Archbp. Naumann of KC to KS pro-abortion Governor: no Holy Communion

The WDTPRS KC Bureau Chief has sent us a fascinating story:

Posted on Fri, May. 09, 2008
Archbishop [Naumann] to [KS Gov. Kathleen] Sebelius: Stop taking Communion

TOPEKA | The Roman Catholic archbishop for northeast Kansas said Friday that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius should refrain from taking Communion until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion rights.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, also criticized her recent veto of a bill imposing new restrictions on abortion providers. He called upon the governor, who is Catholic, to take the “necessary steps for amendment of her life.”

Naumann said he wrote to Sebelius in August, asking her to refrain from Communion but learned recently that she’d participated in the sacrament. He said it prompted him to write her again, asking her to respect his request and “not require from me any additional pastoral actions.”  [Folks, what this means is that if she continues, the Archbishop will apply some kind of censure to her, which might include excommunication.]

“The spiritually lethal message, communicated by our governor, as well as many other high-profile Catholics in public life, has been in effect: ’The church’s teaching on abortion is optional!’” Naumann wrote in a column published Friday in The Leaven, the archdiocese’s newspaper.

The issue of Catholic politicians taking Communion arose again recently because of Pope Benedict XVI’s recent visit to the United States. In New York, Cardinal Edward Egan said former mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani had broken “an understanding” by accepting Communion at a papal Mass.

What is going on here?  I explain it in this PODCAzTEssentially, this is not just about the Governor’s position on abortion, though that is key.  What makes this a matter of public statement is that the Governor is a public figure who, by words and actions, gives scandal to the faithful.  Were the Governor doing some other thing very publicly that defied the Church’s teachings or laws, the same remedy would apply.  In this case it is abortion, but it could be, for example, divorce and remarriage, or belonging to the Masons, or actively homosexual lifestyle, etc.  When public figures create public scandal, they must make public reparation before they may return to the sacraments.  The reparation must be proportionate to the scandal.  Were this person a private person no one knew or watched, it might be handled in a different way.

Here is more, from the Archd. of KC, KS site.  This is Archbishop Naumann:

    Governor’s Veto Prompts Pastoral Action  [NB: This is a "pastoral" issue.  A shepherd is trying to heal a sick sheep and also protect the rest of his flock from disease.]

    On the day of my return (Monday, April 21) from the exhilarating experience of participating in Pope Benedict’s pastoral visit to the United States, I learned that Governor Kathleen Sebelius had vetoed the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act (HS SB 389), which had been passed by significant majorities in both chambers of the Kansas Legislature. Last week, an attempt to override the governor’s veto failed in the Senate by two votes.
    Governor Sebelius in her veto message claimed: “For years, the people of Kansas have asked their elected officials to move beyond legislative debates on issues like abortion.”  From her veto message, I received the impression the governor considered it a waste of the Legislature’s time to pass a statute that attempts to protect some women by making certain they have the opportunity to be well-informed: 1) about the development of their unborn child; and 2) about abortion alternatives available to them. Evidently, the governor does not approve of legislators devoting energy to protecting children and women by making it possible to enforce existing Kansas laws regulating late-term abortions.
    The governor’s veto message demonstrated a lack of respect to the members of the Kansas General Assembly who had carefully crafted and resoundingly passed the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act, [Yes… but that could be a strictly political or personal issue…] as well as to the many Kansans who find it more than an embarrassment, in no small part due to several previous vetoes by Governor Sebelius of earlier legislative efforts to regulate abortion clinics, that Kansas has become infamous [NB: scandalous] for being the late-term abortion center for the Midwest.  [THIS is a much bigger pastoral problem, much more important than how the governor and legislature get along.]
    What makes the governor’s rhetoric and actions even more troubling has been her acceptance of campaign contributions from Wichita’s Dr. George Tiller, perhaps the most notorious late-term abortionist in the nation. In addition to Dr. Tiller’s direct donations to her campaign, the governor has benefited from the Political Action Committees funded by Dr. Tiller to support pro-abortion candidates in Kansas.
    In her veto message, the governor took credit for lower abortion rates in Kansas, citing her support for “adoption incentives, extended health services for pregnant women, providing sex education and offering a variety of support services for families.” Indeed, the governor and her administration should be commended for supporting adoption incentives and health services for pregnant women.
    However, the governor overreaches by assuming credit for declining abortion rates in Kansas. Actually, lower abortion rates are part of a national trend. Our neighboring state of Missouri has actually had a steeper and longer decline in its abortion rate.
    Governor Sebelius’ inclusion of public school sex education programs as a factor in the abortion rate decline is absurd. Actually, valueless sex education programs in public schools  [A pastoral issue.] have been around for years, coinciding with increased sexual activity among adolescents, as well as increases in teen pregnancy and abortion. On the other hand, the governor does not acknowledge the significant impact of mass media education programs, such as those sponsored by the Vitae Caring Foundation, or the remarkable practical assistance provided by Crisis Pregnancy Centers which are funded through the generosity of pro-life Kansans.
    What makes the governor’s actions and advocacy for legalized abortion, throughout her public career, even more painful for me is that she is Catholic. Sadly, Governor Sebelius is not unique in being a Catholic politician supporting legalized abortion.  [This is the core of why Archbp. Naumann can act in her regard even with the promise of a censure.]
    Since becoming archbishop, I have met with Governor Sebelius several times over many months to discuss with her the grave spiritual and moral consequences of her public actions by which she has cooperated in the procurement of abortions performed in Kansas. My concern has been, as a pastor, both for the spiritual well-being of the governor but also for those who have been misled (scandalized) [there it is!] by her very public support for legalized abortion.
    It has been my hope that through this dialogue the governor would come to understand her obligation: 1) to take the difficult political step, but necessary moral step, of repudiating her past actions in support of legalized abortion; [this is a sine qua non.  Her scandal was public, the reparation must be public.]  and 2) in the future would use her exceptional leadership abilities to develop public policies extending the maximum legal protection possible to the unborn children of Kansas.
    Having made every effort to inform and to persuade Governor Sebelius and after consultation with Bishop Ron Gilmore (Dodge City), Bishop Paul Coakley (Salina) and Bishop Michael Jackels (Wichita), I wrote the governor last August requesting that she refrain from presenting herself for reception of the Eucharist until she had acknowledged the error of her past positions, made a worthy sacramental confession and taken the necessary steps for amendment of her life which would include a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion.
    Recently, it came to my attention that the governor had received holy Communion at one of our parishes. I have written to her again, asking her to respect my previous request and not require from me any additional pastoral actions.
    The governor has spoken to me on more than one occasion about her obligation to uphold state and federal laws and court decisions. I have asked her to show a similar sense of obligation to honor divine law and the laws, teaching and legitimate authority within the church.
    I have not made lightly this request of Governor Sebelius, but only after much prayer and reflection. The spiritually lethal message, communicated by our governor, [Great phrase: "spiritually lethal messge"] as well as many other high profile Catholics in public life, has been in effect: “The church’s teaching on abortion is optional!”
    I reissue my request of the faithful of the archdiocese to pray for Governor Sebelius. I hope that my request of the governor, not to present herself for holy Communion, will provoke her to reconsider the serious spiritual and moral consequences of her past and present actions. [Remember: censures are not so much punitive as they are remedial.]  At the same time, I pray this pastoral action on my part will help alert other Catholics to the moral gravity of participating in and/or cooperating with the performance of abortions.

WDTPRS kudos to Archbishop Naumann. 

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37 Responses to Archbp. Naumann of KC to KS pro-abortion Governor: no Holy Communion

  1. God bless him! Interesting that this is around Pentecost. May the Holy Spirit give fortitude to more bishops in the same situation.

    Pray for our Bishops!

  2. Marc says:

    Well done Archbishop Naumann!! Good to see some fruits from our Holy Father’s visit already!!

    Pray for the conversion of Govenor Sebelius.

  3. I know I’ll hear more about this, and it affects me on a personal level.

    A dear cousin of mine is a neighbor of the Governor, and is active in politics at the state level. (FWIW, she’s the state tobacco lobby’s public enemy number one.) My kin is also, I’m sorry to say, sympathetic about the alleged “right to choose,” and will invariably take the Governor’s side in all this. In addition to being a nurse, my cousin is also an attorney. So on her next visit, I know I’ll be called upon to explain Canon 915 (the penal law in question, I believe) in terms of jurisprudence. It is apparent that more of our shepherds in the USA have become emboldened by the recent visit of Pope Benedict, and are taking a stand where it matters, and where it hurts.

    Makes you wonder if that is precisely what the Holy Father had in mind. Here’s a prayer that the momentum continues. Here’s hoping I can stand up to my cousin.

  4. KK says:

    Another interesting “timing” item. Abp Naumann is leading a long-planned rosary this morning in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park, KS (suburban KC). There are to be no signs or placards, just prayer. I would suspect that the media would have all but ignored it – until yesterday.

    Let’s see, Abp Naumann on the Kansas City, KS side… Bishop Finn on the Kansas City, MO side… This is truly becoming the “heart” of America.

  5. Mary Margaret says:

    Fr Z, I think you made a very important point about the issue of public scandal. Archbishop Naumann has met privately with the Governor and made clear that she was acting in public defiance of the Church–causing scandal to the faithful. He made a private, pastoral judgment that she could not receive Holy Communion under the objective circumstances. She has chosen to defy him, and all the Church, so he has no other option than to make this as public as she has done, for the good of all the faithful here in KS. God bless him and soften our Governor’s heart and lead her to true repentance!

    KK, that “Heart of America” is even bigger than Kansas City. We have other fine Bishops/Archbishops out here in flyover country. From Archbishop Burke in St Louis and Archbishop Chaput in Denver, to Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Bishop Jakels here in Wichita, and Bishop Coakley of Salina, we are surrounded by good, orthodox Bishops. (Sorry I don’t know any of the Bishops of Oklahoma, but I would bet that they are also strong, faithful shepherds.)

  6. Cole M. says:

    As a native of the KCK archdiocese (though I now live in Arlington, VA), I am proud of my archbishop. The more bishops who take a stand as Abp. Naumann has, the more people are forced to ask questions about the bishops who let such scandal slide. Let us pray for the bishops and all the misguided Catholic politicians out there.

  7. Sekman says:

    Mary Margaret,
    The Midwest does have some very excellent bishops. As for Oklahoma there is Bishop Edward Slattery, of Tulsa who is a very fine bishop as well.

    I’m glad to see Abp. Naumann take action and am glad to see that he did speak with his fellow bishops in Kansas. Lets hope that this issue can be resolved.

  8. Mary Margaret says:

    Thanks Sekman, I just knew that someone would know at least one very solid Bishop in OK. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least to hear that there are more. BTW, I forgot to mention how very glad I was to see that the Archbishop consulted with his fellow Bishops in Kansas. I hope and pray that they are all supporting him in this action.

    Also, just to let those folks know a little more about the Diocese of Wichita, we have a rosary at Dr Tiller’s abortion facility on each first Saturday. Dr Tiller’s clinic is truly an abomination, as he performs late-term abortions and even does abortions for free on the anniversary of Roe v Wade (quelle horreur!) A number of parishes are assigned/invited to each Saturday, and parish priests are on hand to lead the rosary. Bishop Jakels led the rosary in October 2007, and I’m sure he’ll be doing this again in 2008.

  9. Paul Murnane says:

    May God bless Archbishop Naumann! It’s great to see true public leadership from bishops and I pray that more of his fellow bishops will be emboldened.

    This stands in stark contrast to what Uncle Di reported yesterday. It sure looks like that was pre-arranged. (Fr. Z, maybe Jon, your Lancaster Bureau Chief, will have more details.) I fear that for as many who were edified by the Archbishop’s action, there will be an equal number who will find cover in the public defiance of Kennedy, Pelosi et al.

    That being said, I’m thrilled at this story and pray that one day I can pass along a similar one from here in SoCal.

  10. Daniel W says:

    There might be a lot of good bishops out here in the midwest, but don’t forget about Dodge City! We have quite a liturgically crazy and questionably orthodox diocese here. Our bishop, bless his heart, doesn’t seem to be doing anything about the craziness. However, I hope God leads him in all he does.

  11. Daniel W says:

    There might be a lot of good bishops out here in the midwest, but don’t forget about Dodge City! We have quite a liturgically crazy and questionably orthodox diocese here. Our bishop, bless his heart, doesn’t seem to be doing anything about the craziness. However, I hope God leads him in all he does. That being said, we are blessed with HE bishop Jackels in Wichita, and HE bishop Nauman in KC.

