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Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVI says that refusing Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians is a "doctrine of the Church"   

"When a man has stepped over the threshold and allowed himself to fall into mortal sin, he must be purified by trial, but he must also, My children, be purified by the rule of penance and confession.      
     "What manner of evil is being set now upon mankind that compels him to lose his soul by rejecting the Sacraments, by no longer confessing to his confessor, but coming to receive My Son in sacrifice, while his soul is degraded by sin of mortal nature!" - Our Lady of the Roses, September 7, 1976 

LifeSiteNews.com  reported on July 13, 2004:

The document which appeared in the pages of the Italian paper L'Espresso claiming to be Vatican Cardinal Ratzinger's paper giving direction to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the question of pro-abortion Catholic politicians and communion has been confirmed as authentic. In a letter sent to Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Ratzinger confirms he did compose the document "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion."

In fact, Ratzinger, who heads the most important congregation in the Vatican, says in the letter that the document was to "clarify the doctrine of the Church on this specific issue." In the documents, the Vatican Cardinal noted clearly that pro-abortion politicians, who will not alter their stand or abstain from communion after being instructed by church leaders, "must" be refused communion.


Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, June 2004

"For that one reason among many, the United States will suffer unless there is placed into your government a group that fears the Lord if they cannot love the Lord. They will fear Him and find measures to stop the slaughter of the unborn." - Our Lady of the Roses, April 14, 1984



Vatican Archbishop Burke: Public Repentance is Required for Pro-Abort Politicians  

LifeSiteNews.com reported on October 12, 2010:

Speaking at the Human Life International World Prayer Congress Saturday, Archbishop Raymond Burke received sustained applause when he noted that Catholic politicians who support abortion are required to repent publicly. 

Speaking to pro-life leaders from 45 nations, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (the highest Vatican court) also noted that those who recognize the scandal caused by such public, dissident Catholics assist the Church in repairing a serious breach, but are nevertheless often ridiculed for it.

(Read the complete talk - in PDF format - here)

Achibishop Burke stressed that “both bishops and the faithful” must be obedient to the Magisterium – which he described as the teaching of Christ as handed down through the successor of Peter and the bishops in union with him. “When the shepherds of the flock are obedient to the Magisterium, entrusted to their exercise, then surely the members of the flock grow in obedience and proceed with Christ along the way of salvation,” he said.  “If the shepherd is not obedient the flock easily gives way to confusion and error.”

Burke, who is also a member of the Congregation for Bishops added: “A most tragic example of the lack of obedience of faith, also on the part of certain Bishops, was the response of many to the Encyclical Letter Humanae vitae of Pope Paul VI, published on July 25, 1968.  The confusion which resulted has led many Catholics into habits of sin in what pertains to the procreation and education of human life.”

Humanae Vitae reiterated age-old Christian teaching on the immorality of the use of artificial contraception. However, after its publication the encyclical was repudiated by many within the Catholic Church, including priests and bishops, who had believed that the Church would changes its views on contraception.

Turning to the issue of scandal within the Church, the archbishop said, “We find self-professed Catholics, for example, who sustain and support the right of a woman to procure the death of the infant in her womb, or the right of two persons of the same sex to the recognition which the State gives to a man and a woman who have entered into marriage.  It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself publicly in this manner.”

To resounding applause Burke said, “When a person has publicly espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts, leading many into confusion and error about fundamental questions of respect for human life and the integrity of marriage and the family, his repentance of such actions must also be public.”

The Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura then voiced a concern that struck a deep chord with many of the Catholic pro-life activists present at the conference.  “One of the ironies of the present situation is that the person who experiences scandal at the gravely sinful public actions of a fellow Catholic is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division within the unity of the Church,” he said.  “One sees the hand of the Father of Lies at work in the disregard for the situation of scandal or in the ridicule and even censure of those who experience scandal.”

The Vatican prelate concluded the point stating:

Lying or failing to tell the truth, however, is never a sign of charity.  A unity which is not founded on the truth of the moral law is not the unity of the Church.  The Church’s unity is founded on speaking the truth with love.  The person who experiences scandal at public actions of Catholics, which are gravely contrary to the moral law, not only does not destroy unity but invites the Church to repair what is clearly a serious breach in Her life.  Were he not to experience scandal at the public support of attacks on human life and the family, his conscience would be uninformed or dulled about the most sacred realities.



