Rebuke of abortion supporters no ’embarrassment’

“I strongly take issue with the group of lay Catholics that seems to be saying it’s okay for those who publicly support the sin of abortion to receive the sacrament of Holy Eucharist,” said American Life League president Judie Brown. “The bishops who are willing to deny Holy Communion to those pro-abortion individuals are merely doing what the Church instructs them to do.

Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”  However, a group of Catholic laymen, under the banner of the Catholic Civility Project, issued a statement scolding those who would “seek the public embarrassment of politicians whose public positions differ with Church teachings through the public refusal of the sacrament of Holy Communion or public admonition by the bishops.”

“I am astounded by that statement, which shows a lack of understanding of Catholic teachings,” said Mrs. Brown. “When the public positions at issue are those that condone direct murder of innocent human persons created in the image and likeness of God, there is no effort to cause public embarrassment. The action of denying Holy Communion is done to expose the scandal caused by those who receive the body and blood of Christ while continuing their advocacy of murder. This is a sacrilege. How can anyone overlook murder in order to focus on the possibility of public embarrassment?”

“I am outraged that this group of supposedly prominent Catholics would try to reduce the protection of Christ in the Eucharist to a political preference,” said Mrs. Brown. “There is nothing political about protecting Christ; it is our obligation as Catholics to do so. In a statement reminiscent of Rodney King’s ‘Can we all get along,’ the signers of this document call for Catholics not to ‘endanger the peace of Christ's Church.’ They seem to have forgotten what Christ told us: ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.’ He went on to say, ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household’” (Matthew 10:34-36).

Mrs. Brown noted that Church teaching is clear, adding that “our bishops, priests, deacons and Eucharistic ministers have a moral obligation to protect Christ from scandal by denying Holy Communion to those who persist in advocacy of the grave evil of abortion until such time as they publicly repent. Protecting Christ from sacrilege is our only option.”

Release issued: 9 Nov 07