  12. TJM says:

    Archbishop Naumann is to be praised for defending the Faith. However, I think how long this scandal has been going on. If the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston back in the late 1970s had taken someone like Teddy Kennnedy to task, when the Church clearly had more prestige than it has today, perhaps a lot of unborn children would have been saved. I believe the heirarchy of that time, in particular, has much to answer for to God. May God have mercy on their souls. Tom

  13. Virgil says:

    I’m not so sure.

    It seems to me that both Sebelius and Naumann are caught in the old battles of my parents’ generation: exactly the battles that Papa B16 is trying to transcend.

    I would hope to see the Governor fight back honestly, and nail the Church’s tax exempt status or somesuch. Or maybe it would be better to let the two mud wrestle or something. Then the entire generation of Cathiolics looks as ridiculous as the Mister Potatoe Head Hippies.At this moment, the Church and the bishop are the ones who look like fools.

    Please, Bishop. Preach and teach. But don’t use the Sacrament as a weapon in your silly cultural war. You are better than that, and the Church is better than that.

  14. Virgil says:

    As I re-read my post above, I worry it gives the impression that I would minimize the importance of the pro-life cause, or the lives of unborn children.

    My point is quite the opposite.

    We can bring an end to the horror of abortion. And the Church needs to play a role in that. Catholic politicians need to be serious about public policy, and Catholic bishops need to be serious about teaching and preaching.

    But neither Sebelius nor Nauman appears serious about that.

    Sebelius’ and her attempts to reduce abortion with sex ed is barely serious.

    And Nauman can hide behind his culture war, and absolve himself of his role as preacher and teacher. The sad part is that the Holy Eucharist is being used as the means to make the Church seem foolish.

    And in the end, it does nothing to advance the pro-life cause, or the edification of Catholcis.

  15. Aelric says:

    Virgil,

    Why is it that you do not – or at least appear not – to consider the possibility that it is the Governor who, by partaking of Holy Communion in circumstances clearly contrary to the Canon Law and Teaching of the Church after explicit efforts on part of the Archbishop to “teach and preach,” is making the Church (or, rather, herself) seem foolish or that it is she who is using the Eucharist as a “weapon”?

  16. EDG says:

    Virgil,
    This has nothing to do with a “culture war.” The governor is a public figure publicly violating the teaching of the Church. Not only is she violating it herself, but she is inducing others to do so by her status as a public figure. And this is aside from the stunning fact that she is so committed to abortion that she even vetoed a bill passed by a wide majority to restrict it slightly…

    A public sin by a public figure must be reproved publicly, not only for the sake of her salvation, but to protect the people who look to her as a leader.

    The bishop did absolutely the right thing, and I hope this gives a little backbone (or a lot of backbone) to the others.

    BTW, if you think opposition to the killing of innocent human beings is simply part of the “culture war,” then I suspect your formation as a Catholic was not particularly good and you really ought to read more about it.

  17. Good Job Abp Naumann.

    Virgil, I wouldn’t say that the Eucharist is being used as a weapon. It is merely the inforcement of Canon Law. I’ll say the same thing that I said about Guliani on another blog “Simple, public sin, public penance, private sin, private penance. Simple as that. When someone is showing to the public that they are in sin, it causes scandal to the Faithful who are living out the teachings of the Church. To eliviate this scandal, a public change of heart, penance needs to be performed for the sake of preventing scandal. This is why we are able to “judge” the state of the soul of Guliani, we’re not actually judging, it’s a public offense against an objective fact, which is never judging.”

    The Church as our Mother should protect us from error, sacrilege being one of them…If someone who is in public sin presents themselves for Communion, the Church has obligation to withold the Eucharist for the bettermen of their soul, and for ours. (i.e. the scandal that doing such a thing causes)

  18. Paul says:

    God Bless the Bishop, we need more like him. And please pray for Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

  19. Gordon says:

    I can’t figure that these ppl being so public & well known, surely the priests ought to refuse them communion when they know who they are? It might not go down well at mass, but is that not what one would expect in such public cases? I mean at these recent papal masses, I am sure everyone knew who everyone else was, considering in some cases it was bishops giving out communion to public figures they themselves said shouldn’t have Holy Communion.

  20. Louis E. says:

    As a non-Christian who supports the right to abortion,I feel that the Archbishop is being sincere and the Governor is being a hypocrite.No credible religion is a democracy…if you don’t agree with the teachings don’t pretend to be a member in good standing.If your job is to uphold the teachings don’t give everyone a passing mark because you love them.