Manila Archbishop: "Grave Sin" of Abortion leads to Automatic Excommunication

"You will send out the traitors, excommunicate the wrongdoers who do not repent of their sin. What does it gain a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Our Lady of the Roses, September 27, 1975

LifeSiteNews.com reported on September 17, 2010:

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales has issued a pastoral letter, to be read at all Masses in the Archdiocese of Manila on Sunday, September 19, condemning abortion as a "crime against life" and a symptom of "abandoned values."

The archbishop addressed the recent spate of aborted babies that were left near churches this week.

News sources reported that human fetuses were found in the cities of Manila and Malabon, and a living newborn baby was rescued from a garbage bin inside a Gulf Air flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Police reported that a 5-to 7-month-old unborn child was found inside a green plastic bag at the Manila Cathedral, while another baby was found at the doorstep of the Church of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo district.

Malabon City police also reported that a fetus, wrapped in plastic and then stuffed into a sack, was found at the corner of Salmon and Pampano streets in the Catmon district of that city.

Archbishop Rosales said he considers the public exposure of aborted babies as either malicious, or a symptom of "grave moral decadence" that is threatening Philippine society.

"With possible malicious intent the ugly part of life is again gaining the limelight in our country as the frequency of aborted fetuses is publicly exposed. The placing and exhibiting of aborted human fetuses in public places is not favored in other cultures, and decent people refuse to do the same," Archbishop Rosales wrote in the pastoral letter.

"If the expositions of discarded human fetuses are not done with evil intent, then the practice alone of rampant abortion is symptomatic of a grave moral decadence and irresponsible behavior that now seriously threaten the country."

The archbishop condemned abortion as a "moral evil," and reminded the faithful that those who abort their children, as well as those who facilitate abortion, face excommunication.

"Thou shalt not kill! A deliberately procured abortion is a moral evil and the Catholic Church attaches the canonical penalty of Excommunication on those who procure it and on those who help obtain abortion," Archbishop Rosales said.

"Human lives are always precious to God and any violation of it will be dealt with by Him for He said, ‘Vengeance is mine . . . He will avenge the blood of his servants’ (Gene 4:15, Deut. 32:43). Abortion is a grave sin against a defenseless life; and for this the severe canonical penalty to perpetuators is Excommunication," the archbishop warned.

Urging the faithful to the virtues of selflessness, self control and self-sacrifice as the way to avoid unwanted pregnancies, the archbishop said, "Unwanted pregnancies could be avoided if only people are less selfish, are more disciplined and capable of self control, exercising a strong will, and capable of making sacrifices. These are virtues that are much needed in a country of disciplined people."

Archbishop Rosales also condemned the attempts to introduce laws allowing abortion in the country, saying, "Short cuts to progress even by way of new laws cannot compensate for abandoned values. Human life, created in the image of its Maker, the very source of the rights and dignity of the human person, must always be respected and defended."

The archbishop said that special prayers and acts of reparation will be made in churches where public exposure of aborted babies occurred and urges to the faithful to pray "for the perpetrators and instigators of this grievous sin against the life of the innocent."

The full text of Archbishop Rosales' pastoral letter "Abortion, A Crime Against Life" is available here. (http://www.rcam.org/Homilies/2010/cardinal_rosales/abortion_a_crime_against_life.html)




New Archbishop of Seattle: “To be Catholic Means to be Pro-Life” 


"You will send out the traitors, excommunicate the wrongdoers who do not repent of their sin. What does it gain a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Our Lady of the Roses, September 27, 1975

LifeSiteNews.com reported on September 16, 2010:

This morning Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment of Bishop James Peter Sartain of Joliet in Illinois, as metropolitan archbishop of Seattle Washington, where nearly one-fifth of the over five million residents are Catholic.  In January, Bishop Sartain was one of the 45 U.S. Bishops in attendance at the March for Life Vigil Mass in Washington, DC. 

Bishop Sartain told LSN at the time that he was proud that over 225 youth from his diocese had come to the D.C. March for Life.

Asked about the example Nancy Pelosi gives of being in favor of abortion while calling herself Catholic, Bishop Sartain replied, “Any Catholic who is going to understand our faith and live by the faith seriously must be pro-life.”

The Joliet Bishop explained, “It’s at the very core of our understanding of living a moral life because all life comes from God. It’s a message that we have a responsibility to continue to get out.”

He concluded, “To be Catholic means to be pro-life.”

Born in Memphis Tennessee in 1952 and ordained to the priesthood in 1978, he became a bishop at the age of 47, shepherding the Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Joliet Illinois prior to being called to Seattle. 

Bishop Sartain inspired admiration in his diocese by taking decisive action in the face of scandal.  When the pastor of the second largest parish in the diocese of Joliet was found to have engaged in homosexual acts, Bishop Sartain removed him from priestly duties. 

Commenting on the action at the time, Catholic World News editor Phil Lawler told LSN that, based on his reporting on the scandal of homosexual priests in Catholic dioceses, he believed the action taken by Bishop Sartain was unique and “a hopeful sign.”

“It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of this before,” said Lawler. “There’ve been an awful lot of cases in which we’ve been told that a priest has engaged in consensual sexual activity with another male, and isn’t a problem. But it is a problem, and it is good that it is being taken seriously.”

Catholic News Service notes that archbishop-elect Sartain’s appointment marks the first in a string of pending U.S. episcopal appointments under the new leadership of Canada’s Marc Ouellet, who was recently appointed as head of the Vatican’s Congregation of Bishops.  Ten U.S. bishops are currently serving past retirement age of 75 and another five dioceses are currently without a bishop.

Bishop Sartain’s pro-life stance was backed by action. In addition to attending the March for Life, the bishop has led his flock in challenging abortion in the diocese of Joliet.  In 2007, when a Planned Parenthood abortion mill was to open locally he responded with a request for the faithful to join him in fasting and prayer.  He encouraged peaceful, prayerful demonstration, outreach and political lobbying.



Honduran Cardinal: "A politician who publicly supports abortion, he excommunicates himself"


"You will send out the traitors, excommunicate the wrongdoers who do not repent of their sin. What does it gain a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Our Lady of the Roses, September 27, 1975

LifeSiteNews.com reported on May 18, 2007:

Hours after LifeSiteNews.com contacted pro-life leaders in Latin America to alert them to troubling remarks made by Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, the Cardinal corrected his statements.  Carlos Polo, director for Latin America of the Population Research Institute approached the Cardinal about his remarks to Time magazine which conflicted with Pope Benedict over the issue of Communion for pro-abortion politicians.

As LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday, in a recent interview with Time magazine, Cardinal Rodriguez was asked if he agreed with bishops who deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians.  The Cardinal responded, ""Who am I to deny Holy Communion to a person? I cannot. It's in the tradition of moral theology that even if I know a person is living in grave sin, I cannot take a public action against him. It would be giving scandal to the person. Yes, he should not seek [Communion], but I cannot deny it from him."

In statements to Carlos Polo, which were reported late yesterday by the Catholic News Agency, Cardinal Rodriguez said his comments to Time magazine should be reformulated "in light of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith teaches in its document, 'Worthiness to Receive Communion'."

That document was written in 2004 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was at the time the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  It was sent to the US Bishops to use as a guide in their deliberations over dealing with Catholic pro-abortion politicians. The letter pointed out that obstinately pro-abortion Catholic politicians, after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. 

"A politician who publicly supports abortion, he excommunicates himself.  It's not question of receiving Communion or not; he has already done serious harm to the communion of faith of the Church, to the communion of moral life, and therefore that person himself is doing an act that is inconsistent with what he says he believes," the Cardinal Rodriguez told Polo.

"That is, we're talking about a person who has become a broken-off branch of the tree of life of the Church, a dry branch that has lost its vital sap and is doing something that is a lie.  One who is against life and who is clearly opposed to the message of the Lord Jesus, as is an abortion supporter, cannot be in Communion with Holy Mother Church," he stated.

"Therefore, if one uses the desire to receive Communion as a justification, it is the worst manner of doing so, because one is doing an act that contradicts what one says he believes," the cardinal said.

"In addition," he continued, "a recent declaration of the Holy See clearly states that when all precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible, and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it."  

"This is the current law of the Church and it would be best if these people who know it do not try to receive Holy Communion because they are committing an act that is completely immoral and inconsistent with truth," he said in conclusion.

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage which includes links to the Time interview and the document by Cardinal Ratzinger:
Honduran Cardinal Contradicts Pope on Communion for Pro-Abortion Politicians




Pro-Abortion Politicians - "No we cannot vote for these people because for us the Supreme Law of God is the Ten Commandments - which is the Law written into human nature." - Cardinal Dziwisz

Interview with Pope John Paul II's secretary: Catholics may not vote for pro-abortion politicians


LifeSiteNews.com reported on June 26, 2008:

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz was personal secretary to Pope John Paul II.  After the Pope's death he was appointed Archbishop of Kraków in 2005, and in 2006 was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.  LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Cardinal Dziwisz at the International Eucharistic Congress last week.

Asked if it was permissible for Catholics to vote for politicians who support abortion, Cardinal Dziwisz replied, "No we cannot vote for these people because for us the Supreme Law of God is the Ten Commandments - which is the Law written into human nature."

