By DAN FAGAN
On Monday of this week, a man identifying himself as Ken called my radio talk show claiming Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was denied communion by a Catholic priest because of her support for abortion.
The caller said the Anchorage Archdiocese was so upset with the priest over it, they transferred him from Anchorage to the small town of Soldotna, on the Kenai Peninsula.
After the show on Monday, I contacted the Anchorage Archdiocese, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna, and Lisa Murkowski’s office in Washington D.C. to ask them if what Ken said was true.
Monday came and went, and no one called me back. That raised a red flag.
Why wouldn’t Murkowski easily quash the story by saying it wasn’t true? The only reason I could come up with is – it may be true.
The next day, Tuesday, I reached out to the archdiocese and Murkowski’s office once again. And for a second day Murkowski’s high paid staffers didn’t return my call or email.
Late Tuesday, I finally reached Dominique Johnson, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Alaska by phone. Johnson raised my suspicion even more refusing to answer any of my questions saying only no comment.
Did a Catholic priest refuse to serve Murkowski communion?
Was an Anchorage priest transferred to Soldotna after refusing to serve communion to Murkowski?
I spent enough years as a journalist to know something was up. The church and Murkowski could have made this whole story go away instantly if they simply denied the senator was ever refused communion.
The next day, Wednesday, I posted on my Facebook page a clip of the caller Ken and his claim Murkowski was refused communion during mass in Alaska.
That’s when the flood gates opened. It turns out the incident in question not only happened, but it was common knowledge among many Anchorage Catholics.
Here’s what I know based on information from reliable sources who asked to remain anonymous.
Sometime in December of 2019, Murkowski was attending mass at Our Lady of the Snows in Girdwood.
Fr. Robert Whitney, based out of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Anchorage, was saying mass as a visiting priest.
Murkowski approached Fr. Whitney during mass with her hands out ready to receive communion but was denied the wafer. Fr. Whitney instead said a blessing over the senator. Murkowski did not make a scene and went back to her seat.
Anchorage-Juneau Archbishop Andrew Bellisario, well-known for his Leftist beliefs, was so upset with Whitney, he transferred him out of the much larger St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Anchorage to the much smaller Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna.
Fr. Whitney, who grew up in Anchorage, must have known his withholding of communion from Murkowski because of her enthusiastic support of abortion would land him in hot water with the left leaning Bellisario.
There’s a culture war brewing in the Catholic Church much like the one threatening America. Fr. Whitney is not shy about his conservative views even though it puts him at odds with Bellisario and the left-leaning Pope Francis.
Conservative Catholics have been feeling like exiles in their own church under Pope Francis. It’s rare priests like Whitney have the courage to stand up to church hierarchy.
Whitney has not returned my calls, nor has he spoken with me about any of this. My hope is Archbishop Bellisario doesn’t take further punitive action against Fr. Whitney because of the Murkowski story finally coming out. It was inevitable.
Hopefully, Whitney’s unusual courage will motive other priests who believe strongly in the sanctity of life to stand up to Leftist church leadership and withhold communion from other politicians advancing the genocide that is American abortion.
Whitney denying Murkowski communion makes sense considering the Catholic Church claims to be a defender of the unborn.
It’s not just that Murkowski simply favors abortion. She is one of the most powerful and impactful players in advancing the cause of abortion.
Murkowski justified her swing vote to defeat the repeal of Obamacare by saying she feared the effort would limit funding for Planned parenthood and mean fewer dollars for abortions.
Murkowski’s refusal to approve Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even further validated the senator’s allegiance to the abortion movement.
It’s understandable why Murkowski doesn’t want the story out of how a courageous priest refused to serve her communion. For Catholics, communion is the focal point and centerpiece of their faith.
For Fr. Whitney, Murkowski’s pivotal role in advancing America’s death culture was apparently too much to overlook and ignore. He took a stand for his belief that life is sacred, precious, and worthy of protection. Fr. Whitney must have known his stand for life would come with a heavy price.
Dan Fagan hosts the number one rated morning drive talk show in Alaska on Newsradio 650 KENI. He splits his time between Anchorage and New Orleans.