Bishop to Prejean: Don't be partisan

Sister Helen Prejean of Dead Man Walking fame was uninvited as keynote speaker of a Diocese of Duluth (MN) education dinner in October because she was a signatory in an ad calling for the removal of George W. Bush--but not for reasons you'd think.

The ad, headlined "The World Can't Wait! Drive out the Bush Regime!," was signed by 90 activists and celebrities, including Dead Man star Susan Sarandan, Rep. John Conyers, choreographer Bill T. Jones, Rabbi Joseph Lerner, and Rep. John Conyers, and decries the Bush administration for "illegitimate war," "openly torturing people, and justifying it," and denying lawyers access to detainees arrested under suspicion of terrorism, among others. While Prejean now wishes her name hadn't been on the ad because it includes a reference to abortion--which Prejean opposes--Bishop Dennis Schnurr's decision to cancel Prejean's visit had nothing to do with the pro-life doctrine of the Catholic church. Diocesan spokesperson Kyle Eller explains that the church has an obligation, both morally and legally, to remain nonpartisan, and that "When it gets into attacking (a political figure), that becomes partisan." From a post on her website, it seems Prejean disagrees with that statement on moral grounds:
For me, personally, it would be sinful not to raise my voice publicly in opposition to the life-destructive policies and practices of the Bush administration. That is what led me to sign the ad calling for his removal.
The August 3 ad, which ran in the New York Times, calls for a nationwide "day of mass resistance" on October 5.

[Cross-posted at Minnesota Monitor.]

1 comment:

epppie said...

For the Church's explanation to be justified, I think they would have to have never had any speakers who publically endorsed any political position.

I doubt that's the case.