Asked about the European Union pressure on Poland to abandon its moral stands in favour of life, the Cardinal said: "Poland is the only country that, after years of abortion being practiced, abolished it when freedom arrived after the fall of communism.  We absolutely want to keep this law which defends life - but all the liberal and leftist forces from Europe are against Poland.

"They say there is no freedom in Poland and that women are oppressed.  However, we want to bring these (our) moral values to Europe because this is the richness of Europe. But they still don't understand.  We hope that in the future they will understand that the real and true richness that Poland gives to Europe is faith, life and the family - a healthy family."

The Cardinal also encouraged the pro-life movement all over the world to remain active.  "You can create a pro-life atmosphere.  If the 'movement for life' is present in the world - this helps us (referring to the Church in Poland) and we help you from our position," he said.

On the discouragement sometimes felt in the pro-life movement, the Archbishop of Krakow said, "To win we need to pray, to pray, and this Congress gives us the way - we can renew ourselves by returning to Mass, going to adoration and confession."

Cardinal Dziwisz also spoke about homosexuality and the efforts to alter the definition of marriage.  "Sin can never be a right or law. Herein is the ruin of a culture when sin is called 'normal'," he said.  "We can never accept bad for good. We cannot share in sin."

"For us the Ten Commandments are important because they saved many peoples throughout the centuries and they will save them in the future," he added. "We cannot therefore abandon the Ten Commandments for other laws made democratically.  We need to respect the laws of nature - respect the laws that the Lord gave us."

The former secretary to John Paul II was pleased to hear of LifeSiteNews.com editor John-Henry Westen's seven children.  "Seven children, seven children," he said smiling.  "You have a football (soccer) team - so your wife could be at one goalpost and you at the other and the children in between."

Concluding the interview, the Cardinal imparted his blessing on LifeSiteNews.com and handed the reporters a prayer card with the image of John Paul II and an embedded relic.



France's Cardinal Babarin on how denial of the Eucharist can be an act of love

"When a man has stepped over the threshold and allowed himself to fall into mortal sin, he must be purified by trial, but he must also, My children, be purified by the rule of penance and confession. 
     "What manner of evil is being set now upon mankind that compels him to lose his soul by rejecting the Sacraments, by no longer confessing to his confessor, but coming to receive My Son in sacrifice, while his soul is degraded by sin of mortal nature!"
- Our Lady of the Roses, September 7, 1976 

LifeSiteNews.com reported on June 25, 2008:

Philippe Cardinal Barbarin is the Archbishop of Lyon, in France. Born in 1950, Barbarin is one of the youngest Cardinal's in the Catholic Church.  He also has a reputation for speaking plainly and openly.

In 2005, the Cardinal was in the public spotlight after publicly informing women who underwent fake ordinations to the priesthood that they had automatically excommunicated themselves. In light of such seemingly hard-line actions, LifeSiteNews.com asked the Cardinal how the recent controversy over denying pro-abortion politicians Holy Communion should be seen from a truly Catholic perspective.

Even such actions, he said in response, are acts of love - of charity.

"Normally every act of the Church is an act of charity," Cardinal Barbarin told LifeSiteNews.com last week. "Every word of Jesus is a word of charity. Yet, at times Jesus was angry.  He took cords and knocked down the change tables and chased the sellers from the temple - solely for His love for them."

The Archbishop of Lyons added that when Christ called the Pharisees "hypocrites" it was the same - an act of charity.  "Jesus spoke with them with much force to change their hearts," he said.

On his arrival as Archbishop in Lyon in 2002, Babarin issued a challenge to Catholics to "Turn off the TV and turn on the Gospel."  The Archbishop expressed hope that the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, where the interview took place, would launch a spiritual revival in Quebec.  "I wish with all my heart," said the Cardinal, "that this Congress will bring a new springtime for the Church in Quebec."



Philadelphia Cardinal Rigali: One must believe what the Church teaches to receive Communion

LifeSiteNews.com reported on June 19, 2008:

Cardinal Justin Rigali, the Archbishop of Philadelphia is in Quebec City for the International Eucharistic Congress - a week-long event focusing on the Catholic belief that Christ Himself is present in Holy Communion.

Cardinal Rigali, who is also the President of the Pro-Life Committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, discussed with LifeSiteNews.com the issue of worthiness to receive Communion in the context of Catholics who support abortion and same-sex "marriage", contrary to Church teaching.

"We're talking about the very life of the church when we're talking about the Eucharist and participation in the Eucharist," said Cardinal Rigali.  "St. Paul tells us that anyone who receives the Eucharist must be prepared.  This is the apostolic catechesis."

