SUBJECT: RELIGION!!! & POLITICS!!!
I am also not in favor of the idea that all politicians whose private lives or public votes are not in accord with their professed religious faith should automatically be excommunicated. Again, this position would no doubt frustrate friends of mine on various points of the religious spectrum! This is fine by me!
To my mind, excommunication is a tool used most effectively when it is used rarely -- but when it IS used, is used to good and deliberate effect. Overused (or even over-threatened) it loses any effectiveness it might have AS a tool, both to save the soul of the excommunicate, and to take a strong public stand.
Having said all this, I would like to propose a worthy candidate for public excommunication in the Catholic Church -- namely, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. She has publicly and unrepentantly deliberately mis-stated the teachings of the Church on life issues; she has publicly and unrepentantly defied her own bishop, and now, for me anyhow, the last straw.
The Speaker, today, on this, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, publicly prayed to the foster-father of Our Lord, that the current version of the health-care legislation be passed. Also here. (Hat tip to American Papist!)
Please don't get me wrong. I'm not attacking health-care reform, nor are the Catholic bishops. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, long a supporter of real heath-care reform, have also come out strongly against the current version of the health-care legislation.
But, in this case, some extremely basic concerns about the current version of the legislation are not only being addressed, they are being ignored, and those raising those concerns are being marginalized -- at best.
It seems to me, that a public statement by the Bishops supporting substantive health-care reform, while making it clear that the Speaker's action -- publicly praying to St. Joseph for support for a bill which would, in many respects, make a mockery of authentic Catholic social teaching -- is unacceptable; even blasphemous to the point of placing her outside the Graces of the Church would be entirely appropriate!