Bishop Bans Pro-Abortion Catholic Lawmakers from Communion
The Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, has decreed that Catholic state legislators who voted for an extreme pro-abortion law recently, should not present themselves to receive holy communion. The penalty also applies to those who voted for a 2017 measure providing taxpayer funding for abortion.
The new Illinois Reproductive Health Act is generally considered to be the most extreme pro-abortion state legislation in America, and some Catholic lawmakers were among those who took the lead in pushing the bill forward.
In response, Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s public decree informs his priests that all Illinois Catholic lawmakers who voted for the Reproductive Health Act, or for an earlier 2017 bill that legalized taxpayer funding of abortions, should not present themselves to receive Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield “without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church.” The decree, and an accompanying letter, were sent to all of the Catholic lawmakers who voted in favour of the bills.
The decree singles out by name House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, stating that because of their important leadership roles in the passage of the two pro-abortion bills, they “are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois because they have obstinately persisted in promoting the abominable crime and very grave sin of abortion.”
The decree cites Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which specifies that those “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” and Canon 916, which states that “a person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or to receive the Body of the Lord without prior sacramental confession” except in cases where a grave reason is present and there is no opportunity of confessing.
In a press statement accompanying the decree, Bishop Paprocki said it was his “hope and prayer these lawmakers reconcile themselves to the Church so they can receive Communion.”
National Catholic Register. June 6.