"St. Justin in the second century tells us: 'The only people who are to go to Communion are people who believe everything we believe'. So it's a question of our faith."

The Cardinal referenced St. Paul warning that, "Anyone that approaches the body of Christ has to examine himself to see where he stands, because if you're not worthy then you're heaping condemnation on yourself."

The Cardinal noted that there are "many people who are confused on the faith, many people are confused on the issue of life."  That is why, he said, "the Church has been putting in so much effort to try to clarify the absolute necessity to support, to promote, to cherish human life, and not to do anything to destroy it."

"We invite people to come to the Eucharist," he said, "but we are constantly reminding them 'just a moment now' this belongs to our tradition - the Eucharist is not just something we just receive; it's the body of Christ."

"We have to accept the teachings on the body of Christ and we have to accept the teaching of the body of Christ, which is the Church, on other things to be fully worthy," he said.

While he said that the prime responsibility is that of the person to examine himself before God regarding his worthiness to receive Communion, Cardinal Rigali added that "obviously the Church has an obligation to safeguard the Eucharist against abuses."

"We teach children who prepare for first Holy Communion to be worthy, to be in the state of grace," he said.  "That's what we tell everybody - you have to be in the state of grace."

He concluded: "To be in the state of grace you must embrace what the Church embraces, you have to embrace the faith of the Church, and you're not free to receive the Eucharist if you don't embrace the faith of the Church. This is St. Paul, this is St. Justin, this is the whole history of the Church."



"It is my intention . . . to have similar pastoral dialogues with other Catholics in elective office who support legalized abortion"

Archbishop Naumann defends his call for pro-abortion politicians to refrain from Communion

LifeSiteNews.com reported on May 27, 2008:

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City on Friday published a question and answer explanation and defense of his May 9 public request to Governor Kathleen Sebelius to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until repenting of her political support for abortion. The Archbishop also confirmed plans to address other pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

"In this column, I want to provide you with my responses to some of the more common questions and misunderstandings regarding my pastoral action." wrote the Archbishop in the diocesan newspaper The Leaven.

"Governor Sebelius holds the highest elective office in the state of Kansas, making her the most prominent Catholic in public life," responded the archbishop to accusations of "singling out" Sebelius.

"It is a time-intensive process to enter into verbal and written dialogue, as is necessary, to insure a person is aware of the spiritual and moral consequences of their actions, as well as to understand the scandal their actions cause for others."

"It is my intention eventually, as much as the limitations of my own time permit, to have similar pastoral dialogues with other Catholics in elective office who support legalized abortion," added the Archbishop.

Naumann went on to explain why Sebelius' abortion support is particularly scandalous, i.e. capable of leading others to sin through bad example.

"Governor Sebelius' public support for legalized abortion, as a Catholic, naturally leads others to question the moral gravity of abortion. In effect, her actions and advocacy for legalized abortion, coupled with her reception of holy Communion, have said to other Catholics: 'I am a good Catholic and I support legalized abortion. You can be a good Catholic and support legalized abortion.'"

Sebelius is known as an aggressive supporter of radical abortion "rights" and has vetoed a number of pieces of common-sense legislation over the years that would have reigned in an out-of-control abortion industry in Kansas.  As a result, abortion mills remain uninspected in spite of documented substandard conditions, and abortion laws meant to protect women and viable babies remain unenforced.

Sebelius has close ties to abortionist George R. Tiller, who has funneled huge amounts of campaign contributions to Sebelius in the past. Tiller currently faces 19 criminal charges, a grand jury investigation, and two open investigations with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts for criminal conduct and violations of the standard of care. Nevertheless, Sebelius remains supportive of Tiller and his notorious abortion business.

The Archbishop also refuted "pro-choice" rhetoric contending that a Catholic politician could be personally opposed to abortion while still supporting a woman's "right to choose."

"Freedom of choice is not an absolute value. All of our laws limit our choices. I am not free to drive while intoxicated or to take another's property or to assault someone else. My freedom ends when I infringe on the more basic rights of another."

Naumann also rejected accusations that bishops have been using the Eucharist in a political attack on the Democratic Party and approvingly cited the example of Cardinal Edward Egan's request for pro-abortion Republican Rudy Giuliani to refrain from Communion.

"I encourage Catholics who are Democrats to remain Democrats, but to change the extremist position of the party on abortion. If the majority of Catholic Democrats objected to the platform of the party supporting legalized abortion, it would change tomorrow," added the Archbishop.

