Top Vatican Official: Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians Shouldn’t Get Communion
by Steven Ertelt
August 19, 2008
The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — A leading Catholic official has said in a new interview with a Christian magazine that pro-abortion elected officials who are Catholics shouldn’t receive communion. The comments are sure to open up the debate that appears to crop up every election cycle.
In the new comments, Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signature, said all Catholics — but especially politicians — should not receive communion.
Archbishop Burke also issued a challenge to ministers to make sure they are not providing the sacrament to pro-abortion lawmakers who have not repented from their position, which is at odds with the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.
Communion should be denied to pro-abortion politicians until they have reformed their lives," he said, in the interview with Radici Christiane magazine.
Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily is a sacrilege, he warned. If it is done deliberately in mortal sin it is a sacrilege.
Archbishop Burke discussed public officials who, with knowledge and consent, uphold actions that are against the Divine and Eternal moral law."
"For example, if they support abortion, which entails the taking of innocent and defenseless human lives. A person who commits sin in this way should be publicly admonished in such a way as to not receive Communion until he or she has reformed his life, he told the publication.
Burke said not denying communion makes a bad witness to other Catholics and the public.
If we have a public figure who is openly and deliberately upholding abortion rights and receiving the Eucharist, what will the average person think?" he explained. "He or she could come to believe that it up to a certain point it is okay to do away with an innocent life in the mothers womb."
The Vatican official said the intent of the communion denial is more about spiritual than political issues.
"It is not with the intention of interfering in public life but rather in the spiritual state of the politician or public official who, if Catholic, should follow the divine law in the public sphere as well," he said.
Therefore, it is simply ridiculous and wrong to try to silence a pastor, accusing him of interfering in politics so that he cannot do good to the soul of a member of his flock, he said as a warning to media outlets and abortion advocates who criticize them.
Moreover, Burke added, If a person who has been admonished persists in public mortal sin and attempts to receive Communion, the minister of the Eucharist has the obligation to deny it to him. Why? Above all, for the salvation of that person, preventing him from committing a sacrilege."
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.