US diocese critical of priest's comments against voting for Obama

A Roman Catholic priest in South Carolina should not have told parishioners who voted for President-elect Barack Obama to refrain from taking Holy Communion because of his pro-abortion rights stance, the church's senior officer in the state said Friday. "This past week, the Catholic Church's clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion has been pulled into the partisan political arena," Monsignor Martin T. Laughlin, administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, said Friday in a statement posted on the diocese's Web site. Earlier this week, Newman said in a letter to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion without first doing penance for voting for the Democrat.