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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s bishop asked him to forgo communion because of his support for abortion rights. The vast majority of American Roman Catholic bishops have declined to make such requests, but a growing number are making headlines for doing so.

What do you think of the practice?

There are a lot of in-between positions here, so explain your vote here by clicking on the link below and vote, yes!

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/11/23/should-bishops-ask-officials-to-skip-communion-over-abortion.html

Vatican Official: Bishops Have no Choice But to Refuse Communion to Pro-Abort Politicians

By Hilary White

ROME, January 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Archbishop Raymond Burke, in an exclusive interview last week, told LifeSiteNews.com that the issue of pro-abortion politicians continuing to receive Holy Communion is still one of major concern and that it is the duty of bishops to ensure that they are refused.

He told LifeSiteNews.com, “I don’t understand the continual debate that goes on about it. There’s not a question that a Catholic who publicly, and after admonition, supports pro-abortion legislation is not to receive Holy Communion and is not to be given Holy Communion.”

“The Church’s law is very clear,” said Archbishop Burke, who was appointed last year by Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Church’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura. “The person who persists publicly in grave sin is to be denied Holy Communion, and it [Canon Law] doesn’t say that the bishop shall decide this. It’s an absolute.”

Among the US bishops directly to address the issue, Archbishop Burke was one of around a dozen who vigorously supported a directive of the Vatican that said pro-abortion Catholic politicians “must be refused” Holy Communion if they attempt to receive at Mass. Others have refused to abide by the Vatican instruction and the Church’s own Code of Canon Law, saying they would rather focus on “education” of such politicians.

Archbishop Burke called “nonsense” the accusation, regularly made by some bishops, that refusing Holy Communion “makes the Communion rail a [political] battle ground”. In fact, he said, the precise opposite is true. The politician who insists on being seen receiving Holy Communion, despite his opposition to the Church’s central teachings, is using that reception for political leverage.

In 2004, when self-proclaimed Catholic and candidate for the Democrat party, Sen. John Kerry, was frequently photographed receiving Holy Communion despite his vigorous support of abortion, the US Bishops Conference issued a document which said only that it is up to individual bishops whether to implement the Church’s code of Canon Law and refuse Communion. The issue has remained prominent with the appointment of Joe Biden, another pro-abortion Catholic politician, as Vice President of the United States of America.

Archbishop Burke recalled previous experiences with Kerry, pointing to the several occasions when the senator was pictured in Time magazine receiving Communion from Papal representatives at various public events. Burke said that it is clear that Kerry was using his reception of Holy Communion to send a message.

“He wants to not only receive Holy Communion from a bishop but from the papal representative. I think that’s what his point was. Get it in Time magazine, so people read it and say to themselves, ‘He must be in good standing’.”

“What are they doing? They’re using the Eucharist as a political tool.”

In refusing, far from politicising the Eucharist, the Church is returning the matter to its religious reality. The most important reasons to refuse, he said, are pastoral and religious in nature.

“The Holy Eucharist, the most sacred reality of our life in the Church, has to be protected against sacrilege. At the same time, individuals have to be protected for the sake of their own salvation from committing one of the gravest sins, namely to receive Holy Communion unworthily.”

Archbishop Burke also dismissed the commonly proffered excuse that such politicians need more “education”. Speaking from his own direct experience, he said that Catholic politicians who are informed by their pastors or bishops that their positions in support of pro-abortion legislation makes it impossible for them to receive Holy Communion, “I’ve always found that they don’t come forward.”

“When you talk to these people, they know,” he said. “They know what they’re doing is very wrong. They have to answer to God for that, but why through our pastoral negligence add on to that, that they have to answer to God for who knows how many unworthy receptions of Holy Communion?”

Archbishop Burke said that the issue had been debated enough. He rejected the idea that the matter should be left to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, saying the Conference has no authority in the matter. “This is a law of the universal Church and it should be applied.”

“I think this argument too is being used by people who don’t want to confront the issue, this whole ‘wait ’til the Conference decides’…well the Conference has been discussing this since at least 2004. And nothing happens.”

When asked what the solution was, he responded, “Individual bishops and priests simply have to do their duty. They have to confront politicians, Catholic politicians, who are sinning gravely and publicly in this regard. And that’s their duty.

“And if they carry it out, not only can they not be reproached for that, but they should be praised for confronting this situation.”

Biden avoids confrontation with his new bishop

  

Wilmington, Sep. 9, 2008 (CWNews.com) – Sen. Joseph Biden did not attend the September 8 installation Mass of Bishop W. Francis Malooly, the new leader of the Wilmington, Delaware diocese where the Democratic vice-presidential candidate lives.

