His Eminence vs. Hizzoner

So I added yesterday to my post-papal respite, and I was proud of myself for not checking my emails. Not once.

And I missed this zinger from the Archdiocese of NY:

The following is a statement issued by Edward Cardinal Egan:

“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.”

Oh boy. And the Catholic blogosphere is ringing with commentary today.

Working backward, it seems that a few voices out there, including that of Bob Novak, had taken aim at Cardinal Egan and Washington’s Archbishop Wuerl for allowing pro-abortion rights politicians to receive Communion during the papal visit.

Novak wrote:

In New York, Giuliani receiving Communion was even more remarkable. Unlike Pelosi and Kennedy, who are regular Mass attendees, the former mayor of New York says he goes to church only “occasionally,” usually for holidays or funerals. Abortion aside, Giuliani’s third marriage would make him ineligible for Communion because his second marriage was not annulled by the church. But in New York, Cardinal Egan is no more apt than Cardinal McCarrick was to offend the powerful, and Giuliani was invited to the Mass.

0600f101288e47c2b664220994842b761.jpgThere will be much speculation about why Cardinal Egan chose to react the way he did. In the past, he seemed to be quite reluctant to get involved in the messy debate about whether pro-choice Catholic pols should get Communion.

Just a year ago, in a TV interview, Egan avoided a question about pro-choicers Giuliani, Hillary Clinton and George Pataki, saying they were all “friends of mine.” His comments were roundly criticized by anti-abortion advocates.

I suppose that the cardinal might say that he chose to deal with such matters privately, staying out of the public fray. The most interesting thing about his statement is that he supposedly had a private agreement with Giuliani.

That’s a great picture, by the way, from the AP’s Chris La Putt, of Giuliani waiting for Communion at St. Pat’s.

And now, 1,200 emails to sort through…