Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, says Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is waging a "personal war" with the Church after the city's archdiocese recommended gays and unwed couples not engage in sex if they want to receive Holy Communion, Philly.com reports.
"James Kenney was elected mayor of Philadelphia. He seems to think that gives him the authority, or qualifications, to run the Catholic Church in his city. It does not," Donohue wrote in a column published Thursday on the Catholic League's website.
"Kenney ripped Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput as 'not Christian.' The archbishop's offense? He issued pastoral guidelines reiterating Catholic teaching on marriage, family, and reception of the Eucharist.
But Donohue insists there is nothing new in Chaput's document.
"It merely calls — as the Church always has — for clergy to provide pastoral care for those living in relationships outside its teachings, while upholding the integrity of the sacraments. 'Anything less,' Chaput correctly observed, 'misleads people about the nature of the Eucharist and the Church,'" he said.
"Kenney disagrees. Fine. But it is an abuse of his office to use his platform as mayor to publicly intrude on what is clearly an internal Church matter."
This week, Chaput said couples viewed as non-traditional by the church should not have sex or be intimate if they want to receive communion.
The directive is part of a new set of pastoral guidelines issued by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which are said to clarify Pope Francis' 256-page document, "The Joy of Love," which calls on pastors to embrace those who feel the church has shunned them because of divorce.
In Chaput's clarification, he says unwed couples living together and same-sex couples are welcome, but should "refrain from sexual intimacy" in order to receive Communion.
On Wednesday, Kenney tweeted:
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