While not yet requiring ministers of the Eucharist to deny Sebelius Holy Communion, the Archbishop left open the possibility of such a mandate in the future.

"I have, at this moment, not asked the ministers of the Eucharist not to give holy Communion to the governor."

In his letter titled "Worthiness to receive Holy Communion," then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion.  Ratzinger's letter explained that if such a politician "with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it."

See the archbishop's full article on the issue:

Governor’s Veto Prompts Pastoral Action

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Archbishop Publicly Tells Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Not to Receive Communion

Bishop: Denying Communion to Obstinate Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians "in many cases becomes the right decision and the only choice"

Abortion-Politician-Communion Scandal Shows Real Lack of Pastoral Concern - Editorial

Read the Archbishop's Q&A:

Read the Ratzinger on denying Holy Communion:

To contact the Archbishop for addressing pro-abortion politicians:

Archbishop Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann
12615 Parallel Parkway
Kansas City, KS 66109
Phone: (913) 721-1570
FAX: (913) 721-1577
Email: archkck@archkck.org 




Head of Vatican's highest court: Ministers have "obligation to deny" Communion to pro-abortion politicians

LifeSiteNews.com reported on August 19, 2008:

The head of the highest court in the Vatican has given an interview with a Roman magazine in which he notes that when dealing with pro-abortion Catholic politicians, "the minister of the Eucharist has the obligation to deny It (Communion) to him."

Last month, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Raymond Burke, formerly the Archbishop of St. Louis, as the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, which is the highest judicial authority of the Catholic Church besides the Pope himself.  In an interview published in the current edition of the Italian magazine Radici Cristiane, Archbishop Burke addresses the issue which has caused great controversy among the hierarchy in the West.

In the interview, parts of which were translated by Catholic News Agency, the Archbishop noted first that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should be publicly corrected and told not to receive: and, if they persist, they should be denied.   He spoke of dealing with "public officials" who contravene Divine and Eternal law such as "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," the archbishop said.  "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," he added.

The Archbishop explained that the Church does this "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," reported Catholic News Agency.

"We must avoid giving people the impression that one can be in a state of mortal sin and receive the Eucharist," the archbishop continued.  "Secondly, there could be another form of scandal, consisting of leading people to think that the public act that this person is doing, which until now everyone believed was a serious sin, is really not that serious - if the Church allows him or her to receive Communion."

"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 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 mother's womb," he warned.

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Abortion-Politician-Communion Scandal Shows Real Lack of Pastoral Concern

Can Catholics Who Vote for BO
Still Receive Communion




Pro-abort politicians "must" be refused Communion: Philippines Archbishop

"When a man has stepped over the threshold and allowed himself to fall into mortal sin, he must be purified by trial, but he must also, My children, be purified by the rule of penance and confession. 
     "What manner of evil is being set now upon mankind that compels him to lose his soul by rejecting the Sacraments, by no longer confessing to his confessor, but coming to receive My Son in sacrifice, while his soul is degraded by sin of mortal nature!"
- Our Lady of the Roses, September 7, 1976 

LifeSiteNews.com reported on July 14, 2008:

A Philippine bishop has reiterated the teaching of the Catholic Church that politicians who support legal abortion "must" be refused Holy Communion at Mass.

Archbishop Jesus Dosado of Ozamiz archdiocese issued a pastoral letter this weekend saying priests should tell such politicians, "until they bring to an end the objective situation of sin" that they should not present themselves at Mass to receive Communion. Priests are to give pro-abortion politicians instructions in the Church's teaching, and if the politician persists in his error, he should be told not to present himself for Communion.

"The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion merely as a consequence of being present at Mass is an abuse that must be corrected," wrote Archbishop Dosado.

To support his instruction, the archbishop quoted an official 2000 Vatican instruction, "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" that said that when "precautionary measures" had failed and the person remains in "obstinate persistence," and presents himself to receive the Eucharist, the minister "must refuse to distribute it."

"This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty," the archbishop said. "Nor is the minister of the Holy Communion passing judgment on the person's subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person's public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin."

Archbishop Dosado also cited the letter by then-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of 2004, written in response to the ongoing scandal of pro-abortion US Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry persisting in publicly receiving Communion. He said that the decision to present himself for Communion had to be the result of the person's "reasoned judgment" on his spiritual state.

The speaker of the Filipino parliament, Prospero Nograles, responded saying that Archbishop Dosado's pastoral letter violated the principle of "separation of church and state."

