Kathleen Sebelius has a sterling record as Governor of Kansas. She reduced the state debt, improved education and worked across the aisle with a Republican legislature. Now President Obama has nominated her to be his new Secretary of Health.
A number of commentators are saying that she will have a tough time getting confirmed because of her stance on abortion. She is personally opposed to abortion but she has defended a woman’s right to choose and she has vetoed a number of anti-abortion measures.
Her stance on abortion has caught the eye of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kansas. He has ordered her not to receive communion until she repents of her pro-abortion views and he has ordered his priests not to give her communion.
Should she be banned from Communion?
On the one hand she claims to be a practising Catholic and the official teaching of the Catholic church is that abortion is murder. If she does not knuckle under and submit to that presumably church authorities including her Archbishop have the right to punish her.
On the other hand, Governor Sebelius, as a politician and legislator does not believe she has the right to force her personal beliefs on abortion down the throats of all the citizens of Kansas. The Pope’s writ on abortion or anything else does not extend beyond the boundaries of his own church. It is natural enough that in a pluralistic society, there is more than one view on abortion. The RC church says human life must be protected from conception to death. But the church has never defined when conception occurs.
I expect Kathleen Sebelius will be confirmed by the Senate rather easily as she should be.
What do you think?
And what do you think about her being banned from communion? (Incidentally the vast majority of American bishops do not subscribe to this hard line on abortion.)