by Steven Ertelt
May 25, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new national poll of adults shows that a majority of people disagree that Catholic politicians who support abortion should be denied communion at church. The poll comes after comments from Pope Benedict XVI saying they should and that pro-abortion politicians automatically excommunicated themselves.
Reacting to those comments, Rasmussen Reports conducted a telephone poll with 1,000 American adults on May 16 and 17.
They asked respondents, "The Pope believes that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should be denied communion. Do you agree or disagree?"
According to the survey, 53 percent said they disagreed, 23 percent agreed and 24 percent said they were unsure or refused to answer the question.
Earlier this month, the Catholic Church leader visited Brazil for a series of speeches and meetings. On his way there, reporters asked him about the vote in Mexico City to legalize abortion there.
He said the politicians in the overwhelmingly Catholic nation removed themselves from the church and receiving communion.
"Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by canon (church) law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body of Christ," he said.
Later, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi explained that "Since excommunication hasn’t been declared by the Mexican bishops, the Pope has no intention himself of declaring it."
"Legislative action in favor of abortion is incompatible with participation in the Eucharist. Politicians exclude themselves from communion," he said.
This month, a group of 18 pro-abrotion members of Congress responded to the Pope with a letter they wrote saying that being personally opposed to abortion is good enough even if they vote for abortion in a public policy setting.