Cardinal Egan Upset Pro-Abortion Rudy Giuliani Took Communion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 28, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Cardinal Egan Upset Pro-Abortion Rudy Giuliani Took Communion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 28
, 2008

New York, NY ( — The head of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York said on Monday he’s upset that pro-abortion former mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani took communion during a mass held by Pope Benedict during his visit.

Pro-life Catholics have been up in arms that Giuliani and other pro-abortion politicians received communion during the papal trip.

In a national editorial column on Monday, syndicated columnist Bob Novak says Pope Benedict is not to blame for the communion incidents. He lays the blame at the feet of the local Catholic leadership.

However, following the editorial, Edward Cardinal Egan issued a press release received regarding Giuliani.

"The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God," Egan said. "Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind."

"Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion," Cardinal Egan explained.

"I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding," the Catholic leader added.

Giuliani’s spokeswoman, Sunny Mindel, told the media late Monday that he is available to meet with the Catholic official.

She said he says his faith "is a deeply personal matter and should remain confidential."

But Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, responded to the controversy in an email to and said Giuliani shouldn’t get communion because it publicly demeans the Catholic faith.

“The Catholic faith is not simply about one’s private and confidential relationship with God. It’s public, as evidenced by the fact that Mr. Giuliani received Communion in public," he explained.

"Mr. Giuliani’s support of legal abortion is also public. That’s why Cardinal Egan’s remarks are entirely appropriate, as is his expectation that Mr. Giuliani abide by those remarks," Pavone added.

Giuliani stood in line at St. Patrick’s Cathedral the Saturday before last to receive communion during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit.

Giuliani received Holy Communion during the service from one of the many priests who helped officiate the event, which featured more than 3,000 Catholics.

In addition to his pro-abortion stance, Catholics say Giuliani is not eligible to receive communion because he has been repeatedly married and divorced without an annulment from the church.

A representative for Giuliani indicated the former mayor and GOP presidential hopeful is preparing a response.