An Illinois Catholic bishop will not give communion to politicians who voted for a radical pro-abortion bill last week.
In a June 2 decree, Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki instructed priests and deacons in his Catholic diocese to refuse communion to the state lawmakers unless they first confess and repent of their sins, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“To support legislation that treats babies in the womb like property, allowing for their destruction for any reason at any time, is evil,” Paprocki said. “It’s my hope and prayer these lawmakers reconcile themselves to the Church so they can receive Communion.”
Last week, state lawmakers rammed through a controversial abortion bill that would legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth in Illinois. It would erase criminal penalties for performing abortions and allow non-doctors to do them. The legislation also would repeal the partial-birth abortion ban, abortion clinic regulations and conscience protections for medical workers.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has not signed the bill yet, but he supports abortions and many expect that he will. Pro-life groups have been urging voters to flood Pritzker’s office with calls and emails in opposition to the extreme measure.
Paprocki said lawmakers’ support of the pro-abortion bill is inexcusable.
“In view of their gravely immoral action to deprive unborn children legal protection against abortion, it must be said that any Catholic legislator who sponsored, promoted, advocated, or voted for these pro-abortion bills has acted in a seriously sinful manner unfaithful to the 2,000-year-old Christian teaching against abortion and therefore, would place themselves outside of the full communion of the Catholic Church,” the bishop said.
He said they have “obstinately persisted in promoting the abominable crime and very grave sin of abortion,” and they should not receive communion unless they confess and repent of their sins.
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The Chicago Tribune reports State House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton are the most prominent lawmakers who will be affected by the bishop’s decision.
In a statement, Madigan said supporting abortion is more important to him.
“After much deliberation and reflection, I made the decision to allow debate and a vote on the legislation,” he said. “I believe it is more important to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions …”
Previously, Paprocki also refused to give communion to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois because of his pro-abortion voting record, according to the report.
The legislation prompted massive protests earlier this year. In March, so many pro-life advocates filled the capitol to rally against the bill that police had to close the building due to overcrowding. Afterward, lawmakers did not move the bill forward for months.
But over Memorial Day weekend, pro-lifers learned that pro-abortion Democrats planned to push through the bill before the end of the legislative session. Late on May 31, they passed it and sent it to the governor for final approval.
Mary Kate Knorr of Illinois Right to Life Action told LifeNews that Illinois residents need to flood Gov. Pritzker’s office with calls and emails urging him to veto the bill.
“It’s no surprise that the Illinois Senate followed in lockstep with the House and forced this extreme and unpopular legislation through the process at the very last second,” she said. “The people of Illinois spoke on this issue back in March when 4,000 protesters brought the Capitol to max capacity and 18,000 witness slips were filed in opposition to these bills in committee.
“But, if there’s anything we’ve learned this week, it’s that Illinois politicians don’t care about what their constituents want – they have made that resoundingly clear,” she said.
The Thomas More Society described the bill as “the most radical piece of abortion legislation that has ever been introduced in Illinois.” It would create a “fundamental right” to abortion and prevent the state from interfering in any way with the killing of unborn babies. In addition, it would require every health insurance plan to cover abortions, including late-term abortions, without any exemptions for people with religious or moral objections.
Action: Call the governor’s Springfield office at 217-782-6830 or 217-782-6831. Call his Chicago office at 312-814-2121. Email him by filling out and submitting this form here.