Valerie Schmalz of Our Sunday Visitor has interviewed Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, who discusses the appointment of Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius to the head of Department of Health and Human Services by President Obama:
Archbishop Joseph Naumann: I had actually written the August before that, in 2007, asking her not to present herself for Communion and I did not make that public. But then she violated that in March, and so in May I had written her again and made that public. Since then to my knowledge she has not presented herself for Communion.
OSV: She violated it by going to Communion in March (2008)?
Archbishop Naumann: Yep.
OSV: What does the appointment of Gov. Sebelius to HHS mean in terms of her policies? There are a whole bunch of people, like Doug Kmiec and others, who are saying when she was governor abortion dropped by 10 percent. This letter (from Catholics for Sebelius) says, “She’s made clear she agrees with Church teaching that abortion is wrong and has lived and acted according to that belief.”
Archbishop Naumann: I think that’s very, very dishonest and not at all accurate. It’s true that abortion dropped during her term as governor but I don’t think she really had anything to do with it, although she likes to take credit for it. And in fact, during that time she vetoed measures that could have helped prevent abortion. At one time, she struck from the budget a pregnancy maintenance initiative that gave state funding to crisis pregnancy centers. Only when the legislature passed it by such an overwhelming margin that it was highly probable she would have been overridden, she allowed it to stay in the budget.