side. Catholics will have to choose to be fully committed or not. If they choose to be Catholic, let them be informed and involved and integrated. If they choose to leave the Church, then they should be honest and stop referring to themselves as Catholic.

  • Joe

    May God abundantlly bless both Fr. Newman & Fr. Longenecker. There are eleventy zillion Catholics out there who may not have the informational resources to communicate their good wishes and prayers in this matter, but they are out there.

    I’ll offer my Angelus for both of you.



  • Charlene

    Many of us who have not been able to contact this wonderful brave priest are forever grateful for his courage and humility.

    As one minister in New Mexico said during the election I would rather lose my 501 than my soul.

    Last I check Jesus didn’t die to protect the Irs 501 but to set us free. Perhaps some or our leaders in the Catholic Church in America have forgotten this.

  • teresaofavila

    Indeed this whole issue of abortion has opened a door for discussion. However,why can’t we discuss and not argue and ridicule and why must we make everything into a phanatical abhorrence? LIFE is to be cherished at every moment,it is a gift from our CREATOR whose Son died for us…this is our belief as Christians. His act was one of unconditional LOVE.

    We must not forget to respect life even as we disagree with each other…..we need to have a dignified conversation.
    Some us have been blessed with having had the formation of a good conscience because we grew up in a home with parents who formed that for us,and even so went to good Chrisitian or other religious schools where that was worked upon.
    However,we must not be so judgemental and a little narrow minded,if I may say,to have the opinion that we can force this upon all people. They have the right to be wrong.

    The election afforded each citizen of voting age to make a statement as best as they saw fit. Our country has been brought to a disappointing consideration based on rash and poor judgements made by the administration of the past 8 years.
    The God that I worship and fear is not a God of fire and brimstone,but a God of Mercy and compassion. Who is any one to condemn another to hell because they voted according to what they perceived as being necessary.

    Where is our trust in prayer gone to? Senator Obama is not even the president as yet and abortions have been done over the course of our history at a disturbing rate. Yes,indeed he and his cohorts have a plan in place,or rather have stated that they would offer such a plan. Couldn’tthis have been mere political jargon? Hold your horses and resort to the RESURRECTION HOPE of our faith! Remember that OUR GOD REIGNS….be still and know that HE is GOD!

    Some of us must be careful to examine our inner selves and think why we are really so against Senator Obama….it may have nothing to do with pro-life,but may be a distress and reservation uttered using a matter of contradication to our faith,which essentially is a mistrust for a man of color,an anxiety for freedeoms of practising our faith being removed from us etc etc etc. But this was the way that some of us could manifest our distresses by vociferously moving along wiht the pro-life bandwagon.

    Stop the INQUISITION. It is unnecesssary! Love God and man,and trust the Lord Our God. We have the power of prayer and the power of action,done in the way of love and peace. We do not need another war!
    Some of us voted for Senator Obama not for his stance on abortion,but for the fact that he has many other assets that would help to bring this land back to a more stable democracy.
    We pray that there is a conversion of heart and a change of conscience towards the issues of life both in the sanctity of marriage and in the area of abortion,for the elected govt.


  • Philip Saenz

    Father Longenecker, I’m proud of you. Never surrender even though it might seem you are outnumbered. Stay the course like a good soldier, and you’ll see that your army in heaven will come to your rescue.
    Not so many years ago, I and a small army conquered a huge Satanic Cult, 6,000, in Central America, that was preying on little children everyday. We never surrendered despite the fact we were vastly outnumbered. We won but it was because God, the Blessed Virgin, and angels came to our rescue. You, too, have that invincible army in heaven that will protect you if you have faith, and it seems you have that faith. Our biggest and best weapon was the Holy Rosary. I pray for priests everyday.

  • eliz

    I am among the many who have come back to the One True Church with the guidance of Fathers Newman and Longenecker. They represent everything that my poorly catechized cradle-Catholic upbringing was missing. I thought I had rejected the Church in favor of a self-serving belief system, but in fact I never knew the full beauty of the Church until I started attending Mass at St. Mary’s and making an effort to learn more about orthodox Catholicism. I’ll forever be grateful to these brave men for welcoming me back but also for their work in making St. Mary’s a place where the truth is spoken regularly and where the focus of the homily is real Christian education and not a feel-good opportunity to bolster the congregation’s self-esteem. They don’t seem interested in winning a popularity contest but in caring for the souls of their parish as they would their own. For some reason God has rewarded me immensely for coming back to this parish.

  • Lisa

    Dear R.A.,

    I agree that teaching and preaching about Humanae Vitae as the foundation of the sanctity of life doctrine is vitally important. However I can assure you that Fr. Newman has been doing that already for some time!



  • Glenn Dallaire

    Thank you Father Longnecker for your excellent article.

    I would also like to thank Father Scott Newman and yourself for standing for the truth. It needed to be said, and I am glad the news agencies picked up on it.
    The “chameleon” Catholics who voted for Obama need to be brought to task for such a vote in favor of a staunch pro-abortion advocate.

    Glenn Dallaire
    Bristol, CT

  • Ron

    At times like this, when we are attacked for standing strong for the faith, we need to recall the words of the late great Pope JPII – “Be Not Afraid.”

  • Sydney Rose

    Praise be to God, God’s light and power is shining upon Priests like you, Rev Newman and Rev. Longenecker. Please keep heralding and proclaiming the Truth of God’s love, mercy and justice. Please keep leading the flock into

  • richard

    You talk about chameleons. Father Neuman spoke the truth according to Jesus’ teachings and the bible. wouldn’t you call Msgr. McLaughin the chameleon when he chastise’s Father Neuman and refuses to support him? The Catholic church has changed over the last 20 years. It has become very “business oriented” in its actions. But then again, I guess if we all were losing our clients (parishoners), we too would would be thinking with our political brains. My God – an official in the DOC office came out publically and supported Father Neuman – shame on the Msgr. His first position should have been one of support to Father Neuman. He owes Father Neuman an apolegy.

  • IK. Charles

    The Pope has congratulated Obama and praying for him.
    So Please STOP this uncharitable debate among catholics.
    Do we think we know more than the Pope?
    ‘He who has never sinned, let him cast the first stone!’

  • meg

    Some of us oppose abortion with all our hearts, minds and souls, yet supported Barack Obama for President, not because we were angry, lame or demonic, but because we sincerely believe that by tackling some of the social inequalities that lead a woman to believe she “needs” an abortion, we can make a real difference. Most of us are not cafeteria Catholics, or occasional Catholics, but are practicing, devout Catholics who struggle every day to try and follow Jesus, mindful that not one of us, regardless of how we voted, is fit to receive the Body and Blood of our Savior.

    Ask Jesus to help you understand the issue of abortion from a different angle. Most women who have abortions do not abort for economic reasons. A little research will help you understand this. I know it’s easier to accept abortion when one feels there is an overwhelming situation for the potetial mother, but this is romanticizing the issue. Most women have abortions because they think it’s OK, they’ve been told this all their lives – they had a bad moment with an unsuitable father, they are right in the middle of college, etc etc. Why should they be “punished” with a child – those are your candidates words.

    The Democratic party has told women who abort that it’s OK for 30 years now, and has continued full access to abortion as part of their written, professed platform. NARAL and Planned Parenthood pour their support into candidates like Barack Obama. I appreciate that you are devout, but I also believe you need to open your eyes to the real ugliness of abortion. I hope and pray your candidate doesn’t do what he has promised.

  • ikb

    Dear Fathers,
    I am post abortive and speak (hopefully) with a tone of humility. I agree with your position. The truth MUST be spoken and sometimes it makes folks mad. I love how you’ve categorized the responses because, in my ministry now, I encounter the demonic response often because I’ve made the dog mad by speaking the truth. So, with this prayer, I bind you to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, may her wisdom and love enfold you and strengthen you in the coming days. Let Our Mother lead all who post here to Jesus her son, who is Lord forever and ever. AMEN.

