Newark Archbishop John J. Myers sent out a pastoral statement urging Catholics to vote “in defense of marriage and life”, and claimed that the passage of same-sex marriage laws might lead to a government crackdown of religious freedoms. Myers claimed that the statement was not timed to coincide with the November election.
Myers also stated that those who support abortion rights and same-sex marriage should “refrain from receiving Holy Communion.” He also said “It’s not 100 percent for either party. The basic point is that we must defend what we believe to be the truth. That includes voting, speaking out, contacting officials.”
The pastoral letter is set to be handed out across the archdiocese this upcoming weekend. According to Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, “It appears that the archbishop is treading awfully close to the line. I’m sure he is not crossing the line. I just think it’s an unfortunate coincidence in timing. … You’d have to ask the archbishop why the letter doesn’t come out in March or December.”