Biden was in Wilmington on Monday morning, but left later in the day for a campaign appearance in Wisconsin, thus avoiding a potential showdown with his new bishop. There was no indication– either from the senator or from the diocese– whether Biden had originally planned to attend the afternoon installation.

In his homily the new bishop did not directly address the nationwide furor roused by Biden’s public statements on abortion. But Bishop Malooly did make an indirect reference to the issue, saying:

 

We will continue to stress the constant teaching of the Church that each person must respect every life from conception to natural death. And we will continue to seek the intercession of Saint Thomas More for Statesmen, Politicians, Supreme Court Justices, Judges and Lawyers—that they may be courageous and effective in defending and promoting the sanctity of human life, the foundation of every human right, the foundation of our love for the poor.

A much stronger response to Biden’s comments came from the Denver archdiocese, where Archbishop Charles Chaput and his auxiliary, Bishop James Conley, issued a new statement entitled Public Servants and Moral Reasoning. “Sen. Biden is a man of distinguished public service. That doesn’t excuse poor logic or bad facts,” they wrote. They continued:

If we claim to be Catholic, then American Catholics, including public officials who describe themselves as Catholic, need to act accordingly.

Catholic Diocese in Indiana, Wants Komen Race Boycott Over Abortion Ties

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor


March 26, 2008 – Lafayette, Indiana (LifeNews.com) — Another Catholic diocese has gone on record as urging Catholics and local parishes to boycott the Komen Race for the Cure because of its ties to abortion. Komen affiliates across the nation have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood and the group has denied the abortion-breast cancer link.
The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette wants local parishioners to boycott the April race in Indianapolis expected to draw 40,000 people.

The diocese includes 63 churches in 24 counties and a statement LifeNews.com obtained explains the rationale behind the decision. “Due to its policy allowing affiliates to offer financial support to abortion providing facilities, its endorsement of embryonic stem cell research, and the continued denial that abortion may well lead to the development of breast cancer, it is not appropriate for Catholics to participate,” the diocese said.A portion of their proceeds is given to Planned Parenthood for breast exam and to educate women in their clinics,” it added.

“Donors cannot control how an organization designates its funds. Therefore, money donated for a specific service, i.e. breast health care, directly frees up funds to support other areas of an organization’s agenda, i.e. abortion,” it concluded.

Rather than supporting Komen, the diocese asked Catholics to donate their time and money to local hospitals and other groups that provide beast cancer screenings and medical care.

Dana Curish, executive director of Komen Indianapolis, tried to assuage the concerns in an interview with WTHR-TV. “We do not fund Planned Parenthood and there’s no affiliate in Indiana that funds Planned Parenthood,” she said.However, Susan G. Komen for the Cure spokeswoman Rebecca Gibson has previously confirmed that 19 of the 122 Komen affiliates made grants to Planned Parenthood last year, according to its own figures totaling about $374,253.

Other Catholic diocesan groups have also issued concerns about Komen and its Planned Parenthood grants and abortion-breast cancer link denial.

Earlier this month, the St. Louis Archdiocese asked people to boycott the event. In November 2006, the Phoenix, Arizona diocese asked parishioners to tell Komen to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood.“Some will argue the grant is earmarked for areas other than abortion or contraception, so the affiliation between the organizations is inconsequential,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said of the Komen grants to Planned Parenthood.

“But the sad reality is that the grant money now frees up Planned Parenthood funds for those other areas opposing life and counter to our Catholic faith,” he explained.

In the Phoenix area, Komen, whose race netted it 40,000 people and $1.8 million, gave $25,000 to Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona.

The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood prompted medical research analyst and Hispanic outreach director Eve Sanchez Silver to resign from her leadership position within Komen.Silver eventually had a meeting with Komen officials about their grants and abortion’s link with breast cancer.”SGK officials did not appear to have knowledge of simple breast facts,” Silver said in a statement LifeNews.com received.Silver explained that the breast is an organ that is not mature at birth and SGK officials appeared to be surprised to learn that the breast does not become fully mature until after 32 weeks of pregnancy.

As a result of that state of development, interruption of pregnancy via an abortion before 32 weeks leaves breast cells exposed to estrogen, which is highly carcinogenic.

She indicated the Komen representatives also appeared to be “more concerned about assisting women after they had contracted breast cancer, than informing them to avoid breast cancer risk by avoiding abortions and having [an] early, full term pregnancy.”

“This is an appalling lack of concern for the women the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is supposed to be helping,” Silver added.