    We must be firm in the non-negotiables: abortion, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, euthanasia and homosexual union. Time is short and the enemy is hacked. Hang on to your hats and rosary beads! Pray, Pray Pray!

  • John Kasaian

    This story is like a breath of fresh air! May our Bishops be as faithful to the magistarium as this humble parish priest!

  • Robert

    What uncharitable debate are you talking about? There is no debate going on here. Of what I have read there has been nothing uncharitable on this page. This is about welcoming a priest who had the courage to stand up and preach the Church teaching. And I certainly wouldn’t call it uncharitable to be worried about our souls and that of our brothers and sisters. Singing ‘Kumbaya’ in hell isn’t going to make the experience of hell any better. Many people committed a most grave sin by going against the Catholic faith and voting for Obama. The only reason McCain was a so called option was that he was the lesser evil by far, not to mention there were other choices. Your last sentence was most hypocritical. Yes we must pray for Obama, that he will convert and have a change of heart. The pope’s congratulations was in no way support of Obama’s ideology. But this article isn’t about Obama. This is about leading as many souls as possible to heaven.

  • Gretchen

    Ikb, Thank you for your post. I am also a post-abortion mother. The truth must be spoken, as you said. The opposition runs the gamut from ignorance to demonic. The ignorance in my parish is mind-boggling. It is vital to be fearless. The Lord and His Mother stand behind us.

    As someone who comes from a parish with two very liberal priests (one who passed out pro-Obama literature after masses), the words and actions of Fr. Newman and Fr. Longenecker give hope. Somewhere out there are priests who know what the Church teaches and aren’t afraid to preach it. God bless them!

    I am also a convert, and I can attest to the lack of catechism that is still going on. I could’ve taught RCIA, since it came from a Protestant perspective. Again, may God bless the two fathers for their stand. I cannot but believe that He will.

  • Sydney Rose

    What is currently happening in our world, in our society and our communities are the works of Satan.

    People, who voted for National leaders that are acting as agents of Satan propagating the Culture of Death such as abortion, cloning or homosexuality, are similarly acting as carriers and promoters of the works of Satan.

    Some people think they believe in God but however, are contributing to Satan’s works in their stubbornness, ignorance, pride and self righteousness.

    Know that there is no in-between, it is black or white, no gray. It is hot or cold, no lukewarm. Lukewarm souls have caused so much agony, pain and suffering to Jesus during His passion.

    Be aware that if we want to serve God and be with God, we will do anything possible to follow His commandments. These laws are firm and steadfast and cannot be adjusted or tailor-suited or custom-made for man’s convenience and comfort. We must acknowledge that we are the creatures and He is the Creator.


    O Divine Eternal Father,
    in union with Your Divine Son and the Holy Spirit,
    and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
    I beg You to destroy the power of Your greatest enemy

  • Lisa

    Let us not mistake tolerance for charity and vice versa.

    Tolerance is the rule in the United States these days. That’s OK as long as one is just trying to “get along.” But charity loves the Truth first and one’s neighbor second. To overlook falsehood or injustice in order to be “nice,” and to allow one’s neighbor to persist in ignorance, is actually a violation of charity. This is all the more true when the person in question is supposed to be providing guidance to others, as a pastor ought to do.

    By the way, if you read Fr. Newman’s original letter in its entirety, you will find that he exhorted his parishioners, regardless of their vote, to join together now in prayer for Senator Obama; and to respect and cooperate with the government in every way that does not violate conscience.


  • Thierry P Wersinger

    Part of me would love to join in the controversy. I think however that this would be giving the enemies of the Church a wonderful opportunity to witness even more disunity in the Church by providing just one other flavor of grass roots faithful dissent.

    I do not know how Mgr Laughlin reached his decision to silence Father Newman. I can imagine he received much input. I am certain some of this input was the reflection of a lack of courage from certain bishops. I am also certain that many of them felt like the commander in chief of a military operation when one of his subordinates opens fire before the appointed time.

    I believe that at a certain level the Administrator

  • Bill

    Adriana, take Fr. Newman’s use of plausible in context. No explanation was needed. But if you really need an explanation, I will give it to you. In the case of this election, there was a definite pro-life candidate (McCain). There was a definite extremist pro-abortion zealot candidate (Obama) who cozied up to the likes of Planned Parenthood, who promises to waste tax money on his wealthy and powerful abortion cronies both domestic and abroad. There was a definite choice here consisting of a plausible alternative. If Giuliani was the Republican nominee, then there would be no “plausible” alternative in either major party. You could choose a pro-abortion candidate with a “D” or an “R” next to their name in that case. Or, you might be lucky enough to have a pro-life third party candidate running.

    In the Congressional race for my area, there were no third party candidates. Both the Democrat and Republican were pro-abortion. Not being able to bring myself to be an accomplice to the vile and horrific act of slaughtering children, I refused to vote for either one. There were no plausible alternatives in that race.

    As to your comments about Bush… Whether or not one likes Bush is not a justification to be an accomplice in child sacrifice. Bush is term limited out. He was not on the ballot in 2008.

    Religious issues aside, the right to life is a question of logic. An aborted baby or euthanized person cannot be concerned with secondary issues like health care, education, the economy, war, etc. Also, the war against innocent babies has had at least 50 million casualties in the United States alone (over 1 BILLION in the whole world). I disagree with the Iraq War. But the Iraq War has nowhere near that number of casualties. Obama may not support the Iraq War but he certainly does support legalized abortion….which means he has no problem with 1 billion+ slaughtered children. Anyone who is aware of Obama’s abortion support and voted for him anyway when a plausible alternative existed is an accomplice to this atrocity.

  • Bill

    Yet another guitarist,

    Nothing Fr. Newman said should possibly imply that McCain voters don’t need to ever go to confession. He was talking about this ISSUE. He never said voting for McCain gives someone a pass on obeying the Ten Commandments.

    Pope Benedict has said that Catholics can disagree with him about the war but not about the life issues. Abortion has killed 50 million children in the United States alone and over 1 billion in the world. The casualties in the Iraq War have not even come close.

    As to the claims of Obama (and Clinton and every other politician who supports legalized abortion) that he is “not” pro-abortion, this is twisting the truth like a pretzel. If you support Planned Parenthood, if you believe legalized abortion is acceptable, then you are PRO-ABORTION. He has said he did not want his daughters “punished” with a baby. An innocent baby is not a “punishment.”

    Obama will revoke the Mexico City policy, meaning that your tax dollars and mine will flow to foreign abortion supporters. He will provide taxpayer funding of abortions within the country. This means money you and I are forced to provide to the government by law is going to slaughter innocent children. McCain would not be doing this. There is a lot more to being a pro-life politician than simply making abortion illegal in the United States. Sure, I’d to see abortion outlawed in America but some of it is out of the president’s hands.

    Obama said in the third debate that his supreme court appointees would be in favor of abortion “rights.” This means any pro-life laws that get challenged at the supreme court level would likely be struck down.

    Obama went before his fan club at Planned Parenthood and promised to sign the “Freedom of Choice Act” which would overturn ALL state-level pro-life laws. That is PRO-ABORTION.

    Whether or not a candidate like Obama is willing to admit they are “pro-abortion” is moot. But voting for them while knowing of their support for legalized child slaughter makes one an enabler of pro-abortion policy. Therefore, that voter is an accomplice to abortion and the 1 billion babies who have been sacrificed.

    This has nothing to do with political party or any of the other things you mentioned. If Giuliani had been the Republican nominee and had won, it would be an equally sad day for our country. Giuliani is pro-abortion and a self-proclaimed “Catholic” nonetheless (more like a Catholic in name only).

  • Bill


    Please tell me logically what is more important than the right to life? Is health care (aborted and euthanized persons won’t get it), education (you can’t educate an aborted or euthanized person), poverty (the most impoverished are the ones whom society believes are “inconveniences”), the economy (meaningless if one is not allowed life), or anything else more important? The right to life is a foundation required in order to make use of all these secondary items. Without a foundation, a house will fall.

    You suggest that Obama may have appeared so pro-abortion because he was making campaign promises to get people’s votes. Well, if that was the case then he would be a liar (lying is a sin – it’s not a virtue). We need truth from our politicians, not telling people what they want to hear just to get votes.

    You suggest that some might be upset because of race. Let me tell you something. I judge people based on their statements and voting records. I am a registered Republican. In the primaries, I voted for Alan Keyes. In case you are unaware, Dr. Alan Keyes is an African American. He had zero chance of winning the primaries. Why did I vote for him? He was the most pro-life of all of the candidates. That is the bottom line. I had forgotten that he was even on the ballot until I entered the voting booth. I had been struggling as to whether to vote for Ron Paul or Mike Huckabee even as I entered the booth. Once I saw Alan Keyes there, and was thus reminded of his candidacy, I knew he was the most appropriate candidate because of his stances. He doesn’t care whether his stances make him “electable” or not. He tells the truth about where he stands. That is one of the reasons why I admire him so much.

    Had this been a contest between Obama and Giuliani (a pro-abortion candidate just like Obama), it would be a sad day in America if either of them had won. Race is meaningless. It’s the stances that a person takes that matter. I am more than tired of people who did not vote for Obama being called “closet racists.” You have absolutely no evidence of such a view. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

  • Maryanne Linkes

    Dear Fr. Longenecker,
    Thank you for your faithfulness to our Lord and Holy Mother Church. Your parishioners are blessed to have you and Fr. Newman. You concern for the eternal lives of your parishioners shows you are priests after the heart of Jesus. As Archbishop Sheen said “The world is rapidly being divided into two camps, the comradeship of anti-Christ and the brotherhood of Christ. The lines between these two are being drawn. How long the battle will be we know not; whether swords will have to be unsheathed we know not; whether blood will have to be shed we know not; whether it will be an armed conflict we know not. But in a conflict between truth and darkness, truth cannot lose.” And as Cardinal Ratzinger said, the Church will get very small, down to a faithful remnant, so that it can then be built up again. To be a faithful Catholic means to accept all the truths of our faith and to learn what our faith says. As Joshua said “As for my household, we will follow the Lord”. Thank God for your and for Holy Mother Church.

  • Bill


    You say that you supported Obama because you feel he will fix the social issues that encourage women to have abortions. What about the fact that Obama does not support medical care for babies who survive abortion? I happened to meet a young woman who survived an abortion 25 years ago. She has cerebral palsy and has some difficulties walking, talking, and even shaking a person’s hand because of the attempted abortion. Through his vote, Obama basically said she was worthless as a human being. She was an “inconvenience” to her mother. Obama’s justification for voting against medical care for babies who survive abortion was that it would “burden” the original decision. Yes, the young, 25 year old woman I met was a “burden” in Obama’s eyes. This is the man who wants to bring us universal health care (except for the babies who are determined to be a “burden” to their mothers of the Terri Schiavos of the world who are a “burden” to their husbands who are busy in relationships with other women).

    Are you aware that there are a huge network of crisis pregnancy centers that try to deal with the very social issues that you talk about? They often help women with free or low cost supplies, classes, etc. They exist on donations from pro-life people. No, they don’t have the marketing muscle or the taxpayer funding ($336.4 million — 1/3+ BILLION DOLLARS — at the federal level and millions more from the states) of Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion empire. So, perhaps you legitimately never heard of them. But be aware of this….some of Obama’s Democrat friends in the House of Representatives want to severely restrict crisis pregnancy centers or even outright destroy them entirely. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “concerned” and “benevolent” Obama signed this legislation. Afterall, crisis pregnancy centers serve as competition for Obama’s good friends at Planned Parenthood.

    Government is not the answer to every societal problem. The answer is prayer, fasting, and charity from individuals. It is not simply raising taxes so the government can say they are helping the poor while giving it all away to special interests like Planned Parenthood and foreign abortion promoters.

    We have a society that glorifies immoral sexual activity. Immoral sexual activity results in unintended pregnancies. If Obama really cared about fixing the societal problems, he would use his bully pulpit and his power as president to bring in some decency laws. But, he can’t offend his wealthy Hollywood donors who make soft-core porn movies. Afterall, they wasted a lot of money on his campaign.

    We had eight years of Bill Clinton. Did he end poverty? Nope. Will Obama? Nope. The impoverished are simply a useful tool for politicians who need a justification to expand government. Raising taxes and bloating government will accomplish one thing: The middle class will be destroyed while there will be a group of ultra-rich and a group of ultra-poor. Afterall, once the rich accumulate their wealth, they don’t have to pay any further taxes on it. The taxes are only charged to those who actually try to achieve the American dream. The government then filters it through its immense bureaucracy, dipping off the top for “important” concerns like Planned Parenthood, higher salaries for politicians, free cars and gas for politicians, earmarks, pork, etc., and then they might throw a little pittance towards the poor just so they can say they gave them something.

    A vote for Obama was a vote for more tax money for his abortion cronies, domestic and abroad. If you really want to help change the social issues that cause women to abort babies, then YOU can do something. Give of your time to a crisis pregnancy center. Or if you do not have time, then they will all readily accept a donation of money, or clothing, toys, furniture, etc. Just look in your phone book under “Abortion alternatives.”

  • Bill


    Another point about your message. You say our God is a God of mercy and compassion. Indeed he is. That is why He brought us the SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION. It was indeed a very compassionate thing for Fr. Newman to remind people to avail themselves of this wonderful gift.

    Too often, I hear people go on and on about how whatever we do, God will forgive us, that He’s a very loving God, full or mercy and compassion. They say it as if people can go on sinning through their entire life and they need not worry about it. Again, one must go to CONFESSION and beg for God’s mercy. It is not automatic. They must also have a firm purpose of AMENDING their ways when they go to Confession. This reasoning of automatic mercy no matter what we have done and without ever needing to confess our sins is what has ruined this society from the 1960s on.

    Imagine two parents allowing their child to throw food all over, stay up late, terrorize the pets, break windows, yell curse words, etc., with absolutely no discipline. Should the parents continue to allow the child to get away with everything because they are “loving parents, full of mercy and compassion”? Does that prepare the child for adulthood and dealing with society? Nope. It prepares the child for time in jail.

    Or, should the parents expect the child to behave and require at least an apology for the child’s transgressions before said child can be in their good graces again?

    The former example does not prepare a child to be on his/her own in society. The latter does. What about God? Do you really think simply letting people do whatever they feel like doing, even if it violates God’s Ten Commandments, prepares people for an eternal life in Heaven? If so, why did God waste His time giving us the Ten Commandments?

    Nobody is condemning anyone. Fr. Newman merely told people about the proper way to obtain God’s mercy and compassion. He did not condemn them.

    Abortion is one of the most serious sins possible. A person who procures a completed abortion is excommunicated automatically. It’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    Voting for someone is like hiring them for a job. It is enabling them. Obama has made it clear in public that he supports legalized abortion. He is going to pour your tax money and mine into pro-abortion groups domestic and abroad. If one knew of Obama’s abortion stance before the election, then a vote for Obama is enabling abortion, making one an accomplice in abortions.

  • Kathleen Plumb

    Some people have said that when they stopped saying the Our Father in public schools (back in the 50s) that

  • nobody


  • Nola M

    I Have Had IT With People Including Catholic’s Who Love to Run The Church Down And Her Priests, These Priests are Men of GOD on call 24/7.
    This Is My Opinion That anyone who Voted for a Baby Murderer Should NOT Recieve The Sacrament Of The Blessed Eucharist, To Go to Confession First!
    These Dear Priest’s work Tirelessly For Us, Yet they are Mocked on TV Shows, Mocked by Everyone, it’s a Free For All in Mocking The Church, YET IF a Priest Says anything About Abortion, People are Up IN Arms Again! and They Dare to Call Our Priests Dirty Filthy Names and Mock Our Holy Father!
    Hoe Dare They, Because in this Secular World they CAN Get away with It, Do They Ever THINK How a Priest May Be Feeling, Being Called All Of these Names Constantly. If a Priest Dared to Answer Back to These evil hateful hurtful people, The Priest Would be In Trouble and would get a Backlash from the Media ect.
    But Our Priests are HUMBLE Men of GOD and they Do Not answer Back, They Take ALL of this constant abuse and Pray for Those People!!
    GOD Bless You Father.
    I Am SO Sad and Mad about these people Constantly Making Up Lies and Mocking Our Faith.
    GOD Bless All Our Dear Priests.

  • nobody

    I say it

  • Nola M

    Get radical!
    I say it

  • Rose*

    I live in a diocese where during Easter Octave of this year a majority of priests gathered to compose a letter of dissent against a Bishop they didn’t like being assigned to the diocese by Pope John Paul II shortly before his death. 46 priests disobedient to their Bishop. They didn’t feel part of the selection process and thatthe Pope had passed them over. Now they are in dialog with a mediating firm overseeing the process, for a fee. The majority of these priests have been so for 30 to 40 years–a product of the “spirit of Vatican II” and quite a few are Msgr. (s), too. They have used the secular local newspaper to politicise their cause while the Bishop even received a threatening phone call that brought in the State Police. Such carnal dissputes of the flesh & void of the Spirit. This has been very painful for parishioners.

    The silence in my parrish about life issues from the pulpit during this political season was deafening. There was a poster of a baby in the foyer but the priest hid behind the exploitation of the “seamless garment” metaphor…all issues are of equal importance. Obama stickers abounded on all the cars at the Sunday 10am Mass and even many of those served as Eucharistic ministers once inside. Peace & justice issues reign in my parish and it resembles a Community Center alive with much busyness, but Spiritually shallow and very cliquish. In this desert, a conservative Catholic can barely find a “heavenly-like” liturgy or any music that raises the spirit or a sermon that challenges the soul. Authentic Catholicism barely exists. So even though I’m Anglo I attend Hispanic Mass where Christ is celebrated as our Sacrifice and the language tends toward Latin and songs with heart-felt words. For this I am thankful.
    EWTN is my daily lifeline for Masses, catechesis, spiritual devotions and the like. I will be thrilled when the John Paul II generation priests begin replacing the ones here in southern IL. Blessed Mary…I have begged for an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the parrish (Patronness of the Unborn; the pregnant Madonna) but I now realize after the cooperation of this parrish in electing Obama…it would be an insult to her Holiness. I’ve always been told to bloom where I’m planted, but only a very few here want to participate in real Catholicism…so I pray for souls. It gets very lonely.

    I praise God for Holy Priests…we have a couple here, one from Mexico City & the other on loan to our diocese from Sri Lanka. We have no religious sisters and the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Ruma tend toward New Age. I priase God for all the Holy priests who pass through EWTN.
    Thanks Fr. Longedecker & Fr. Newman…you are sweet music to my ears. My parrish has not had one priestly vocation in over 100 years!! Holy priests inspire men to enter the priesthood. A majority of our priests are too busy being affiliated with A Call to Action, Future Church or other dissident groups who are trying to ordain women priests and the like and are promoting radical feminists views. Yes, it is time to choose sides, but I fear that my diocese will lose half its priests in the process.

    God bless. I am always inspired by Good News in defense of the Kingdom. Come quickly, Lord Jesus–Maranatha!!

  • Nola M

    All Of Our Priests are Holy Men of GOD.
    BUT Because of These Feminists Who Want Women Priests, Gay Marriage, Abortion on Demand, This Secular World is On the Plight Of the “Poor Feminists.”
    They Have Rally’s, They Want “Their Rights,” They are On Every Television Show, Putting The Church Down, Vying for People to Feel So Sorry for Them as They Cannot Recieve the Sacrament Of the Eucharist.
    Well They Can’t!! They Have their Free Will and They Chose, to go Against The Teachings Of The Church, The Teachings Of Jesus..
    They Have Gotten their Way as they DO Have Gay Marriage, Abortion on Demand, Gay Pride Rallys Gay Adoption ect.
    Here in Sydney, there is an Annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi gras, held Every Lent. The Men Dress Up as the Clergy and as Nuns as a Deliberate offence to Our Faith and Our Dear Priests And Nuns.
    Do Catholics Rally against this and go on TV and Protest,? NO, These People are Prayed For..
    And When They are Dying Of AIDS It is the Dear Sister’s Who Care For Them at Saint Vincents Hospital Around the Corner from where their “Parade,” Takes Place.
    These Feminists Make me Ashamed to be a Woman!!
    YET When we Celebrated World Youth Day In July with Pope Benedict XVI, There Were Protests, People were handing Out Condoms to the Pilgrims.!!
    Yet When they have their Gay Celebrations, we do Not Protest and make Fun of them!!
    I Love Our Faith and Our Dear Holy Priests.
    Rally Behind Our Priests.
    Give Every Priest Our Support.
    I Pray to Pope John Paul II Who Was a Living Example Of A Saint Here on Earth With us.
    I Love Our Pope Benedict.
    As Long as we Follow Our Holy Father and Our Priests We Shall Not Stray. WE Have Our Holy Father Saying a Firm No to any Of Our Earthly Whims. This is Why we have Weathered All Storms in 2000 Years.
    Sadly the Anglicans and other Churches are People Pleasing “Religions,” an Anything Goes Church. “If You Feel Good about It then Do It” Eliminate GOD!!
    Our Holy Father Is a GOD PLeasing Man, Leading Us On The Right Path.

  • Hope

    Thank you for standing on the truth of what our church teaches.. I just wish all of our priests would do the same..
    God bless..

  • Mary

    My pastor talked about the controversy in his homily last Sunday, and while he is very pro-life, said that you can vote for a pro-abortion candidate in good conscience if abortion wasn’t your reason for wanting him/her elected.

    What was troubling was that he did not talk about this specific election where there was another “plausible candidate”. As a result, he gave a pass to all the Obama voters in the pews. I talked with some of them, and they felt vindicated. No Confession for them before Communion.

    That really confused me.

  • Monica

    …this video will end the holocaust.

    This is the most graphic video I ever viewed on abortion. It is narrated by Eduardo Verastegui, star of Bella, and can be played in Spanish or English. It is about ten minutes long.

    I cried so hard after seeing this. Be warned – it is very graphic.

  • Trish


    Your response was based on assumptions and half truths. You assumed that I neither knew about nor support the sterling work of pregnancy crisis centers. You apparently have not read the Illinois law that Obama favoured above the “Born Alive” act. That law states that:

    A Doctor Must Preserve The Life And Health Of A Fetus If In The Course Of An Abortion, There Is Reasonable Likelihood Of Sustained Survival. [Illinois Compiled Statutes, 720 ILCS 510/6]

    If a doctor believes that an infant may be viable, he MUST choose the method of abortion most likely to preserve the life and health of the baby and a second doctor, not participating in the abortion, MUST be on standby to give the baby all the care it needs.

    Obviously, being against abortion at all stages, I don’t find that satisfactory, but it does grant even greater rights to a viable aborted infant than did the “Born Alive” act.

    Another area where we disagree is that what you call “government” I call “society.” During the era of slavery, the British almost emptied their treasury to buy out slave owners and free slaves. They saw that human lives mattered more than money. Unfortunately, many American pro-lifers cannot bear to part with a cent in taxes to assist mothers and children, through health care, child care, education, living wages etc.

    Now, you say that Clinton did not end abortion. No. But it did decline rapidly during his administration and appears to have stagnated under Bush. Secondly, Bush had control of both houses at the start of his administration, yet did not put an end to legal abortion. Instead, what we have seen is a cynical manipulation by the Republicans, always holding out the promise of “just two more justices” then appointing Supreme Court judges who will not overturn Roe v. Wade. Face the fact. Six out of nine administrations since Roe v. Wade have been Republican. We still have legal abortion.

    So, back to my original post. Some of us see a societal obligation to the family as a unit and are willing to pay for it through our taxes. We believe this will reduce abortion (no amount of money and no number of laws will end it completely) and save lives. We resent our taxes being used for cluster bombs, unjust wars and a host of other anti-life programs that would not only continue but would have increased under a McCain/Palin administration. In other words, some of us are PRO-LIFE from conception to life’s natural end, regardless of color, creed or nationality, and are prepared to pay for it with our taxes.

  • RL Taylor

    Jesus was very straightforward and simple about truth. I find it odd that those who seek to justify Pro-abortion (I use the term because most of those like “pro-choice” as euphemism to mitigate the horror of the deed) need complex rationalization of redeeming social justices to assuage their consciences. In reality, I became a single issue voter this time, because I cannot, in any good conscience, equate anything going on in our world today as even remotely close to the horror of abortion on demand. God will be the judge, but I applaud Fr. Newman, because I am appalled and disgusted that 54% of those who could have made a pro-life statement knowingly or unknowingly cast a vote that supported abortion. Had I voted that way, my own consicence tells me that I would have committed grave sin.
    Thank you, Fr. Newman, for reminding us of true Catholic values.

  • Liz

    Thank you very much, Father Dwight. This really helped to clear things up. Previously, I only had the opportunity to read the Associated Press release on this subject, which was indeed misleading.

    I must say, I am saddened, but not surprised about the feedback you have received on the matter. Your reflections were absolutely correct, especially concerning what you have termed the “defiant” Catholics. Even in a relatively sheltered college environment I have had the distinct ‘pleasure’ of encountering not only these people, but many who have been given an incorrect perception of the Catholic faith and its followers because of this ignorance. I pray for your continued struggle with this contingent of “cafeteria” Catholicism.

    On a lighter note, your commentary has made me distinctly nostalgic for St. Joe’s. I hope that our community has continued to support yourself and Father Newman; The alumni I have spoken to certainly have.

  • Trish


    No, I am not romanticizing, as you say. I am a 58-year-old woman who has listened to what these women say about their abortions. Like the mother of four whose husband turned to drugs, spending their savings, selling their possessions and leaving her homeless, destitute and pregnant. It was amid sobs that she told how she had decided that abortion was the only way forward. She is just one of many I have heard, over the years.

    Okay, now you say that women abort because they are told it is okay. Why did they abort – 1.2 million babies a year – before abortion was legal? Why did they put themselves through agony and risk their lives rather than bring their babies into the world? What sort of fear drove a particular woman to have an illegal abortion so that she turned up at the emergency room with her intestines hanging out “down below”? What sort of terrors made a girl put herself in the hands of someone she didn’t know, in the middle of the night, in order to undergo a life-threatening and excruciatingly painful ordeal, rather than give birth? It certainly was not selfishness, or being told that it was okay. It was something else. Don’t we have to try and discover what that something else was and try to rectify it? Or will we be contented as long as we can overturn Roe v. Wade and sweep this entire human tragedy under the carpet?

    Meg, we don’t disagree that abortion needs to end. We just disagree about the means by which this can come about. You believe that overturning a Supreme Court decision will do it. I believe you have to first change hearts and minds so that the majority of people in America will support laws to limit, and eventually ban, abortion, while saving those babies you can. I don’t doubt your sincerity. Why do you doubt mine?

  • meg

    I never said I doubted your sincerity, I just question voting for the party in which abortion supporters have found a haven since the day one. Since I support hitting abortion from ALL sides, of course I believe your approach to be a meaningful PART of the solution. I never mentioned the supreme court, I don’t know where you got that from. Personally, I think abortion prevention starts in the (Catholic) home, but that’s another long post and I don’t have time today! Keep up the fight, sounds like you’re doing a great job. We all have to fight as we best know how.

    I’ll leave you with this, FYI:

    By Dr. Bernard Nathanson

    We persuaded the media that the cause of permissive abortion was a liberal enlightened, sophisticated one. Knowing that if a true poll were taken, we would be soundly defeated, we simply fabricated the results of fictional polls. We announced to the media that we had taken polls and that 60% of Americans were in favour of permissive abortion. This is
    the tactic of the self-fulfilling lie. Few people care to be in the minority. We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of
    illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law. Another myth we fed to the public through the media was that legalising abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1500% since legalisation.

    We systematically vilified the Catholic Church and its “socially backward ideas” and picked on the Catholic hierarchy as the villain in opposing abortion. This theme was played endlessly. We fed the media such lies as “we all know that opposition to abortion comes from the hierarchy and not from most Catholics” and “Polls prove time and again that most Catholics want abortion law reform”. And the media drum fired all this into the American people, persuading them that anyone opposing permissive abortion must be under the influence of the Catholic hierarchy and that Catholics in favour of abortion are enlightened and forward-looking. An inference of this tactic was that there were no non- Catholic groups opposing abortion. The fact that other Christian as well as non-Christian religions were {and still are) monolithically opposed to abortion was constantly suppressed, along with pro-life atheists’ opinions.

  • nobody

    “Some of us see a societal obligation to the family as a unit and are willing to pay for it through our taxes. We believe this will reduce abortion (no amount of money and no number of laws will end it completely) and save lives.”

    Then just who was your canidate?

    Certainly NOT Obama

    Where’s this Catholic teaching supporting this government charity first?

    Your whole diatribe is unsubstaniated for that matter. Hearsay

  • Sydney Rose





    SPREAD THE PRAYERS (Copy, paste and email to everyone)


    O Divine Eternal Father,
    in union with Your Divine Son and the Holy Spirit,
    and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
    I beg You to destroy the power of Your greatest enemy

  • RobertZ

    Talking about assumptions and half-truths [smiley=think]. Most of us pro-lifers don’t think that taxes should not be used to help out. Just we don’t think that it should end there in order to sit back in recliners and turn on 186″ televisions and 50000 watt sound systems. You would also find things will change quite a bit if you changed your strategy of supporting abortion with taxes and redirected all of that money to pregnancy help centers. The same centers that Obama wants to shut down in order to make abortion seem like the only option. Yet you complain about taxes being used to support a situation that leads to no where near the same amount of death and evil. If it wasn’t for the appointees of Bush, partial-birth abortion/infanticide would not have been made illegal. And you ignore all of the other regulations that have been put in place. Congress can not outlaw abortion as long as RvW still exists. Only a Constitutional Amendment would be able to do that. And that would still require more than just congress. By the way, I am not a member of any political party. Don’t listen to Planned Parenthood for all of your ‘facts’. This same organization has also been found to have been defrauding the federal government on funds. The democrat-held state legislature thought that they could quietly pass a law to cover up for PP for it’s federal crime.

    If you are concerned about the economy, look what happened to it under the democrat-held Congress. I actually watched the Senate proceedings about problems with the way things were set up (including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) long before actual trouble began to arise. It was warned of the dangers that they posed. Yet one after another mostly Democrat senators stood up and declared that nothing was wrong, including Nancy Pelosi herself. Pelosi, the same person who during the recent election cycle was claiming that congress could never have predicted the recent economic crisis (even though they were warned.) Back when he was president, Bill Clinton signed into law the bill that allowed businesses to begin hiding their capital and assets, which has also been a major factor in the recent crisis. The democrats have proven to be as bad as, if not worse, than the republicans. People need to go to confession with truly repentant hearts and turn back to the true Messiah. They will find loving Catholics with their arms held out in reception.

