Canada Catholic Bishop Will Deny Politicians Communion if They Support Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 28, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Catholic Bishop Will Deny Politicians Communion if They Support Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 28
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — A top Catholic official in Canada is encouraging elected officials of the Catholic faith to turn from their pro-abortion views if they want to continue receiving communion. Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast says he will first speak with politicians who support abortion and encourage them to convert to the pro-life perspective.

But, for those elected officials who continue to advocate legal abortions, he would tell them they shouldn’t be taking part in the Christian sacrament.

“Given your stubbornness on this particular issue, you should not publicly receive the Eucharist until you’ve changed your mind," he told the Western Catholic Reporter about what he’d say.

Archbishop Prendergast’s warning would be instructional rather than condemning.

“The bishop is not a policeman,” he said. “He is a father in Christ, a Shepherd of his flock.”

He also encouraged Catholic parishioners to do their own part to urge Catholic politicians to follow the teachings of the Church in their public policy.

“We all have to live our lives as faithful Christians in politics, in public life, in the schools and in every area of life,” he said. “As I get to know the politicians I will speak to them on these issues and hopefully we’ll be able to make progress."

Last month, Saint Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus was wrong to make pro-abortion comments while attending a rally for pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Burke told the Post-Dispatch he would deny the coach communion because his views on abortion and human life are so far out of step with the Catholic Church.

The Catholic leader received significant attention during the 2004 presidential election for saying he would not give communion to Democratic candidate John Kerry, who backed abortion and embryonic stem cell research.