I know this will come as a surprise to some readers, but New York Cardinal Edward Egan is not amused that a Catholic who openly opposes the church's teachings on the highest of high-profile issues dared to take Holy Communion in the highest of high-profile settings. It doe not seem to matter that the politico in question is a Republican superstar.
Corky Siemaszko of The New York Daily News has the best lede so far in this perfect-for-tabs news story.
Hey Rudy: Taking Holy Communion at the papal mass was a sin.
An angry Edward Cardinal Egan pounded New York's former mayor Rudolph Giuliani from his Internet pulpit Monday for taking the Eucharist during Pope Benedict's historic mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
"The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God," Egan said in a statement on the archdiocesan Web site. "Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind."
It's the next series of details that really cut.
Egan said he had "an understanding" with the failed Republican presidential candidate "that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion."
With his third wife Judith beside him, the twice-divorced Giuliani received communion from a priest standing near the Pope on April 19.
"I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding," he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, you know that letters and calls are pouring into the offices of the shepherds who guide House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators John Kerry, Christopher Dodd and Edward Kennedy.
Believe it or not, the New York Post Rudy lede is downright boring. Somebody over there better get his or her act together by tomorrow morning or the paper may have a mucho upset Australian magnate coming out of the newsroom elevator.
Check out this yawner, which I predict will be radically rewritten by tomorrow's press run:
Rudy Giuliani should not have received Holy Communion during the pope's visit to New York because the former presidential candidate and mayor supports abortion rights, Cardinal Edward Egan said Monday.
This story does have a nice touch, noting that Rudy said he is willing to meet with Egan, but that his faith is a highly personal matter that "should remain confidential." Hey, that's true if that agreement between mayor and cardinal was negotiated inside a confessional.
Meanwhile, let's play a game. You write a New York Post A1 headline for this one, if the story is sexy enough tomorrow to beat out the misadventures of a certain baseball pitcher and a non-typical Disney picture.