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about face

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Nov 15, 2008

 When Father Scott Newman instructed his parishioners that they should make a good Confession before receiving Communion if they had voted for a pro-abortion candidate, he received both kudos and criticism. The most pointed criticism came from the administrator of the diocese, Msgr. Martin Laughlin, who announced: "Father Newman's statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church's teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated."

Now that's interesting. Because on the very day Msgr. Laughlin released that statement, the local newspaper had reported

While Newman has been the most outspoken of South Carolina priests in the wake of the election, the administrator of the diocese of Charleston, Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin, supports him fully, said diocesan spokesman Steve Gajdosik.

"I think it's fair to say that Father Newman's letter echoes the sentiments of Father Laughlin," he said.

 No competent PR man would issue such a clear statement of support without first having checked with his boss-- in this case (since the Charleston see is currently without a bishop) the diocesan administrator, Msgr. Laughlin. Notice too that Gajdosik used Laughlin's name. Why do you suppose he felt so sure that he knew how Laughlin felt?

Maybe it was because other priests of the Charleston diocese had already indicated their support for Father Newman.  On November 12, for example, Father Newman received this message:

Thank you for your statement. I wish the bishops would have been as forthright. Why did they not speak before the election?

That email message was sent to Father Newman by... are you ready?... Msgr. Laughlin.

Let's review: On November 12, Msgr. Laughlin personally thanks Father Newman for his statement, and compares him (Newman) favorably with the US bishops. On November 14 the same Msgr. Laughlin officially repudiates Father Newman's statement. 

Wouldn't you love to see Msgr. Laughlin's phone log for November 12-14? 

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