Sean Hannity's Catholicism
While eating dinner literally minutes ago, I was channel surfing the news shows (as there is nothing else on at this time of the day) and saw on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes that a priest would be on the show urging Sean Hannity to repent. As I have been a critic of Hannity for a while now I thought I'd actually watch the segment (I usually can't stand to watch or listen to Hannity because of his unwavering neo-conservative views--even when they contradict his faith, i.e. the Iraq War and abortion).
The priest-guest on the program was Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International. He was invited on the show in response to an article he wrote about some of Sean's comments last week apologizing for accidentally eating meat on Friday (Hannity forgot it was Friday and stopped eating when he realized his mistake). The article can be found on Human Life International's website here. Fr. Euteneuer criticizes Hannity for his rejecting the Church's teaching on contraception. I would add the additional criticism that Hannity also does not accept the Church's teaching on abortion (he stated once that he supports abortion in cases of rape and incest because those women did not choose to become pregnant, while a woman who had sex of her own volition has the responsibility to face up to her choices and have the baby). Obviously Hannity didn't like to be criticized, and sought to fight with the priest on his TV show. Hannity tried to shift attention to the Church hierarchy covering up the sex scandals (what has this to do with Hannity's rejection of Church teaching on contraception?). Fr. Euteneuer, during the course of the program called Hannity a heretic, and when asked if he would deny Hannity Communion in his parish, Euteneuer responded: "Yes."
Fr. Euteneuer is absolutely correct in his assessment of Sean Hannity. He is a public figure who proclaims to be a devout Catholic yet rejects some of the Church's most important teachings regarding human life (contraception, abortion, Just War). Hannity is not a Catholic in good standing with the Church just like John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy. Whether a public figure is politically liberal or conservative, if that person is a Catholic and does not accept the teachings of the Catholic Church in their totality and even goes so far as to publicly reject those teachings, that person is a public sinner and should be denied all sacraments until sacramental confession takes place along with a public repudiation of previous statements rejecting Church teaching.
Within the Church, we used to have a word for public figures who publicly reject Church teaching, a word that's not used very often but should be brought back in full force, a word which Fr. Euteneuer used with Sean Hannity: heretic. If only the Church had more priests like Fr. Euteneuer who would publicly step up and use that word and deny Communion to public sinners like Sean Hannity, the Church would be in a much better state.