The Corner

The Bishop and The Governor-Elect

K-Lo, the next time you’re on the horn to the Vatican, could you ask what advice they’d give to the Bishop of Sacramento? This past January, you’ll recall, Bishop William Weigand let Govenor Gray Davis have it:

“[P]eople have been asking questions,” Weigand said, speaking in the cathedral in Sacramento. “They asked ‘how can a Catholic be in good standing and still hold [the pro-choice] point of view?’ I’m saying you can’t be a Catholic in good standing and hold that point of view. The governor’s position is very public and contrary. … You can’t have it both ways.

“As your bishop,” Weigand said, “I have to say clearly that anyone — politician or otherwise — who thinks it is acceptable for a Catholic to be pro-abortion is in very great error, puts his or her soul at risk, and is not in good standing with the church. Such a person should have the integrity to acknowledge this and choose of his own volition to abstain from receiving Holy Communion until he has a change of heart.”

This seems to have had no effect on Davis–as best I can make it out, he’s a Catholic of only the most nominal kind. But there’s pretty good evidence that Schwarzenegger takes his faith much more seriously–he, Maria, and their four children attend mass every Sunday, a couple of friends who belong to their church tell me–and if Bishop Weigand confronts him, then Schwarzenegger might at the very least find himself with a troubled conscience. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think the Bishop has much choice. Confront a Democrat but not a Republican? What sense would that make?

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