Pro-Life Group: Catholic Bishops Need Tougher Abortion-Communion Stance
by Steven Ertelt
June 13, 2006
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishops plan to meet in Los Angeles this week and, when they arrive, they will be greeted by protesters from a pro-life Catholic group that wants them to take a harder line on the issue of pro-abortion Catholic politicians taking communion.
Kenneth Fisher, founder of Concerned Roman Catholics of America (CRCOA), says members of his organization will protest the meeting.
“All our bishops this year should join with the brave dozen bishops in 2004 who told pro-abortion Catholic politicians they must repent and reform or else stop receiving Holy Communion,” said Fisher. “You cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.”
"Our bishops should protect moms and babies, not pro-abortion politicians," he said.
A special task force launched by the nation’s Catholic bishops to address the issue of giving communion to pro-abortion lawmakers met in November with both Republican and Democratic election officials.
The meetings were private and list of the bishops and lawmakers participating in them was not released. The task force was said possibly have recommendations on the topic by this June meeting.
However, a discussion of abortion and communion does not appear to be on the bishops’ agenda.
According to a Catholic News Service report, the lead issue at the bishops’ meeting is a debate on a new English translation of the traditional Catholic mass. Bishops are also expected to vote on a pension plan, a special message for Catholic teenagers, and whether to increase church dues in 2007 to support the USCCB.
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.
During the summer of 2004, the Catholic bishops adopted a statement that called on pro-abortion Catholics to refrain on their own from taking communion. It was adopted by a vote of 183-6.
In July 2005, the Vatican produced a new document saying Catholics who support legalized abortion should refrain from taking communion because they are out of step with church teachings.
The Vatican said pro-abortion Catholics are not taking their faith seriously and those who take communion and support abortion are behaving in a scandalous manner.
"Some receive communion while denying the teachings of the Church or publicly supporting immoral choices in life, such as abortion, without thinking that they are committing an act of grave personal dishonesty and causing scandal," the document says.
Related web sites:
Catholic Bishop’s statement on withholding communion and pro-abortion speakers – https://www.usccb.org/bishops/catholicsinpoliticallife.htm
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – https://www.usccb.org