Vatican Cardinal Calls Obama Win ‘Apocalyptic,’ Church Leaders Still Refuse to Address Canon 915

Washington, D.C. (18 November 2008)

Two weeks after 54 percent of Catholics elected the most virulently pro-abortion candidate in history, the head of the Vatican's Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary has joined the chorus of leading Catholic voices to decry the election of President-elect Barack Obama.

Cardinal James Francis Stafford, speaking Nov. 13 at Catholic University of America on "Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul," described Obama's victory as "aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic."  Obama ran on an "extremist anti-life platform," he added.

"We thank Cardinal Stafford for addressing the disaster our country is grappling with," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, "The fact is, Obama did not run alone. Our new pro-abortion administration includes Vice President-elect Joseph Biden – a self-proclaimed Catholic. Biden's presence in the administration calls out for the Catholic leadership to enforce canon law – specifically Canon 915."

Cardinal Stafford spoke only days after Fr. Jay Scott Newman issued a pastoral letter to his parishioners at St. Mary's Church in Greenville, S.C. instructing parishioners who voted for the  Obama/Biden ticket to confess their vote as a grave sin and do penance before presenting themselves for Holy Communion.

Fr. Newman's action sparked national controversy, as have Cardinal Stafford's comments on the 40th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Cardinal Stafford's lecture contains some of the strongest language to date used by Catholic officials to describe the Obama presidency. His remarks echo the sentiments of many of the U.S. bishops at their annual fall assembly last week in Baltimore.

But despite the barrage of condemnation for abortion support, the bishops have stopped short of enforcing Canon 915 which states:

"Those… obstinately persevering in grave and manifest sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."

"The church officials who have spoken out have done a wonderful job exposing our country's lack of respect for God and truth. But they are ignoring one of the causes," Sedlak said, "in failing to enforce Canon 915 and giving pro-abortion politicians, like Biden, access to our most sacred Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist, bishops are propagating the mentality that abortion is a valid Catholic prerogative."

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to death.  For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540-659-4942. 


  • American Life League: ALL Stands Vigil as Bishops Fail to Enforce Canon 915 (13 November 2008) (Read)
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Katie Walker
Director of Communication
American Life League
1179 Courthouse Road
Stafford, Virginia 22554

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