The Catholic bishops of Colorado published a letter Tuesday telling pro-abortion state lawmakers not to receive communion unless they repent of their “mortal sin” against unborn babies.
The letter, published by the Catholic News Agency, addressed pro-abortion Democrat state lawmakers who profess to be Catholic but voted for the Reproductive Health Equity Act, a new law that strips all legal protections from unborn babies in Colorado. No Catholic Republicans voted for the bill.
“Until public repentance takes place and sacramental absolution is received in Confession, we ask that those Catholic legislators who live or worship in Colorado and who have voted for RHEA, to voluntarily refrain from receiving Holy Communion,” the bishops said.
“This request is not one that we make lightly, but since it is our duty to safeguard the faith and care for the souls of all the faithful — including these politicians — we must make it,” they continued.
All four Colorado bishops signed the letter: Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, Pueblo Bishop Stephen J. Berg, Colorado Springs Bishop James R. Golka and Denver Auxiliary Bishop Jorge H. Rodriguez.
They said Coloradans were dismayed to see politicians ignore the strong public outcry against the pro-abortion legislation this spring.
The new law declares abortion to be a “fundamental right” under state law and denies all rights and legal protections to any “fertilized egg, embryo or fetus” up to birth. It also prohibits cities and municipalities from banning abortions through local ordinances such as others have done through the Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement.
As a result, killing an unborn baby in an abortion is legal for any reason up to birth in Colorado, even for the purposes of sex-selection.
The bishops lamented that some politicians who profess to be Catholic voted in favor of the law.
“As their shepherds we want to ensure that they understand the Church’s teaching on receiving Holy Communion and the proper spiritual disposition for doing so,” the bishops wrote. “Efforts have already been made to speak with several of these lawmakers, but unfortunately, very few of them have accepted the invitation to meet.”
By voting to allow the killing of unborn babies, the lawmakers sinned, and receiving communion in a state of “mortal sin is sacrilegious” because it fails “to show the reverence due to the sacred Body and Blood of Christ,” the bishops continued.
They quoted a recent statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the significance of receiving communion and repentance:
“To receive the Body and Blood of Christ while in a state of mortal sin represents a contradiction. The person who, by his or her own action, has broken communion with Christ and his Church but receives the Blessed Sacrament, acts incoherently, both claiming and rejecting communion at the same time. It is thus a counter sign, a lie — it expresses a communion that in fact has been broken.”
The bishops also expressed concerns that the politicians’ actions will deceive others into thinking that aborting an unborn baby is ok. They said pro-abortion Catholic politicians are creating “scandal” by encouraging the evil of abortion.
“… when other Catholics see public figures receiving Jesus in such a spiritual state their resolve to be faithful to the Gospel can be weakened,” they wrote. “A Catholic politician or public figure leading or encouraging others to do evil is a failure to respect the souls of others and is what the Church defines as ‘scandal.’”
The bishops said they are praying pro-abortion lawmakers will have a change of heart.
Their letter comes about a week after San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she may not receive communion until she repents of her pro-abortion actions. Pelosi professes to be Catholic but consistently defies church teachings about the sanctity of human life.
Many bishops and priests have expressed concerns that pro-abortion Catholic politicians like Pelosi and President Joe Biden are “creating scandal” for the Catholic Church by encouraging evil. They have said the church must do something to make it clear that Catholics cannot support the killing of unborn babies in abortions and must repent before participating in communion.