Dozens of anti-choice activists meeting in Rome this week are urging Catholic bishops to deny communion to politicians who support abortion rights.
Speaking at the International Pro-Life Conference in Rome, the American Catholic leader Cardinal Raymond Burke renewed his call for bishops to deny communion to pro-choice politicians. Fifty-two activists joined the cause, signing a petition asking “the Bishops of the Catholic Church to withhold Holy Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy towards those same politicians.”
Among the American signers of the declaration were Preston Noell, director of Tradition, Family and Property, Marie Meaney of Heartbeat International, Joseph Meaney of Human Life International (the group that spawned the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, and which organized the Rome conference), “conceived in rape” activist Rebecca Kiessling, Dawn Eskew of Personhood New York, Michael Hichborn of the American Life League, Carlos Polo of the Population Research Institute, and Bernice and Brian Follett of The Life Foundation. Also signing the petition was Luis Losada of CitizenGo, a Spanish organization whose board includes National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown.
The declaration reads in part:
WHEREAS Catholic politicians who support abortion are already in grave sin, and in receiving Holy Communion their sin is compounded by sacrilege;
WHEREAS by being given Holy Communion such Catholic politicians may well believe that they are spiritually healthy and thus not in need of any remedy;
WHEREAS distributing Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians causes scandal to the rest of the faithful in that they come to believe that support for abortion is not too serious a sin, and thus undermines pro-life work;
WHEREAS being refused Holy Communion is an effective wake-up call to return to an authentic life of faith;
WHEREAS it is unmerciful to allow our brothers living in obstinate public sin to languish there without warning;
We the undersigned ask the Bishops of the Catholic Church to withhold Holy Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy towards those same politicians.