She said; he said
She was raised a Catholic. Now she heads the most prominent pro-abortion organization in the US.
She says that she had a major clash with her bishop, 15 years ago, because of her outspoken support for the slaughter of unborn babies. The bishop, she claims, made "a public effort to excommunicate her," and she "stood up" to it. It was "very, very big," Nancy Keenan told the Washington Post.
A bit of background here. Bishops have the authority to declare excommunications. (There's no question of making an "effort" to do so; it's done.) The individual could appeal, through canonical courts. But that's not what Nancy Keenan did. Instead she told Bishop Elden Curtiss to take a hike. By her own account, then, she was excommunicated.
But there's a problem with Keenan's account. If Bishop Curtiss made a public "effort" to discipline her, it's odd that there is no record of the excommunication.
So what's the real story?
Now comes Eric Schiedermayer, spokesman for the Diocese of Helena, Montana, who tells CNSNews.com that there was never any attempt to excommunicate Keenan in due canonical form; the bishop just tried to "help her understand" that public support for abortion is incompatible with the Catholic faith, and there were "no threats of sanctions at all."
So here's where we stand:
- The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America thinks her clash with the Church is "very, very big," and she was willing to forsake the faith rather than stop promoting the abortion industry.
- The spokesman for her local diocese says that it really isn't such a big deal, and you can become the figurehead for the pro-abortion movement without facing any Church discipline.
The abortion lobby wants a fight with the Catholic hierarchy. But this heavyweight can't land a punch, his opponent is backpedaling so quickly.
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