Editors Note: The recent article, Phoenix Bishop Says Pro-Abort Politicians May Not Receive Communion, deals with this matter as well.
Dear Catholic Exchange:
Can Catholic politicians be pro-choice and still receive Holy Communion?
God be with you,
Whiting, New Jersey
Peace in Christ!
The gravity of pro-choice acts based on the belief that those seeking abortion should not be denied access is taught in a number of Church documents, including Humanae Vitae, Declaration on Procurement of Abortion, and Evangelium Vitae. A public official cannot be both pro-choice and faithful to the Gospel of Jesus.
Canon law provides that the bishop take “fraternal” steps of correction or rebuke prior to imposing penalties (c. 1341). Because there is a pastoral and confidential relationship between the ordinary and the public official, we cannot presume to judge a particular situation. Further, while canon law both grants and limits the rights of the bishop to punish, the application of sanctions is left largely to his discretion.
On the other hand, canon law provides for who may participate in the sacraments. Regarding the Eucharist, those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion” (c. 915).
Please see our Faith Fact: A Matter of Reception: Abortion, Holy Communion, and Catholic Politicians.
United in the Faith,
Catholics United for the Faith
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