by Steven Ertelt
October 9, 2007
Ottawa, Canada (LifeNews.com) — The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) meets next week for its annual Plenary Assembly and a leading pro-life group says they should take up the issue of pro-abortion politicians and communion. Vote Life Canada wants the bishops to call an emergency session to address what is calls an "ongoing scandal."
The pro-life organization says "renegade" Catholic priests and politicians are causing devastation to the Catholic Church by allowing the violation of its pro-life policies before communion is given.
Eric Alcock, president of the group, told LifeNews.com that "Just last week Catholics in Canada were scandalized by the television appearance of Father Raymond Gravel, Catholic priest/politician, who once again unabashedly expressed his support for … abortion."
Alcock explained that, although the Vatican forbids priests from political office, Gravel’s Bishop granted him permission. He complains the priest has not bee disciplined for his public endorsements of abortion.
"If so called Catholic priests may publicly flout the weightiest Church teachings with impunity what hope is there that pro-abortion politicians will take seriously the directives of their Catholic faith to uphold the common good of society?" Alcock asked.
"It is these very politicians whose pro-abortion leadership of Canada over the past 38 years has directly led to legalized child-killing and the deaths of over three million unborn children," he added.
He told LifeNews.com the "Plenary Assembly is a perfect opportunity to undertake an emergency corrective."
Alcock said he suggests that Catholic bishops in Canada follow the lead of St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke who has said he would not give communion to pro-abortion Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.
Burke has also called on the national Catholic bishops conference in the U.S. to address pro-abortion politicians and communion as well.
The Catholic leader says parish priests should ensure that everyone takes communion in a worthy manner, with no one taking it if they have publicly stood against the pro-life beliefs of the Catholic Church.
Burke wrote an essay that is a response to the document the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted in June 2004 that addresses pro-abortion politicians and communion as well as colleges giving a platform to pro-abortion commencement speakers.
"Such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles," the bishops said about communion. "Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action."
But Archbishop Burke said in the essay that he disagreed with the bishops deferring communion decisions to local Church officials and said a uniform policy is needed nationwide.