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PRO-LIFE BASICS: How can a Catholic bishop refuse to give Communion to a politician?

When I was a boy in Catholic grammar school, I was taught by the nuns that God was love. Now all I see is judgment! How can a Catholic bishop refuse to give Communion to a politician for his views on abortion but not for his views on the death penalty, war, etc.?

A Catholic bishop is acting out of love when he denies the body of Christ to an alleged Catholic who supports the direct murder of the preborn. The reason is twofold. First, the bishop is concerned for the soul of the public sinner. Second, he is dedicated to protecting the body of Christ from sacrilege.

In fact, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, has expressed his concern for Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s soul on numerous occasions. It is Kennedy who has been hateful toward Christ, not to mention toward Bishop Tobin.

Catholic teaching does not define the death penalty as an intrinsically evil act because it is not direct murder. The same can be said of war. The act of abortion is intrinsically evil because it is an act of murder.

Finally, our Founding Fathers instituted the separation of church and state to prevent the government from imposing a particular religion on Americans. It was not instituted to silence Catholics who believe in the truths taught by Christ Himself.

I encourage you to take this to prayer—work hard to discern the truth from your opinion in this matter. I know that can be a hard thing to do, as I have had to do it a few times in my own life. But if you sincerely remain open to Christ, you will see the fullness of Catholic truth, which is love to the core.

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About the author

Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president of American Life League and served 15 years as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.