  21. Kim says:

    Louis: Thank you for your honesty. Kim

  22. Kim says:

    Mary Margret:

    Before I would begin to include Archbishop Chaput with the likes of Archbishop Burke, Bishop Bruskewitz, and Archbishop Naumann, I think I would wait until the Democratic National Convention completes its business in Denver this summer. To date, it appears that Archbishop Chaput is more in line with how Wuerl handles these matters that with the above. It won’t be long until we see if the walk is equal to the talk.

    Kim from Denver

  23. Glen Weaver says:

    I think it is an error to refer to this sort of political figure as Catholic. The description in news articles should be polite but clear. “Senator X is from a prominate Catholic family”, “Governor Y was raised as a Catholic”, “The influential previously Catholic congresswoman” or even “the once Catholic Mayor G”.

    In writing of these people, there should be a polite but clear indication that they have choosen to leave off being a faithful part of the Church.

    Such descriptions clearly describe the situation, and make it clear that changing the situation rest with the individual involved, not action by the Church.

    Glen in Texas

  24. Willebrord says:

    Virgil, in addition to the excellent replies above, I think there’s something wrong with asking a bishop to “Preach and teach.”

    While those are undoubtedly quite important, let us not forget our good old Baltimore Catechism: that the role of the Church is to teach, [b]govern[/b], and sanctify.

  25. Virgil says:

    To Glen Weaver:

    If the mistake is to refer to Governor S as “Catholic,” then it is a mistake for any of us to be refered to as Catholic. We are all sinners, and we are all public sinners. Yet, the Church welcomes us. “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

    To Willebrod:

    Thank you for the old Catechism reminder. It is apt! It is surely the Church’s role to teach, govern and sanctify. With respect to abortion, this means to teach that it is sin, to forbid Catholics from this heinous sin, and through this witness, to sanctify the world.

    To this silly bishop:

    Using Eucharist as a pawn in this battle is not an effective means to teach, govern, or sanctify. It only serves to open your Church to ridicule.

    (1) Playing partisan politics only teaches that the Church is an impotent pawn of the Republican Party. Wait for the ammended Catechism that permits pre-emptive war and capital punishment.

    (2) Trying to govern from the Statehouse opens us to charges of hypocracy. Is the abortion rate among Catholics lower than among non-Catholics? It is not. Clean up your own house first.

    (3) Hence, sanctification. Generation X and the Millenials are looking for a light in the darkness. Show us light! Don’t show us sour grapes.

  26. adamsaj says:

    Virgil,

    true, we are all sinners, but the difference is that a faithful Catholic shows contrition and begs forgiveness for his sins while the politician in question willfully persists in sin.

    furthermore, this isnt just any sin, but one that is grave enough that the Church has deemed it worthy to excomunicate offenders over. this excomunication includes barring the offender from the sacraments (with the exception of confession of course.)

    if you think that this is done lightly as some sort of “pawn” maneuver, you are seariously mistaken. this is a very grave action to be used only in the most dire of need. this is dire need, not only are people being led astray, but “whoever eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgement upon themselves.” this MUST be done for the good of all involved.

    finally, dont be so foolish to think that this is a mater of politics. this is a matter of a great moral evil that is taking place. if a certain political party wants to support evil, then the Church must speek up. this is not somthing that can be compromised for the sake of remaining neutral. anyone who supports evil must be condemned by the Church who must only and always stand up for what is right. only by doing this can we show people the light.

  27. TerryC says:

    Virgil, in charity I must say that you very much need to read or listen to the homilies and speeches given by the Holy Father just a very short time ago.
    It is true that we are all sinners. We do not all approach the Eucharist in a state of sin, let alone in a state of public sin. Do not forget that there is also sin and sin. A venial sin, which is confessed directly to God is forgiven by the absolution of the penitential rite in Mass. A mortal sin, such as the material support of murder, which is what abortion is, is not.
    I don’t know how you can believe this is a partisan action. Show me a Catholic Governor, who is a supporter of abortion and a Republican and I will agree that they should also be publically reprimanded.
    The governor claims to be Catholic. By publically reprimanding a public sinner the archbishop is indeed “cleaning his own house.” If the governor does not wish to be chastised in charity by this successor of the apostles
    she should either mend her ways, or admit that she is not Catholic, rather then trying to lead others astray.
    I will pray for you.

