NEWARK, New Jersey, MAY 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop John Myers regrets that his recent criticism of Catholic elected officials who support abortion had been interpreted by some as a political attack on New Jersey’s governor.
Archbishop Myers told the New York Times that Governor James McGreevey was not the target of statements he had made in a pastoral letter saying that Catholic officeholders who support abortion should not seek Communion. He said he apologized to McGreevey for any misperception by the public.
“And we are working together on a lot of issues, like providing social services for the poor and helping people with HIV,” said the archbishop. McGreevey has said he would refrain from taking Communion.
Meanwhile, the head of a Catholic grass-roots political and policy organization said it was disrespectful for politicians to criticize Catholic Church leaders who have the courage to speak out on moral issues in the political arena.
Last week, 48 Catholic Democratic members of Congress signed a letter to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, complaining that statements or letters by some U.S. bishops regarding Church teaching on proper respect for the Eucharist are counterproductive and “miring the Church in partisan politics.”
Some bishops, including Archbishop Myers, have stated that politicians who publicly and persistently advocate and support policies that intentionally destroy human life must be denied Communion.
Appearing on a Fox News program on Friday, Ray Flynn, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and now president of Your Catholic Voice, said of his pro-abortion fellow Democratic Party members, “They want to be Catholic on Election Day and get the Catholic vote, but when they get to Washington or the statehouse, they consistently vote with every well-financed radical group that is working against the most fundamental of all human rights.”