Monday, April 28, 2008

Egan to Rudy: "Outta Line"

In the aftermath of The Visit, it's been noted in not a few quarters that five Catholic politicians on-record as pro-choice -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sens. John Kerry and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Chris Dodd of Connecticut and former New York Mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani -- received the Eucharist at one B16 Mass or another.

Within the hour, Gotham's Cardinal Edward Egan issued a statement on the taking of Communion by the thrice-married ex-mayor during the papal liturgy in St Patrick's Cathedral:
The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God. Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind. Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion. I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding.
In its response, Team Rudy said it would welcome the meeting, but with a twist: Giuliani's faith "is a deeply personal matter and should remain confidential" according to his spokeswoman.

The move is a notable change of public tack by the occupant of 452 Madison. In an early 2007 TV interview, when asked how he'd "come down" on public officials who defy church teaching -- Giuliani included -- Egan said that the politicos named were "all friends of mine."

"I wish them all the best, and they've been very good to us" the cardinal told WNBC's David Ushery.

Suffice it to say, compare and contrast... and connect the dots.

SVILUPPO: Need anyone be reminded, backdropping the Gotham theater of the "Communion Wars" is Egan's expected retirement in short order from the archbishopric; the cardinal tendered his age-mandated walking papers to Pope Benedict at his 75th birthday last year.

For what it's worth, the current edition of New York magazine sizes up the field of likely successors.

The mag might have a contextual error or two to fix... but you get the idea.

PHOTO: AP/Chris LaPutt