Is Governor McGreevey ripe for a conversion?
by Barbara Kralis
11 May 2004
Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey, a pro-abortion Catholic Democrat, recently
said he would voluntarily refrain from taking Communion at Mass out of respect
for his Archbishop.
A surprising turn
of events recently took place on the political scene. It may have gone unnoticed
by most of the top analysts, politicos and pundits, but it has given many
faithful Catholics a sign of hope. The man, Governor James E. McGreevey
of New Jersey, deserves a little more of our attention. Here’s why.
Catholics have suffered from a 30 year-old scandal of hundreds of pro-abortion
‘Catholic’ politicians, both in the U.S. Congress and in State and local
legislatures, who defiantly reject clearly defined Church teachings, some
which are 2,000 years old, warning members not to receive the Eucharist unworthily
or with mortal sin.
Over the past twenty years, several U.S. and world bishops have warned manifest,
obstinate, persistent sinners not to come to the altar to receive sacrilegious
To date, none that we know of have obeyed their bishops but continued instead
to give grave scandal to the church and its members.
None, that is, until Wednesday, May 5, 2004, when Newark’s Archbishop John
J. Myers released a much needed pastoral statement, entitled, "A Time for Honesty."
In it, Myers wrote that Catholic politicians who support the right of a mother
to abort the child in her womb should not seek Communion. The statement
fell short of being promulgated as a ‘canonical notification’ but was nonetheless
a powerful admonition.
Here’s the surprising event. On the same day, New Jersey Governor James
E. McGreevey, a pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ Democrat, actually said he would
voluntarily refrain from taking Communion at Mass out of respect for his
Now, I’m not saying pro-abortion, pro-gay Governor McGreevey is my hero,
far from that. What I am pointing out is he is one of the few, if not
the only one, to obey his bishop’s warning to stop receiving the Eucharist.
And, he did it publicly, with humility.
Could this be the beginning of a conversion of conscience for Governor McGreevey,
the former altar boy? This could be the first step towards the Governor’s
return to Christ and His Church?
With God, all things are possible.
McGreevey’s response, of course, was the only proper one. We remain
sorrowful for his continued support for evil legislation.
Saints before McGreevey have also had to take their first steps back to Christ;
St. Paul persecuted Christ’s Church and later became one of the greatest
disciples. St. Augustine lived a sinful life of fornication and unbelief;
he recanted his ways (thanks to the prayers of his mother, St. Monica), and
became one of the great doctors of the Church. The number of those who returned
to God is well documented in the lives of the Saints.
Will more pro-abortion legislators actually start obeying magisterial warnings against sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist?
It is more likely to happen if all the heads of the l96 U.S. dioceses will
promulgate ‘canonical notifications’ in each of their dioceses, just as the
good Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis did, while he was bishop of La
Archbishop Burke explained, “No good bishops could stand by and let this
[sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist] happen. These public legislators
are in grave sin.”
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln initiated a similar action, a synodal
law in l996 that has an automatic penalty of excommunication attached to
it. Recently, Bishop Bruskewitz issued another official statement
saying he would deny the Eucharist to manifest, obstinate, persistent sinners
and gave total support to Archbishop Burke’s ‘canonical notification.’
Importantly, two of New Jersey's four other Latin Rite bishops, Bishops Smith
of Trenton and Galante of Camden, have publicly supported Archbishop
Myers in recent days, stating that they would deny the Governor the Eucharist.
Archbishop Myers urged that Catholic voters and Catholics in public life
carefully consider their position if they find themselves in opposition to
Church teaching in these matters.
Next, the Archbishop implored McGreevey and all dissenters to be honest and
to admit in the public forum that they are not in full union with the Church
and that they have abandoned the full Catholic faith.
Shortly after the Archbishop released these pastoral statements, McGreevey admitted at a Trenton press briefing:
"The archbishop of Newark is clearly the leader of the Catholic community
throughout the Archdiocese. I will respect the Archbishop's request."
I don’t know about you, but I’m writing the Governor, inviting him
to come back to full union with the Catholic Church. Perhaps if he
receives enough prayers and encouragement, we’ll witness an outpouring of
grace upon his soul.
The holy remedy now for the Governor is to publicly recant his pro-death
mentality on abortion, gay rights, and embryonic stem cell research, go to
his bishop for the Sacrament of confession, make reparation for his sins
and spend the rest of his life working to undo all the harm he has done.
The recompense will be great.
God awaits Gov. McGreevey just as much as he awaits you and me.
Kralis and her husband, Mitch, live in the great State of Texas, and co-direct
the Jesus Through Mary Catholic Foundation. © 2004 Catholic Online.
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