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For an 'Obamacon,' Communion Denied

The "if" phrase in that carefully negotiated sentence suggests that Catholics can support pro-choice candidates, provided the purpose of their vote is not to promote abortion.

Already, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City has played an indirect role in the 2008 campaign by calling on Kathleen Sebelius, the popular Democratic governor of Kansas who has been mentioned as a possible Obama running mate, to stop taking Communion because of her "actions in support of legalized abortion."

But because Kmiec is a private citizen and has such a long history of embracing Catholic teaching on abortion, denying him Communion for political reasons may spark an even greater outcry inside the church.

Kmiec says he is grateful because the episode reminded him of the importance of the Eucharist in his spiritual life, and because he hopes it will alert others to the dangers of "using Communion as a weapon."

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