  28. Jordanes says:

    Virgil said: The sad part is that the Holy Eucharist is being used as the means to make the Church seem foolish.

    Yes, when pro-abortion politicians are not prevented from receiving the Eucharist in a state of public sin, it does make the Church look foolish.

    And in the end, it does nothing to advance the pro-life cause, or the edification of Catholcis.

    Preventing someone from receiving Communion unworthily is always edifying to Catholics, and to everyone else for that matter.

    Wait for the ammended Catechism that permits pre-emptive war and capital punishment.

    The Catechism will never be emended to permit so-called “pre-emptive war,” but it has always permitted capital punishment, while advising against it and recommending other measures if possible.

    It’s not the Church’s fault if Republicans are right sometimes.

  29. michigancatholic says:

    The issue of “pre-emptive war” hasn’t really been in such high relief before, although through history it’s often been a fact, like it or not. People have no sense of history and no one thinks seriously about these things anymore.

    Whether “pre-emptive war” yada yada is ever justified or not, if we don’t pay attention to common sense and history, we are going to pay for it.

  30. TerryC says:

    I don’t know how the subject of pre-emptive war has any place in a discussion of support for abortion. Since abortion was legalized over a billion and a half children have been killed. I know that some sources claim as “few” as 500,000,000 babies have been killed, but even if we except that number “only” 72,000,000 people were killed in WWII. How can anyone compare the number of people killed in Iraq or Afghanistan with the numbers who die every year from abortion.
    Don’t like the war? Fine. Don’t try to obscure the the holocaust of abortion with your political agenda.

  31. Ann Koch says:

    This is a beautifully pastoral letter, firm, to the point and totally fair.

    Bravo!!

    There is a book on my shelf Titled: THE CHARITABLE ANATHEMA; it talks about the difficult decisions that our church leadership must make for the good of the entire flock. It made me think a lot about how difficult it must be.

    My hat is off and my prayers are with our Bishops as they begin to apply the remedies for what ails members of the Church.

  32. Beth says:

    Holy Communion is not a right. If one is in a state of mortal sin, Communion brings death, not life. So how is it helping the governor at all to continue to receive holy communion, Virgil? It is the real body of Jesus, not a symbol. One must be in a state of grace to receive. Otherwise you commit yet another serious, potentially mortal sin by receiving. Most bishops don’t seem to care one way or the other, showing their callous indifference to the spiritual well-being of their flock. Bishop Naumann is showing true charity! Thank you Jesus!

  33. Mike Petrik says:

    “I would hope to see the Governor fight back honestly, and nail the Church’s tax exempt status or somesuch.”

    Virgil, you don’t know much about tax law do you? First, a state governor has zero infuence ro influence regarding such matters. Second, the Church is not precluded from exercising its canonical prerogatives, even for politicians. What it cannot do is take part in policical campaigns by endorsing or opposing political candidates in elections.

  34. Mike Petrik says:

    “I would hope to see the Governor fight back honestly, and nail the Church’s tax exempt status or somesuch.”

    Virgil, first, a state governor has zero influence regarding such matters. Second, the Church is not precluded from exercising its canonical prerogatives, even for politicians. What it cannot do is take part in political campaigns by endorsing or opposing candidates in elections. The Archbishop is on safe legal ground here.

  35. Mike Petrik says:

    “If the mistake is to refer to Governor S as ‘Catholic,’ then it is a mistake for any of us to be refered to as Catholic. We are all sinners, and we are all public sinners. Yet, the Church welcomes us. ‘Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.'”

    No, Virgil. There is a difference between being a sinner versus public opposition to Church teaching regarding sin. We are all sinners, true; but if we refuse to accept Church teaching then we are something other than Catholic, and if that refusal is registered publicly, then Communion participation is wrong and allowing it would be scandalous. It would be wrong for the Church to permit a person who has publicized his disbelief in the Trinity or the resurrection to receive Communion; and it would be just as wrong if that person instead publicly announced his support of abortion rights, or forced racial segregation, or similar laws that are fundamentally incompatable with Church moral teaching.

  36. Patrick says:

    We all need to pray that some of these brave bishops (there are many now) will pronounce excommunication on these politicians. The message to the nation and the world would be loud and clear…one cannot support abortion. Ever. Until this happens, we will continue to have millions of “faithful” catholics, who attend the Sacraments frequently, voting for pro-aborton candidates.