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Priest Says… Excommunicate 14 Catholic Senators Who Voted Against Late-Term Abortion Ban

February 14, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By LISA BOURNE

(Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews ran this story on February 5.)

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A Catholic priest is calling on bishops to excommunicate the 14 Catholic-identifying U.S. senators who voted two weeks ago against banning late-term abortions. He is also calling on priests to deny the Catholic pro-abortion senators Holy Communion.
“Today is the day for their bishops to issue a formal statement acknowledging that these men and women have publicly denied their Catholic faith, and if not formally, then have informally excommunicated themselves,” Fr. Dwight Longenecker wrote in a recent blog post.
Many bishops often refuse to publicly correct pro-abortion politicians who say they are Catholic. Of these, a small number prefer to be more “pastoral,” handling the matter in private.
But Fr. Longenecker wasted no time on this premise, pointing out the reality of the infraction committed by public figures identifying themselves as Catholic when they publicly support abortion.
“Since their offense is public, it should be acknowledged publicly and their pastors should publicly rebuke them and deny them access to the sacraments,” he said, adding that if Church hierarchy does not do so, then Catholics should make their concerns known via the most effective channel — the collection basket.
“If the bishops and priests do not do this,” Fr. Longenecker added, “the faithful in their parishes and dioceses should rise up and blizzard them with letters, emails, and the one thing that will really make them sit up and take notice: withholding their contributions.”
Longenecker, pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Greenville, S.C., wrote about the fact that 46 of 97 members of the U.S. Senate voted January 29 against ending debate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and the result of that was the Senate not being allowed to vote on the bill, and the senators in effect voting against the ban.
The bill’s premise is based upon the scientifically established fact an unborn child can feel pain at 20 weeks.
One of two proposed bills up for a possible vote to coincide with the annual March for Life, it was not perfect, allowing exceptions for babies conceived in rape or incest. It was regarded by some as feel-good legislation timed for the annual March when pro-life advocates and media would be paying attention. Despite its shortcomings, the bill would have banned most late-term abortions, a brutal and inhumane practice.
“So fourteen Catholic senators voted for this barbaric, inhumane practice to still be legal in the United States and thereby assured its continuation,” Fr. Longenecker stated.
Fr. Longenecker called on Catholic media to publish their names and to “publish the horror that they have enabled by their vote.”
He also stated that “every Catholic college, university, institute of learning, newspaper, and website should publish the names of the Catholic senators who voted for late-term abortion, and circulate their names as widely as possible.”
He included links to the official vote roll call and public record of the senators’ identifying as Catholic, as well as a chart containing their district, diocese, and bishop.
Fr. Longenecker remained vocal on social media throughout the week about his call to name the 14 Catholic pro-abortion voting senators, making numerous posts.
“USCCB website acknowledged Monday’s Senate vote in favor of late-term abortion was ‘appalling’,” he tweeted Thursday, February 1, “but fails to name and condemn Catholic senators who voted for dismemberment of unborn babies. That article now gone from website. Essentially — silence from the USCCB.”
The USCCB responded that its statement was still available on the conference website, but did not address the substance of Longenecker’s tweet.
“CRUX, National Catholic Reporter, and America Mag — leading Catholic online journals still all silent about Monday’s Senate vote and no comment on the Catholic senators who voted for late-term abortions,” he tweeted that same day. “Does silence indicate consent?”
“I expect the bishops of ‘The Fourteen’ will say, ‘It is better that I have a quiet word with them in private about this matter’,” Longenecker tweeted as well. “No. Their vote was a formal, public action in favor of late term abortion. Public crime demands a public condemnation.”
He used the #namethefourteen hashtag in all his posts related to the defense of human life.
“Neonatologist says, ‘Babies at 20 weeks gestation do feel pain’,” he quoted with a link to an article from The Federalist.
Longenecker also shared the Catholic World Report column on the matter by canon lawyer Ed Peters, wherein Peters termed the senators The Bloody 14.
One of his posts showed that North Dakota Democrat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp — who is among the Catholic pro-abort 14 — was also one who high-fived New York Democrat Chuck Schumer upon the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’s defeat.
Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck, N.D., took heat in October 2012 after a letter to the diocese’s parishes regarding the forthcoming election was leaked. The letter had discussed the non-negotiable issues of life and marriage, and asked Catholics to consider the Church’s teaching on those issues when voting. Some regarded the letter as telling people not to vote for Heitkamp, who was running for the Senate.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., had previously upheld the decision of one of his priests to deny Holy Communion to Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, one of the Catholic pro-abortion 14.
Providence, R.I., Bishop Thomas Tobin was critical of Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine during the 2016 election because of Kaine’s support for abortion, same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, and women’s ordination. Tobin also publicly rebuked Democrat Cong. Patrick Kennedy for Kennedy’s support for abortion.
The names of the 14 Catholic senators who voted against the 20-week abortion ban are:
Maria Cantwell — Washington; Susan Collins — Maine; Dick Durbin — Illinois; Kirsten Gillibrand — New York; Heidi Heitkamp — North Dakota; Tim Kaine — Virginia; Patrick Leahy — Vermont; Ed Markey — Massachusetts; Catherine Cortez Masto — Nevada; Claire McCaskill — Missouri; Bob Menendez — New Jersey; Lisa Murkowski — Alaska; Patty Murray — Washington; Jack Reed — Rhode Island.

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