Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 30, 2005

Priest threatened with arrest for giving communion

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:01 pm

Perhaps it’s just me, but I thoguht we had freedom of religion in this country, and that that freedom was protected by the First Amendment, which says,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see anything in there about “unless a judge objects, in which case the police can arrest you” after the “free exercise thereof” part. Now I know a judge is not “Congress” making a law, but judges aren’t supposed to make laws in the first place, and the fourth and fourteenth amendments are supposed protect our rights against imposition by the other branches and the states.

Yet, we have this report, from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Schiavo’s religion — Roman Catholicism — has always been a flashpoint in the seven-year legal battle between her parents and her husband. Her faith was so entwined in the legal fight that a judge issued an order dictating the exact number of times — once — that she could receive Holy Communion after her feeding tube was removed March 18.

But Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski, who gave Schiavo her last authorized Holy Communion on Easter, said Tuesday that he had tried to defy the order during an afternoon visit to Schiavo’s hospice room. Bobby Schindler, Schiavo’s brother, said the three police officers in the room warned Malanowski that he would be arrested if he followed through on plans to place a drop of consecrated wine on Schiavo’s lips.

Holy Communion is one of four steps in the Catholic sacrament for the dying. Malanowski said he was able to perform the other three: granting absolution for sins, anointing the forehead and performing an apostolic blessing. He performed all four on Easter but said Schiavo should have the right to receive Holy Communion every day.

Supporters of the Schindlers accused the courts of infringing on Schiavo’s religious freedom.

Not one, but three police officers are sitting in a room to make sure a woman dies. To make sure no one feeds her. And to make sure no one does any religious ceremonies on her without the permission of the government.

Clearly, the only solution is to rescue this woman and protect her religious freedom by taking her to America …. waitaminute….

Is this America we live in?

Heck, even in Muslim countries, like the United Arab Emirates, there are Muslims who think she should be able to have communion.

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