This argument was commonly presented during the 2004 US Presidential campaign after a small number of Catholic bishops issued statements enforcing the Church's teaching. Their defenders countered by saying that the demand that a bishop, who is instructing his flock in religious, not political matters, should remain silent, was itself a violation of the principle that the state should not interfere with the running of churches.

Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Linguyen-Dagupan, told local radio, "If a priest or bishop does not punish a public sinner, it is the priest or bishop who is wrong."

Archbishop Dosado also dispelled another commonly presented argument that said abortion was just one of many moral issues with which people "of good conscience" could disagree with the Church. He countered the widely held "seamless garment" opinion that abortion is just one part of a larger pro-life ethic and was on an equal moral footing with war, homelessness or poverty.

"If a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion," the archbishop said. "There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war, but not about abortion."

Read more:

Abortion-Politician-Communion Scandal Shows Real Lack of Pastoral Concern - Editorial



Exclusive interview: Ottawa Archbishop explains why pro-abortion politicians are denied Communion

LifeSiteNews.com reported on March 14, 2008:

The mainstream media has picked up on comments by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast regarding reception of Holy Communion for pro-abortion politicians.  However, one part of the discussion which has received little discussion is the reason why the Church would deny politicians reception of Communion.

"The Code of Canon Law says in #915 that 'those whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin," explains the religious leader of Canada's national capital,"are not to be admitted to Holy Communion'." 

"What is at issue is whether a politician who does not himself or herself participate in an abortion but supports 'a woman's right to choose' (or however else shows support for abortion) is guilty of grave sin and then obstinately persists in this state of grave sin."

Archbishop Prendergast stresses that denying Holy Communion is undertaken out of concern for the offending Catholic (politician in the case at hand).  "The Church's concern is for anyone who persists in grave sin, hoping that medicinal measures (which is how excommunication and interdict are to be understood) may draw them away from the wrong path to the truth of our faith."

The Ottawa prelate points out how Christians from the beginning were told of the need to be in good standing with the faith before receiving Communion.  "(St.) Paul said that before receiving communion a Christian should take part in self-examination and only then receive the Body of the Lord after necessary conversion (1 Cor 11:28)."

Prendergast has no dislike for politicians, in fact just the opposite. "I deeply admire politicians for their desire to serve the public good and to make the many sacrifices necessary to win public office and to give themselves to public service," he says, adding, "They ought to be motivated by a concern for justice, good order, the public good, etc."

He notes however that "One of the greatest areas for effecting justice is the support of life in the womb and through all stages of life.  Abortion goes against the Church's understanding, based on the teaching of Jesus, on the inviolability of innocent human life - including the unborn - and of the obligation of public servants to protect the weakest in society.  It is hard to see how the support of abortion is not a very grave evil."

The decision to take "medicinal" remedies, says the Archbishop, is not taken lightly, and is simply an attempt at direct intervention with the politicians.  "Perhaps politicians embrace the support of a woman's right to choose unthinkingly, following party policy; this is where the church with the help of its pastors and through fellow believers needs to come to the assistance of those who serve the public good," he said.    

"It may take time to work with political figures before one can conclude that they are obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin and that, therefore, denial of communion or of encouraging them not to present themselves for communion is reached as the medicinal remedy to draw them back to the way of Christ, Our Lord, the Way, the Truth and the Life."

One other consideration in addressing seriously such grave violations of Church teaching is scandal.  "If one were to allow Catholic political (or other public) figures to freely espouse abortion without drawing to their attention that this is a grave evil," explained Archbishop Prendergast, "other believers might be tended to accept this, not knowing any better and be led on the wrong path: that is what 'scandal' is.  One must do everything possible to prevent others from falling away from the path of Christ - i.e. from being scandalized."

See related LifeSiteNews articles:

Pope Supports Excommunication for Pro-Abortion Politicians - "Incompatible with Receiving Communion"

Second U.S. Bishop Says Vatican Letter on Pro-Abort Politicians Withheld from Bishops

Cardinal McCarrick Continues to Conceal Rome's Insistence that Pro-Abort Politicians Be Denied Communion


Archbishop Burke says ministers are "held, under pain of mortal sin, to deny the sacraments to the unworthy"

Archbishop Burke preaches tough Communion rule:  Turn away abortion-rights backers under pain of mortal sin

The Columbus Dispatch reported on October 1, 2007:

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, a veteran of clashes between Catholic bishops and politicians, has attempted for years to enlist fellow bishops to deny Holy Communion to wayward politicians.

Now, the conservative cleric is invoking the church's highest punishment -- mortal sin -- to persuade the lay and ordained Catholics who distribute Communion at Mass to safeguard the sacrament.