  • A Pro-life Mom

    Okay, now you say that women abort because they are told it is okay. Why did they abort – 1.2 million babies a year – before abortion was legal? Why did they put themselves through agony and risk their lives rather than bring their babies into the world? What sort of fear drove a particular woman to have an illegal abortion so that she turned up at the emergency room with her intestines hanging out “down below”? What sort of terrors made a girl put herself in the hands of someone she didn’t know, in the middle of the night, in order to undergo a life-threatening and excruciatingly painful ordeal, rather than give birth? It certainly was not selfishness, or being told that it was okay. It was something else. Don’t we have to try and discover what that something else was and try to rectify it? Or will we be contented as long as we can overturn Roe v. Wade and sweep this entire human tragedy under the carpet?

    Trish, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Thanks for articulating what I feel myself.

  • Janice K. Harper

    The devil will be a gentle dog as long as you feed him, but if you kick him, he bites back.

    So true! Thank you Father for defending our faith against the deceptive wiles of the evil one.

    Jesus was not condemned by the power of wicked people. He was condemned because of the silence of good people. Silence always helps the oppressor, never the victim. Let us pray that we may never be silent about abortion, but rather will clearly speak up to save babies from death.
    Prolife Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary by Father Frank Pavone

    We need more priests like you and Father Newman, who are not afraid to speak out on issues like abortion. The reason so many people are leaving the Catholic Church is because most priests are too afraid of losing federal funding or offending someone by their defense of God’s Laws, to stand up for the faith. God Bless You both[smiley=happy]

  • Annie

    I am sorry, Trish. You are not a devout Catholic if you voted for Obama because you believe government/social solutions will result in fewer abortions. The problem of abortion is much more complicated in that, beginning with the lack of real worth that most young women know today. They do not realize they are so loved by God the Father-their own father is either dead, drunk, distant, or divorced, to begin with. Might also be abusive, but is in some way disconnected with ensuring a daughter that she is most important in his life, needing his guidance and his love. Without this, they get involved with young men a decade before they are mature, ready to marry. Contraception fails, if used, and an “inconvenient” pregnancy results. Solution? The nearest Planned Parenthood will take care of that. Since Obama has 100% rating from PP, what can we expect? Not any program to reduce their millions in revenue. No–REAL Catholic teaching and great parenting are the solutions. Not from government. At any rate, you voted for Barabbas instead of babies. Nothing is more important than life; without life all social programs are nul and void! How can we expect God’s blessing on our nation when our streets and roads run red with the blood of 50 million unborn?

  • Jim

    Maybe those who voted for Obama are not guilty of mortal sin, because they did not realize that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is seriously sinful. Maybe the greater sin is the failure to inform one’s self of the teachings of the Church and failure to conform one’s conscience to those teachings.

  • Maggie in the South

    I would like to ask for prayers for those St. Mary’s parishioners who did not write letters to the priests. They might be struggling now at understanding their faith, whether or not they voted for Obama.

  • Nola M

    Maybe those who voted for Obama are not guilty of mortal sin, because they did not realize that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is seriously sinful. Maybe the greater sin is the failure to inform one’s self of the teachings of the Church and failure to conform one’s conscience to those teachings.
    Written by Jim.
    ell Jim.

    When I First Saw Senator Obama I thought How Wonderful a First Black President!!
    Then I Found Out obama’s Policy on Abortion.
    I Would Never Support or Vote for Anyone who Is Pro Abortion.
    The Catholic’s In America, They Knew The Church’s Stance on Abortion, Yet they Still Voted for Him. I Won’t Abide that They Didn’t Realise what they were Doing, They Knew Exactly What they were Doing.!!
    I Wish People Would Leave Our Priests Alone, Instead Of Whinging and Whining and Passing The Buck On To Our Priests!!
    We Know Our Faith.. We Are Not Stupid, Or are We??
    I Have Been Reading Posts from People In this Blog Who Are Side Stepping and Blaming Our Good and Holy Priests.
    Whether The Catholic’s who voted for Obama Comitted a Mortal Sin, I Do Not Know, But I Do Know Our Faith and The Church’s Position on Abortion..I Wonder If People who are writing In Here Know That they are Offending Our Priests With Some Of Their Comments, (It Looks Like a Free For ALL In here for Priest bashing!!)
    Passing the Buck On to Our Priests.
    Blaming Our Priests is Called DENIAL.
    DENIAL Of The Scriptures DENIAL Of GOD!!

  • Michelle M

    I agree with Rev. Newmann and his opinion. It is time we are forced to adhere to the laws of our church. You can’t be pro choice AND catholic. It’s impossible! A vote for a pro choice candidate while there is a pro life canditate also running makes the voter pro choice. Period!

  • meg

    I have a little time now to explain my position further.

    About the quote I cited: Dr. Bernard Nathanson, if you don’t already know, is a former abortion doctor, a Catholic convert and the founder of NARAL, who after his conversion, wrote exposes about the abortion industry. I think the things he writes about media manipulation and using Catholics are deeply disturbing; you may have noticed you cited some of the same statistics he did.

    You are looking at abortion from the mother’s perspective, and I beelieve this is a mistake. Many evils can be justified by sympathizing with an individual who has done something sinful. I have more sympathy for POST-abortion mothers – I have friends who still grieve 30 years later and have cried to me that if someone had just told them it was wrong and why that they wouldn’t have done it in the first place, and now, because they are removed from the Church and God’s beautiful mercy, they can’t forgive themselves. I fear for the woman you described, the one who aborted her son or daughter. To take your own child’s life for any reason whatsoever, even to avoid abject suffering, is so very grave.

    An obstetric nurse I knew, who had to interview new mothers entering her practice, told me years ago that many of the women cried when they had to tell her of their past abortions, many had had multiple abortions, and the highest number she remembered was 11. This woman wept as she gave her this information.

    The young girls you mentioned who would rather have aborted than endure the shame of bringing a baby into the world out of wedlock were ashamed of the ACT of premarital sex – the baby is the innocent victim. But look what’s happened by focusing on that shame instead of on the principle that abortion should not be legalized: According to some statistics, almost half the babies born in the US today are illegitimate, but the rate of abortions hasn’t declined proportionatlely. The shame of premarital sex is gone, and that’s due to legal abortion itself. There is now a vaccination for STD’s being recommended to 12 year olds. This is heartbreaking; they ASSUME most girls will have multiple partners.

    Young girls starting today (and boys, too!)should be told the OPPOSITE of what the sexually saturated media tells them everyday: that purity and virginity are not corny but should be aspired to – that wonderful lifelong gifts come to those who wait patiently for the right time, how private and special and beautiful sexual intimacy is, how it BONDS you to your partner, and how it should be reserved for marriage.

    All the other attacks – political, economic, social, etc. – will not eliminate abortion until dignity and reservation is returned to marriage and sexual intimacy.

  • Tom S.F.O.

    Just a note of gratitude and thanks to Father Newman and Longenecker for having the courage and fortitude to speak the truth concerning this important issue.

    It is so important for our clergy to stand with us instead of sulking amid fears of not being politically correct. I so wish there were many more of them.

    God bless them.

  • Clinton

    I’m confused about the diocese’s response. Did they just nullify everything Fr. Newman said? This is what I read in the Pilot this morning:

    “Any statements or comments to the contrary are repudiated,” Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin said in a Nov. 14 statement.

    Father Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary’s Church in Greenville, S.C., said in a letter to his parishioners that Catholics who voted for Obama, who supports legalized abortion, would have to be reconciled with God through the sacrament of penance before faithfully receiving Communion again. The letter was published on the front page of the parish bulletin Nov. 8-9.

