White martyrdom is persecution. It is happening, from what I see, to Father Newman of St. Mary's in Greenville, SC. Last Sunday, Father Newman distributed a letter which instructed his parishioners that - because voting for a pro-abort candidate was complicity with grave evil - anyone who voted for Obama should be sure to go to Confession before presenting themselves for Communion.
A veritable firestorm has broken out. The instructions of the former bishop of Charleston seem to support this decision - Bishop Baker signed an agreement between Charleston, Charlotte, and the Archdiocese of Atlanta to deny Communion to pro-abort politicians.
Sadly, the current diocesan administrator, Msgr. McLaughlin, appears not to have remembered that precedent; he has issued a statement in opposition to Father Newman, accusing him of partisan politics in violation of the Church's stance on engagement with political concerns.
Msgr. McLauglin will be hearing from me. Fr. Newman pointed out that, had the other party's platform included a strong support for FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act, which seeks to overturn the Bush ban on partial-birth abortion and the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act), he would have been just as outspoken about it, too. It is the pro-abort policy and promises made by the individual candidate - and the Church is very clear in her insistence that Life Issues are the most important concerns facing Christians in the voting booth.
Pray for Father Newman, won't you, please? A friend in Greenville tells me he received over a thousand emails in a 4-hour period, last night, and now that major networks have picked up the item, the heat will only increase. You can see from the comments on WRAL.COM webpage (I'm lauraleigh, in case it isn't obvious) that the general sentiment is not in favor of the good Father.
I left a phone message and sent an email this morning. I would post the parish website here, but it's down at the present.
More to follow -
and I don't mean just about Fr. Newman. When administrators within the Church turn on a faithful priest who has told his flock what they need to know for the sake of their immortal souls, you know that ordinary laypeople like you and me are at very high risk, within the church as well as in the world. We expect to be hated in the world; it's always a bitter shock to encounter hostility and contempt within the church.
Things are only going to get worse in the coming months.