I have heard a number of Bishops say that one cannot support abortion and be Catholic. Is it not a scandal for pro-abortion politicians to claim they are Catholics in good standing and to receive Holy Communion? What is the Church’s teaching on this?

Bishop John’s Answer:

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Himself, said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE.” So, if we say we are followers of Christ, we, too, must be pro-life, for all life is a gift from our Loving Father. Our Eastern and Western Tradition is unanimous in its teaching that any form of abortion is contrary to God’s law and a serious offense against the Life-Giver. Christ is Philanthropos, the Lover of Man. Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has eloquently proclaimed this tradition in his encyclical The Gospel of Life. See also the pamphlet of our Office of Educational Services entitled The Fathers Speak for Life that demonstrates the early Church’s opposition to abortion.

Each time we prepare to receive the Holy Mysteries of Christ’s spotless Body and precious blood we pray, in the words of St. John Chrysostom, that they may “be not for our judgment or condemnation.” It is impossible to receive Christ, our Life, in Holy Communion and remain obstinately pro abortion. Indeed, politicians who, by their actions (i.e. voting, speeches, etc.), promote abortion cooperate with evil. If they receive Holy Communion without sincere repentance they do so at the peril of their own souls. Such is cause for great scandal.