    Msgr. Laughlin said that Father Newman’s comments “diverted the church’s clear teaching on abortion” by pulling it into the “partisan political arena.”

    Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Msgr. Laughlin said that Christ gives everyone “the 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,” he said.

    The diocesan administrator also urged Catholics throughout South Carolina to unite to support Obama and other elected officials “with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child.” He invited people to pray for the new president and his administration as they take office Jan. 20.

    To me, this seems like Catholics are now going to think, “its OK to vote for a candidate who supports abortion” Are we hearing 2 different messages from the Bishops? Moreover, are many Catholics reading this going to be deceived about fighting for abortion.

    Am really confused and disappointed. May God have mercy on us all!

  • Clinton

    Great job Fr. Newman and Longenecker. Support you completely.

  • RobertZ

    Laughlin is not a bishop, and does not have the authority that a bishop has. He was also wrong. Those at Newman’s parish were properly catechised on this issue due to having a God-fearing priest. Most, if not all, of Newman’s flock knew that it would be a grave sin to vote for Obama this election. Hence it would be a mortal sin if they did vote that way. Anyone in mortal sin is not to receive communion, at the risk of greater consequences to their souls. I can’t help but get the feeling that Laughlin voted for Obama. He has already shown not to be true to the faith. I hate to be seen as “bashing” our religious, but it is true that a percentage of them have fallen from God. But we DO need to keep them in our prayers. And as Jim says, we are also responsible for our catechesis.

  • Beth Hambleton

    Dear Father Newman,

    Rejoice and be glad, your reward will be great in heaven. Thank you for having the courage to say the things that needed to be said. You would be standing guilty before our Lord Jesus if you had not done so.

    Your actions indicate a great love for God and His people. For monsignor to say what he said is absolutely wrong. I have lived in the real world for 69 years and am sad to say that many people, including Catholics, do not have a well formed conscience. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the Christians from the heathens. The churches have failed to instruct us about sin for the last 30

  • Beth Hambleton

    Dear Monsignor Laughlin, November 19, 2008

    This letter will probably be disregarded and trashed, but I am going to write it anyway.

    I feel compelled to defend Father Newman because there was nothing wrong in what he said and did. Jesus Christ would have done the same and more. Father Newman

  • Angelbaby1980

    As both Natural Law and the Civil Law allow for the use of deadly force to protect the innocent against deadly attacks, is there any moral or legal bar to stop a rational person from using such force to terminate abortionists?

    Actually, the Church does not allow deadly force against doctors who perform abortions or anyone who helps them. I cannot remember the words of the reason given, but I am sure you can find it. As far as legal, you would go to jail. While deadly force is permissible to protect others when it is the last resort and necessary to save a life, it is better to use nonviolent means if possible. Violence begets violence.

  • Beatrice Fedor

    Please read and answer Trish’s posts for Fr Newman wrote his column for her in the first place!
    I’m not saying judge and condemn her, but please prayerfully read what she has to say and lovingly explain to her the implications of supporting an abortion extremist candidate.
    God Bless you all,

  • Beatrice Fedor

    As Meg pointed out, people who pushed the legalization of abortion in the 70es LIED about the number of illegal abortions to have their way. This we know for a fact because some of these nurses/lawyers/abortionists repented and are now telling the TRUTH. Even Norma Mc Corvey (Mrs Roe) is now putting all her heart and energy in trying to overturn Roe v Wade.

    FACT: Barack Obama has promised Planned Parenthood he will overturn all the bans and state restrictions on abortion. Please find out more about the FOCA bill that he intends to pass first thing in January (the so-called Freedom of Choice Act). Here is what lies ahead with FOCA:

    * TEENAGE GIRLS: Your 17 year old might need your signature to get acne medication but if your 13 year old gets pregnant, she could go and abort your grandchild and you, as parent and legal guardian, has NO SAY whatsoever. No right to be informed of the situation. (She got the information about the closest clinic and the ZERO side effects and ZERO mental consequences of the procedure in sex ed classes.)

    *DOCTORS: a Pro-life doctor who refuses to perform an abortion could be sued by the client and possibly lose his job.

    *BABIES WHO SURVIVE ABORTION: will be by all means terminated since it is the wish of the mothers to get rid of them, even if they are 9 months pregnant.

    I’m praying everyday for Barack Obama’s conversion and for him to change his mind about passing FOCA. I also pray that you my friends might see the light of Christ, the source of all TRUTH shine in the darkness.

  • Dal

    To like or not, we are indeed experiencing the Schism in the Roman Catholic Church. Several ancient prophecies had prophesied that this schism will occur during the great period of Divine chastisements including the great loss of Faith. The true churches shall be labeled heretic. These churches will go underground.

    I can see this prophecy is being fulfilled slowly but surely.

  • Peggy

    I heard Fr. Mitch Pacwa on his show on EWTN this week called “Threshold of Hope” saying that FOCA will also allow for the killing of deformed babies after birth!

    Can you imagine this atrocity on top of all the other horrors that FOCA will bring upon us? What will stop the pro-death crowd from then expanding these “laws” to allow parents to kill their children who become disabled at later ages or when they find out that they are autistic, deaf, etc? It is surely the slippery slope to the depths of hell…

    Jesus have Mercy on us, and please don’t let FOCA pass!

    To the pro-life Catholics who voted for Obama, please join fervently in this fight against this agenda.

  • Kenna

    After reading many of the caustic emails above I choose to rededicate myself – to love God and not judge my neighbor harshly. How depressing to note all the judgmental posts.

    Let’s get back to BASICS? To focus on ourselves and our families?

    That is, if we work within our own communities, Pro-Life will be “the blessed practice” FREELY CHOSEN and not merely “a moral dictate” passed via legislation.

  • Doug Moore


    Thank you for your forthright defence of the truth.

  • MaryKat

    I am also very hopeful that we actually may get our Church back in focus. It’s been too many years of “politically correct” conduct that have taken its toll on the authority of Christ’s Church. Christ warned that they would “… revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake”. And reminds us “… Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven”.
    The crisis of War, Poverty and the Poor Economy all relate to the value we place on human life. If we continue to destroy Life at its beginning, we are violating the most basic truth we admit as moral human beings. The destruction of Life is evil. And to assume that you must be “viable” to gain that “right” is a frightening prospect for anyone facing injuries or age.
    And anyone who voted for Obama pretends that they did not know his voting record on the Pro-Life issue is certainly too ill-informed to vote.

  • mj anderson

    Let’s pray for more priests in the mold of Fr. Newman!

  • Brandon

    Some of us oppose abortion with all our hearts, minds and souls, yet supported Barack Obama for President…because we sincerely believe that by tackling some of the social inequalities that lead a woman to believe she “needs” an abortion, we can make a real difference.

    That’s hard to digest since Barack *promised* to sign the FOCA as soon as he took office.[smiley=evil]

    Most of us are not cafeteria Catholics, or occasional Catholics, but are practicing, devout Catholics who struggle every day to try and follow Jesus, mindful that not one of us, regardless of how we voted, is fit to receive the Body and Blood of our Savior.

    Wow, this must be the relativism that the Holy Father has warned us against! As far as being “fit” is concerned, perhaps you should Google “state of grace”. The Lord gave us the Sacrament of the Altar for our use, and sacramental Reconciliation makes you a fit partaker.

  • K.D. Pandit

    Scott Newman and Dwight Longenecker are perfect for this part of conservative south carolina. their ranting against gays and the pro-choice movement (not pro-abortion) is NOT universal to catholic parishes in other parts of the country. They are out to create an exclusive catholic club. Their theology is antiquated, irrelevant, and a vivid example of the hyper-conservative backlash going on in our Church right now. They and their ilk think they invented the catholic church. sadly, our very bright and thoughtful moderate bishops and priests are dying off, giving way to these ego maniac zealots.

