Yesterday, the American Life League began a $500,000 advertising campaign targeting Catholic bishops who do not refuse Communion to politicians who oppose church teaching in public policy. The campaign follows D.C.'s Cardinal Theodore McCarrick statement saying he is not comfortable denying Communion to John Kerry. The Life League's first ad shows Jesus on the cross and asks McCarrick, "Cardinal McCarrick: Are you comfortable now?"

Such pressure has made nearly every recent Sunday of John Kerry's campaign a spectacle as reporters speculate if Kerry will take Communion. The pressure has also passed beyond Kerry. Following statements by three New Jersey bishops saying that politicians who support abortion should not take Communion, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has decided he will not take Communion. The bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has also supposedly warned Senator Tom Daschle not to call himself a Catholic.

If the Catholic Church does crack down on politicians who support abortion or gay marriage, The Washington Post asks, where will it end?

Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, said her organization believes that all priests and lay Eucharistic ministers who hand out Communion are obligated—with or without instructions from their bishops—to refuse Communion to any federal, state, or local official who is known to disagree with church teaching on abortion, contraception, stem cell research, euthanasia, or in vitro fertilization. 

Other liberal and conservative Catholic groups add issues like gay marriage, war, and the death penalty as reasons to the list of reasons for refusing Communion. Evangelicals seem to support efforts to crack down on wayward Catholic politicians, but how long will that support ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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