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Pope Francis: Pro-Abortion Politicians Ineligible for Communion

by Steven Ertelt | The Vatican | LifeNews.com | 5/7/13 4:42 PM

International

A letter Pope Francis sent to the bishops of Argentina in late March is getting note from a pro-life Catholic group that says it is encouraging for pro-life advocates because it says pro-abortion politicians should not be eligible for communion in the Catholic Church.

In the letter, Pope Francis directed the Argentinean bishops to govern the Church there following the Aparecida Document.

The text states, in part, “[people] cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments, and health professionals.”

“These are the guidelines we need for this time in history,” the pope wrote to the bishops.

Judie Brown, president of American Life League, a U.S.-based pro-life group, and Michael Hichborn, director of Defend the Faith for American Life League, sent a letter to all U.S. Catholic bishops alerting them to what Pope Francis wrote.

“We are renewed in our joy over the election of Pope Francis. One of the reasons for our happiness is the Holy Father’s reiteration of Catholic teaching as enunciated in canon 915,” the letter reads.

“We pray that these words will be an encouragement to you as well because, like Argentina, the United States has her share of Catholics in public life who persist in their support of abortion while, at the same time, receiving Christ in the sacrament of Holy Eucharist,” it continues. “We write to ask you, in view of this recent news report, to act on Pope Francis’ call and deny the sacrament of Christ’s real presence-body, blood, soul, and divinity-to every pro-abortion Catholic in public life who has not repented of his support for the heinous crime of abortion.”

The communion issue was exacerbated when, despite their pro-abortion views, Vice President Joe Biden and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi both received communion at the Mass to celebrate Pope Francis’ inauguration. Biden’s office confirmed to the Washington Times that he had received communion and reporters in the White House presidential reporting pool confirmed in an email to LifeNews that Pelosi had received it as well. Pope Francis did not administer the sacrament.

Father Frank Pavone told the LifeNews he opposed the two pro-abortion politicos receiving communion since their pro-abortion views are outside the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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The Priests for Life leader said, “At a Mass during which our new Pope emphasized the duty public officials – and all the rest of us – have to protect the weakest among us, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have the audacity to receive Communion while publicly renouncing their responsibility to protect the weakest among us.”

“Some Church leaders mistakenly think we are advocating the use of the Eucharist as a ‘weapon.’ In fact, we are defending the Eucharist from being used as a political tool. These politicians have no respect for what the Eucharist means: an integral, consistent union with Christ and with all our brothers and sisters. To receive Christ while rejecting the unborn is a slap in the face to both,” he added.