Pro-Abortion Catholics Versus Church, Communion Battle Continues

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 2, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Catholics Versus Church, Communion Battle Continues

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 2, 2004

Washington, DC ( — The battle between Catholics politicians who support abortion and the pro-life Catholic Church continues. A New Jersey bishop says his state’s pro-abortion governor is not entitled to communion, an Indiana Catholic school has rescinded an invitation for that state’s pro-abortion governor to speak, and the Democratic leader in the U.S. House says she will continue taking the sacrament despite her pro-abortion views.

Last week, Most Rev. Joseph Galante, the incoming leader of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, said Governor Jim McGreevey can’t receive communion. Galante cited McGreevey’s position in favor of abortion as one of the reasons.

Galante said he felt obligated to arrive at his position because the public becomes confused when the Catholic Church doesn’t hold Catholic politicians accountable for their records.

"I’d give him a blessing (instead)," Galante told reporters about what would happen if McGreevey presented himself at his church. In his case, he can’t go to communion."

Galante’s comments come just weeks after Trenton Bishop John Smith declared that McGreevey was "not a devout Catholic" because of his political record, which includes a push for millions of dollars to fund an embryonic stem cell research initiative that would involve the destruction of human embryos. The Catholic Church opposes such research because it destroys human lives.

Meanwhile, the high school alma matter of Indiana governor Joe Kernan has withdrawn an invitation to speak at commencement.

South Bend’s St. Joseph High School withdrew the invitation at the request of Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Catholic Diocese of Forty Wayne-South Bend.

D’Arcy told the Associated Press on Friday that the school’s teachers believed Kernan’s speech would contradict the moral values the school teaches and wants students to appreciate.

"I am in full agreement with these teachers," D’Arcy said.

Though he backs legal abortion, a Kernan spokeswoman said the governor had never voted on the issue.

D’Arcy’s actions come just days after the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne told Dr. Nancy Snyderman that it no longer wants her to give the college’s commencement address.

The college says Snyderman "refers to abortion as the ‘deliberate removal of fetal tissue’ and lists various types of abortion methods as valid options." She is also accused of promoting the abortion of one or more babies in cases of multiple pregnancies.

Finally, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Thursday that she will continue to take communion despite objections from the Vatican.

"I fully intend to receive Communion, one way or another," Pelosi said last week at a press conference. "That’s very important to me."

"I was raised in a very devout, Italian Catholic home, and my views, my pro-choice views, are not shared by every member of my family, so I know this issue well," Pelosi said. "I’m certainly concerned when the church comes together and says it’s going to sanction people in public office for speaking their conscience and what they believe."

Her comments come just days after a leading Vatican official said Catholic priests ought to deny communion to pro-abortion elected officials.

Pro-life Catholics continue to be chagrined that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, is taking communion at his home church in Boston, the Paulist Center, despite his strongly pro-abortion views.