View Full Version : For the Vatican it's Clear - Pro-Abortion Politicians 'Must' be Denied Communion

11-29-2009, 10:28 AM
- With the Patrick Kennedy Communion flap and the recent action of the Bishops of Spain having opened up the issue of denying communion to pro-abortion politicians, it is worthwhile to review the position of the Vatican on the matter.

Since the controversy came to a head in 2004, the stance from the Vatican on the matter has been clear and consistent. For the Pope and top Curial Cardinals in charge of the matter there is no question about the responsibility to deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who obstinately support abortion.

In fact, the issue was closed as early as 2004 with a letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

The then-head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith intervened into a debate among the US Bishops on the issue. Simply put, Cardinal Ratzinger said in his letter titled

"Worthiness to receive Holy Communion," 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."

The letter even answered common objections such as how to deal with politicians that supported war or the death penalty in light of denial of Communion to pro-abortion politicians.

The man who is now Pope, explained: "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."

Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed this position speaking as Pope. Answering a reporter on an in-flight press conference in 2007, Pope Benedict addressed a question on the Mexican bishops excommunicating politicians who support legalizing abortion. "Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body of Christ," said the Pope.

In the comment, the Pope was referring to the Church's Canon law 915, which states: "Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."


11-29-2009, 02:10 PM
I liked what Cardinal Arinze said:

This line is not only coming from Pope Benedict and his appointees, however. The Cardinal who preceded Cardinal Canizares in heading the Congregation was Nigerian-born Cardinal Francis Arinze.

Already in 2004, Cardinal Arinze said a pro-abortion politician "is not fit" to receive Communion. "If they should not receive, then they should not be given," he added. Cardinal Arinze was asked the question so frequently he began to joke about the matter. One such question and answer session even made it to youtube. [seen at LifeSite link given by megimoo]

Arinze is seen on the video as saying that he is regularly asked if a person who votes for abortion can receive Holy Communion. He replies, "Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that? Get the children for first Communion and say to them, 'Somebody votes for the killing of unborn babies, and says, I voted for that, I will vote for that every time.' And these babies are killed not one or two, but in millions, and that person says, 'I'm a practicing Catholic', should that person receive Communion next Sunday? The children will answer that at the drop of a hat. You don't need a cardinal to answer that."

11-30-2009, 11:23 AM
I'm surprised that the affected politicians are in such a snit about this. Even though the RCC turned a blind eye to cultural Catholics who openly opposed RCC doctrine, the Vatican has never seriously entertained the idea of making abortion an option for any woman other than one who would literally (and immediately) lose her life if she continued a pregnancy and even then only when a certain set of criteria have been met.

Priests have always erred on the side of caution when it came to denying Communion to adulterers, gluttons, drunks, wife-beaters, those with civil divorces only, and many others who pretty obviously lived in serious and continual sin. It's a lot harder to turn a blind eye to Catholics who publicly vote in a pro-abortion manner.

The RCC in the United States is undergoing a sea change right now. Old priests who whole-heartedly supported a hippy-day interpretation of the spirit of VCII are being replaced by younger men who have seen the fallout caused by doctrinal departures up close and personally. These men are now starting to call the shots.

11-30-2009, 12:15 PM
This is the US. No one over 18 and living outside of their parents' house has to be a catholic if they don't like the church's teachings. Patrick Kennedy can take communion at many other denomination's churches.

11-30-2009, 01:46 PM
This is the US. No one over 18 and living outside of their parents' house has to be a catholic if they don't like the church's teachings. Patrick Kennedy can take communion at many other denomination's churches.

True enough and obviously he should.

11-30-2009, 03:37 PM
True enough and obviously he should.
Now we will see just how far the Church Militant is willing to go with these heathen Catholic in Name Only liberal Democrat Politicians .Will Pelosi's or
Sibelius's bishop instruct them to refrain from receiving the body of Christ ?

The bishops decision is a moral one and not politically inspired.Kennedy chose to make his letter from the bishop public in an attempt to garner public political support and thereby embarrassing the bishop into backing down .

We almost immediately had calls against the bishops letter to Kennedy from two Massachusetts political candidates vying for Ted Kennedy's old senate seat.

The teachings of The Christ and thereby the teachings of the Catholic church are the same .All life is precious to GOD and is not to be destroyed simply for the convenience of man.

My favorite example on this issue as it applies to Catholics is Fr.Robert Drinan S.J. RIP.He was a US Senator from Massachusetts, who held the seat before Kerry,and being an ordained Jesuit Priest was very liberal.

During the heat of a debate on a bill he favored he voted the pro abortion ticket in order to pass the bill .Pope John Paul immediately instructed him to either resign or give up the priesthood.

Fr.Drinan being in the priesthood for many years voted his political party over his religion,he chose the Democrats over Christ.That's exactly what Sibelius,Pelosi Kennedy junior and his unrepentant father before him did .

For most liberal politicians politics has become their religion and the abortion issue proves it.