by Steven Ertelt
November 19, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishops this week reaffirmed their support for a document they drafted this summer that says individual bishops should decide whether to prohibit pro-abortion Catholic politicians from taking communion.
The June statement also encourages church leaders to not allow pro-abortion elected officials a platform for their views by speaking at official events or receiving honors or awards.
At the USCCB meeting this week, the bishops adopted a reaffirmation saying, "While we do not believe that all issues have equal moral claims, we will work to protect those whose lives are destroyed by abortion."
"[W]e will strive to protect human life from the moment of conception until the moment God calls us home," the statement said.
The June document encouraged Catholic politicians to work to protect life and pass laws against abortion "lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good."
A final report drafted by Washington, D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick did not cover any new ground on the issue of abortion and communion.
However, he promised to produce a "Reader on Catholics in Public Life" that will explain the "responsibilities" of Catholic elected officials, according to a Washington Times report.
McCarrick said a consensus had not emerged among the Catholic bishops for a "confrontation at the altar rail."
"The vast majority of bishops are in the center, and the center is holding," he said.
Yet, some bishops during the presidential elections said that pro-abortion politicians should either be denied communion or voluntarily decide against taking it because of their views.
In a decision that sparked a national debate, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis and others indicated they would not give communion to presidential candidate John Kerry because he favors abortion.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – https://www.usccb.org