Washington, D.C. (4 February 2009) – Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issued a statement today in response to an interview in which Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's highest court, stated,
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 … This is a law of the universal Church and it should be applied.
About the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Burke commented,
I think this argument [that this matter should be decided by the USCCB] 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… 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.
Statement by Judie Brown:
"It has long been American Life League's contention that canon law applies within the Church in the same way that state, federal or local law applies to the citizens of the United States. At American Life League, our focus has been on Canon 915, which is written for the express purpose of protecting the body and blood of Christ from sacrilege.
"We have repeatedly called on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to enforce this law, abide by this law and deny the Holy Eucharist to any public figure who claims to be Catholic while at the same time supporting abortion. Abortion is an intrinsically evil act, and no Catholic who supports that act in any way should be permitted to receive Christ.
"We are deeply grateful for the definitive words of Archbishop Raymond Burke. Archbishop Burke was also asked about Catholic bishops who claim that denying Holy Communion to a pro-abortion politician 'makes the Communion rail a [political] battleground.' He simply and succinctly responded, 'Nonsense.' We extend our sincere gratitude to Archbishop Burke for once again making it clear why every single Catholic bishop and priest not only should enforce Canon 915, but is obliged to do so for the sake of souls and for the sake of protecting Christ in the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege."
American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to death. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.
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