Catholic Bishops Task Force to Meet With Lawmakers on Abortion, Communion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 16, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishops Task Force to Meet With Lawmakers on Abortion, Communion Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 16, 2005

Washington, DC ( — A special task force launched by the nation’s Catholic bishops to address the issue of giving communion to pro-abortion lawmakers will meet with both Republican and Democrats elected officials this week. The meetings are scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday.

Washington’s Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the panel’s chairman, told the Associated Press the meetings will be private and a list of those bishops and lawmakers participating in them will not be released.

The task force may have recommendations of the bishop’s group by the date of their next national meeting in June. If that happens, it would come just months before Congressional campaigns that McCarrick acknowledged would be "hard fought."

In addition to McCarrick, the task force includes Baltimore’s Cardinal William Keeler and six bishops who head major policy committees within the national conference.

The issue of abortion and communion became a controversial one during the 2004 elections when a St. Louis bishop said he would not offer pro-abortion Democratic candidate John Kerry communion because of his pro-abortion position. Kerry was the first Catholic to run for president on a major party ticket in 44 years.

After that, other bishops stepped forward asking pro-abortion lawmakers to refrain on their own form taking communion.

McCarrick says the task force will also look at the issue of colleges and universities granting awards or commencement speaking slots to pro-abortion lawmakers.

Some bishops want a ban on all speeches and awards while others want to make sure the content of speeches won’t contradict the Catholic Church’s pro-life teachings.

Related web sites:
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops –