Thu 6 Nov, 2008 07:11 am
Catholic bishop: Obama supporters risk their ‘eternal salvation’
By Carol Eisenberg
November 4, 2008 at 4:18pm
Bad enough to experience earthly doubts about one’s choice for president.
But Kansas City’s Bishop Robert W. Finn warned yesterday that supporting Barack Obama could jeopardize a Catholic’s eternal salvation, because of what he called the Democrat’s “fanatical” stance on abortion rights.
“You make yourself a participant in the act of abortion” if you vote for Obama, Finn said in an interview with KCMO Talk Radio. “That’s gravely wrong. And you mustn’t do it because your eternal salvation is tied up with that important choice.”
At a time when both parties are aggressively courting Catholic voters, Finn is among a group of at least 70 bishops of the Catholic Church’s 195 diocesan leaders who have urged Catholics to vote on the single issue of abortion, which the church deems a grave sin, according to church commentator Rocco Palmo.
Others in that category include Cardinals Edward Egan of New York, Francis George of Chicago, Justin Rigali of Philadelphia and Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.
But none of those have expressed themselves in such fire-and-brimstone terms.
A member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, Finn has become a standard-bearer of conservative orthodoxy since being elevated to head the Kansas City-Saint Joseph, MO diocese in May 2005.
Before being elevated to bishop, he was a priest in St. Louis under Archbishop Raymond Burke, who made headlines himself in 2004 when he forbade Sen. John Kerry from taking communion in the area due to Kerry’s stance on abortion.
Two weeks after Finn was installed as the head of the midwestern diocese, he demonstrated his take-no-prisoners attitude by dismissing the diocese’s longtime chancellor and vice chancellor, and canceling a nationally known lay education program, according to National Catholic Reporter.
“Our goal is to get ourselves to heaven and take as many people with us as we can,” he said by explanation.