Drawing on the works of the late Italian Jesuit scholar Felice Cappello, Burke says those ministers are "held, under pain of mortal sin, to deny the sacraments to the unworthy."

That argument could place Communion ministers on the frontlines of the "wafer wars" as the 2008 presidential race heats up, and as bishops debate a document on "faithful citizenship."

"It is clear that church discipline places an obligation on the minister of Holy Communion to refuse Holy Communion to persons known, by the public, to be in mortal sin," Burke writes in a new journal article.

Burke lays out his case like a legal brief in Periodica de re Canonica, a journal widely read in seminaries and published by Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University, an elite school for Catholic clergy.

"No matter how often a bishop or priest repeats the teaching of the church regarding procured abortion, if he stands by and does nothing to discipline a Catholic who publicly supports legislation permitting the gravest of injustices, and, at the same time, presents himself to receive Holy Communion, then his teachings ring hollow," Burke writes.

A former top official in the Signatura, the Vatican's high court, and a noted expert in canon law, Burke previously has kicked off public debates over policing the Communion rail. While bishop of La Crosse, Wis., he ordered clergy to refuse to offer the sacrament to certain pro-abortion-rights politicians.

In 2004, Burke and a handful of other bishops said they would refuse Communion to presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Burke also said Catholics who voted for pro-abortion-rights politicians, such as Kerry, should refrain from taking the sacrament until they confessed their "mortal sin."

In his new article, the archbishop explicitly criticizes his fellow bishops, the majority of whom voted in 2004 to leave the Communion decision up to individual bishops.

Burke retorts: "The question regarding the objective state of Catholic politicians who knowingly and willingly hold opinions contrary to natural moral law would hardly seem to change from place to place."

The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the influential conservative Catholic journal First Things, called Burke's article "a scholarly tour de force."

"The (archbishop's) concern is not a political concern," Neuhaus said. "The article is about, how does the church preserve the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist?"

But the article is ambiguous in some areas, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center in Washington.

If Burke is calling on Communion ministers to disobey their bishops and deny Communion to Catholic politicians, it would be "revolutionary" and "encourage anarchy," Reese said.

"Most bishops do not want ministers of Communion playing policeman at the Communion rail," he added. "This is a significant change in focus. Suddenly, you're going to have a few thousand decisionmakers in parishes across the country."

A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis said Burke was unavailable to comment on this article.


"The discipline and rules set down by My Son and those He chose to write the Book of life and love must be adhered to. We direct, in the name of the Trinity, that you bishops and cardinals of the world must use your full powers as hierarchy to excommunicate and defrock all who seek to dethrone My Son and destroy the Faith!" - Our Lady of the Roses, August 21, 1974

"The Eternal City of Rome must now take action by those in rule, the cardinals and the bishops, to restore this city to the light. Those who seek to build a church of man must be removed by the power of excommunication given to those who rule as representatives in My houses, churches upon your earth.
     "As it was in the time of Noe, as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrha, so shall it be upon your earth. Man shall be permitted to fall fast into the abyss. Why? Because he has hardened his heart and closed his ears to the truth. He has given himself to all manners of pleasures of the flesh. Sin has become a way of life in your country and in the countries throughout your earth.
     "The children of God, the candles upon earth, My child, shall suffer much persecution from the agents of darkness.
     "Man runs amiss, My child. He scatters the sheep. He seeks peace where there is no peace. He is going farther into darkness.
     "You shall not gather your flocks, My pastors, by compromising your Faith! You shall not gather the flocks for the Eternal Father in Heaven by giving yourselves to the world, by adopting humanism and modernism as your guide.
     "It is a simple lesson of faith that you must give to the children and to all in your care. As pastor you shall stand before Me and shall you say to Me that your teaching has been pure in My sight? Amen I say unto you, I shall cast you from Me and send you into the abyss. As you sow, so shall you reap." - Jesus, December 31, 1975


D23 - Abortion  PDF LogoPDF
D196 - Life Begins at Conception   PDF LogoPDF


For the Vatican it's Clear - Pro-Abortion Politicians 'Must' be Denied Communion



Bishops and bald eagles, Judie Brown, March 2, 2007

Cardinal Ratzinger said, "The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it." He did not say 'could,' or 'may,' but that he "must,"  Barbara Kralis, July 6, 2004

Prohibition is worthless without enforcement, Barbara Kralis, June 24, 2004

Is not murder just as evil as lust in the eyes of God? Barbara Kralis, June 8, 2004

Ten questions regarding the denial of the Eucharist, Barbara Kralis, May 24, 2004


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April 12, 2018