  • RobertZ

    K.D. Pandit, are you not aware of the universal teachings of the Church? There may be liberal priests and bishops who go against infallible teachings, but they will have to answer for it in the afterlife. The Church stance on homosexuality and abortion will never change, as it is impossible for it to change on these subjects. Pandit, I would be very careful about blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. Also, pro-choice is the same thing as pro-abortion. Murder is murder. Scott Newman and Dwight Longenecker are truly Catholic. Will you choose to follow Christ and the Church He instituted? There is no hyper-conservative backlash going on. A person is either Catholic or is not Catholic.

  • RobertZ

    The following is quoted from another poster on this website or that of Catholic org. I do not remember which.

    In Short, I am “Moderately Pro-Choice”

    Robert P. George

  • meg

    Scott Newman and Dwight Longenecker are perfect for this part of conservative south carolina. their ranting against gays and the pro-choice movement (not pro-abortion) is NOT universal to catholic parishes in other parts of the country. They are out to create an exclusive catholic club. Their theology is antiquated, irrelevant, and a vivid example of the hyper-conservative backlash going on in our Church right now. They and their ilk think they invented the catholic church. sadly, our very bright and thoughtful moderate bishops and priests are dying off, giving way to these ego maniac zealots.

    “Pro-choice” is the one of the most brilliant marketing phrases ever invented, don’t you know this? Unfortunately, it was invented not to sell cars or candy bars, but to sell abortion. Countless people have fallen victim to the old “pro-choice” line and softened their positions on this most grave issue because of it. Don’t you realize you’ve been played, too? You’re either for abortion or against it, you think it’s a solution that works or you don’t – it’s either OK or it’s not. There’s no “choice” about it (read post #90 for more information about how people have been manipulated).

    Maybe you’re too young to remember, but the moderate priests and bishops that are dying off are actually part of the movement that thinks THEY invented the Church, 40 years ago. Authentic Catholicism looks a lot more like Newman’s and Longenecker’s than that of the priests and bishops you admire. This is the reason their views are not “universal” as you say; most Catholics today are poorly catechised. Catholicism cannot be summed up in a sound byte. The exclusive Catholic club, as you describe it, only seems exclusive to you because your understanding of Catholicism at it’s root is fundamentally flawed. Don’t you want to be a part of something transcendent, that is beyond the everyday world? Don’t you desire heaven? If you truly did, you would realize that “pro-choice” thinking and gay rights have no place there.

    You talk about the Catholic church like it’s a political party, beholden to voters whims and cultural and social trends. It is decidedly not, thank God.

  • Dal

    Excerpts from a Commentary by Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, President, Human Life International

    It is impossible to speak of a “Catholic culture” in America any longer. A whole segment of the populace who call themselves “Catholics” do not feel bound by any standard of Catholic orthodoxy or sanity. In fact, it is impossible to even speak of a Catholic culture in most parishes!

    At a recent “ministry faire” of a large Catholic parish in south Florida, the Respect Life ministry of the parish displayed its pro-life materials next to the table of the “social justice” committee of the same parish

  • Dal

    When I read the following except from Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, “…When Christ and Belial (Baal) are considered equal partners in the sanctuary,…” I remember what the Lord said looking at Jerusalem as being recounted in Gospel of St. Matthew:

    “24:15 When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand.

    24:16 Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains:

    24:17 And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house:

    24:18 And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat.

    24:19 And woe to them that are with child and that give suck in those days.

    24:20 But pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the sabbath.

    24:21 For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.”

    We now have seen the abomination of desolation presides at the Altar Table of the Lord along with the Lord Himself, thanks to the atrocities and sacrileges committed by the rebellious heretic clergy and their followers.

    As the Lord had said, ” he that readeth, let him understand …” many will read but only a few understand and witness what He had warned. We now witness the calamities , more truly, the Divine Chastisements we have never seen before or even imagined of.

    Pray for the hastening of Triumphs of the Holy Eucharist and of the Immaculate Heart, otherwise, all will be lost.

  • K.D.

    Billy Graham’s Prayer For Our Nation


    ‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice.. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!’Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, ‘The Rest of the Story,’ and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called ‘One nation under God.’

    Think about this: If you forward this prayer to everyone on your e-mail list, in less than 30 days it would be heard by the world. (It’s worth a try!) One Nation Under God.

  • Luis Howard


    Guitarist, Trish, and anyone else who lamely attempted to defend Obama: The man has been bought and paid for by the abortion industry, and if you believe anything else, you are trying entirely too hard. Kmiec and others have absolutely, completely lost their way–they are trying too hard. There is no way to consider Obama anything but completely and absolutely dedicated to doing the abortion industry’s bidding–he has made that very clear with his own words, including at a Planned Parenthood event, including by saying that if one of his daughters ‘makes a mistake’ that he doesn’t want her PUNISHED with a baby–how can that be interpreted in any way other than that the baby is disposable. CATHOLICS SIMPLY CANNOT THINK THAT OBAMA IS ANYTHING BUT A VERY DANGEROUS MAN REGARDING LIFE! Try, force, contrive, but you cannot turn Obama into anythig other than a viciously pro abortion pol. God help him, and God help the wishy washy bishops and priests who don’t have what it takes to do what Fr Newman, Cardinal Stafford, Archbishops Burke and Chaput, Bishops Hermann, Vann, Ferrell, Naumann, Foley, Finn, Murphy, and two or three others did. If all of the bishops and priests had done what they had to do, we wouldn’t have a pro abortion pol as president elect.

  • RobertZ

    K.D. (unless this is a different K.D.), does this mean you have had a conversion of heart and now seek to follow the full teachings of Christ and His Church? This would be truly a joyful event if it is so. Also, these two priests certainly deserve an apology of what you said about them.

  • dina little

    Please tell Fr. Newman that he was very brave and perfectly rigt to say what he said. Our church could use more like him!
    God bless and protect him!!
    Dina Little

  • Dal

    IDOL-SHEPHERDS (Zechariah, 12-13-14)

    “Woe betide it (the Church as of its dignitaries) thrice when it worships the Beast of which John speaks, namely political Power, and let itself be enslaved by it.”
    ” I will only tell you that from a priesthood that loves rationalism too much and serves political power too much, there can be fatally come a very dark period for the Church.”

    (Idol-shepherds are those who worship worldly idols, therefore, lead their sheep with falsehoods. The Lord also spoke of these idol-shepherds of our times, prophesied by Zechariah as the DIRECT outcome of the collective errors and lack of devotion and love for God from all Church members.)

  • Lissette Dernier

    May the peace, mercy and grace of our Eucharistic Lord be upon you. Below, The Hero! Many times I have heard comments like, what is he or she trying to do, change the world????? Well, yes, you could make a huge difference in Christ, Holy Spirit.
    Sharing: I found this cute but positive, creative, a tool to be used. What does it truly mean to love another Soul besides your own?
    Great work Down South! We have some Dominicans in St. Mary

  • Lissette Dernier

    One thing I do know is that Jesus Christ preached with conviction and transformed a soul just as easy with the Truth and His unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion, you wouldn

  • Peggy

    Dear Friends,
    I write this in a spirit of prayer, peace and sadness. The psalms are softly playing; I sit in a chair beside my dying mother. She struggles unto her death, my heart really loves her. All has been reconciled; I have shared my heart with her. God is finishing his purification on her soul. I prayed years ago that the Lord would allow her to do her purgatory on earth. He has answered her prayer. She is the lamb now, being purified and crushed. But it still hurts to see your mother suffer. I have chosen to enter in to the mystery of the cross. I am quiet and pensive through this time. She is all of 70 pounds. My heart is on the cross with her. Today would be my sister Debbie