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Following complaints from faithful Catholics, the newly installed archbishop of St. Louis, Mitchell Rozanski, has canceled a series of webinars promoting a liberal agenda.
Gabby Eissner, a volunteer with St. Francis Community Services, hosted the livestreamed event as an archdiocesan Immigration Task Force initiative but did not get approval.
The event was led in prayer by an Episcopalian so-called bishop. "This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart since I emigrated from the Caribbean — from Barbados. And my husband is one of the — is a 'Dream(er),' at the moment," he said.
The online event featured several speakers throughout the hour who expressed dismay over President Trump's administration, saying things like: "Children separated from their parents and locked in cages is not compassion" and "[This is my] current administration protest too."
The accusations about kids in cages is purely political. Law enforcement never detains children with adults because of potential abuse or, in the case of illegal border crossings, the potential of providing cover for human trafficking.
The archdiocese released a statement saying the employee responsible for the Immigration Task Force has been placed on administrative leave, the social media page has been deleted and all ministries on social media would be reviewed. The actions were taken because of the "prohibition on political endorsements by churches."
However, Church Militant reported in an exclusive interview with the chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that churches will not be prosecuted under the Trump administration for political advocacy.
"The financial threat against the faith community is over," President Trump said.
And authentic Church teaching should inform the decision-making in elections, said FEC Chairman Trey Trainor:
Religious organizations needed to be treated the same as every other organization. And so the test that the Department of Treasury uses now is, if that same speech were to come from a non-religious organization, could it be prosecuted? And clearly it would be First Amendment activity for any other organization to engage in and therefore the Church should be able to engage in it.
St. Louis laymen are expressing gratitude Rozanski is at least even-handed with limiting political endorsements on both sides, and demonstrated willingness to listen to his flock when they raise concerns.