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Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore J. Cordileone recently said that priests should deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic public figures who “are unwilling or unable to give up” their “abortion plea.”
“If you find that you do not want or cannot give up your advocacy for abortion, you should not come forward to receive Holy Communion,” the Archbishop told Catholic public figures. “To publicly assert the Catholic faith while publicly rejecting one of its most fundamental teachings is simply dishonest.”
Cordileone’s rebuke of public figures supporting abortion came on Saturday in a 17-page letter titled Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. He did not name such personalities, although one of the archdiocese’s most famous parishioners, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is a long-time abortion activist. President Joe Biden also calls himself a pro-abortion Catholic, despite Church teachings on the issue.
“If their participation in the evil of abortion is not addressed bluntly by their pastors, it may lead Catholics (and others) to assume that the Catholic Church’s moral teaching on the inviolable holiness of human life is not seriously held, ”Cordileone wrote. . “The constant teaching of the Catholic Church from its earliest beginnings, the repeated exhortations of every pope in recent times up to Pope Francis and including, the frequent statements of the bishops of the United States, all of this clearly shows what l teaching of the Catholic The Church concerns abortion. “
He adds that pastors should call Catholic public figures “to conversion and to warn them that if they do not change their lives, they must answer before the tribunal of God for the innocent blood that has been shed.
Cordileone said this could happen through private conversations “between the wandering Catholic and his parish priest or bishop,” but said that the “sad truth” is that such discussions often yield little change, “Thus leaving to the individual the possibility of continuing to participate fully in the life of the Church” and causing scandal to other Catholics.
“Because we are dealing with public figures and public examples of cooperation in moral evil, this correction can also take the public form of exclusion from receiving Holy Communion,” the Archbishop wrote. “When other avenues are exhausted, the only recourse left to a pastor is public medicine, temporarily excluded from the Lord’s Table. It is a bitter medicine, but the severity of the harm of the abortion can sometimes justify it.
“I tremble that if I do not frankly challenge the Catholics under my pastoral responsibility who advocate abortion, they and I will have to answer God for innocent blood,” he added.
Cordileone’s letter came days after The Associated Press reported that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will convene a national meeting in June to discuss whether to tell Biden and other Catholic politicians to high level of not receiving Holy Communion en masse if they continue to be public defenders of Abortion.
“Because President Biden is Catholic, this poses a unique problem for us,” said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas, chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “It can create confusion. … How can he say that he is a devout Catholic and does these things that are contrary to the teaching of the church?