An outspoken Roman Catholic priest is drawing attention to 14 confessing Catholics in the U.S. Senate who helped reject a bill that would have outlawed abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, calling on their bishops and parish priests to rebuke the lawmakers.
Father Dwight Longenecker wrote on his blog that he was “absolutely shocked” when the bill to ban “barbaric, inhumane” late-term abortions was rejected Jan. 29. And he found it “even more shocking” that the legislation would have proceeded to a vote and likely passed if not for the fact that 14 Catholic senators voted to block it, including Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, by a 51-46 vote, fell short of the 60 votes required for the Senate to break a Democratic filibuster. The premise of the bill was that the fetus is capable of feeling pain during an abortion at 20 weeks.
“Today is the day for their bishops to issue a formal statement acknowledging that these men and women have publicly denied their Catholic faith, and if not formally, then have informally excommunicated themselves,” Longenecker said, as LifeNews.com was first to report.
“Since their offense is public it should be acknowledged publicly and their pastors should publicly rebuke them and ask them not to receive the sacraments.”
Longenecker said that if the bishops and priests “do not do this, the faithful in their parishes and dioceses should rise up and blizzard them with letters, emails and the one thing that will really make them sit up and take notice: with holding their contributions.”
“This hideous crime against humanity, this hidden holocaust will not stop until those in authority stand against it publicly and vehemently,” he declared.
Along with Durbin, Kaine and Collins, the Catholics who voted to block the bill to ban late-term abortions were Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Patty Murray of Washington and Jack Reed of Rhode Island.
Longenecker said he is calling for “a nationwide, total Catholic publicity effort” to call out the senators.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a ‘liberal’ or a ‘conservative.’”
See Fr. Longenecker’s list:
Longenecker says on his blog he was reared in an evangelical Christian home in Pennsylvania and graduated from the fundamentalist Bob Jones University. He went on to study theology at Oxford University in England and was ordained as an Anglican priest. In 1995, “realizing that the Anglican Church and I were on divergent paths, he and his family were received into the Catholic Church. He now serves as pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina.
He said “every Catholic college, university, institute of learning, newspaper and website should publish the names of the Catholic senators who voted for late term abortion, and circulate their names as widely as possible.”
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