By John-Henry Westen
WASHINGTON, DC, April 17, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At the papal Mass at Nationals Park this morning with 46,000 in attendance, pro-abortion Senators John Kerry and Chris Dodd presented themselves for and received Holy Communion. Photos taken by Tom McFadden Director of Admissions at Christendom College and provided first to LifeSiteNews.com, show Kerry and Dodd receiving while Kennedy remains seated as his row leaves to receive Communion.
Senator Ted Kennedy was thought to not have received communion because of his remaining seated, but the next day LifeSiteNews received the following statement from Daniel J. Skehan, who was near Kennedy at the function:
"Two of my sons and I attended the Papal Mass yesterday. We were seated in section 216, directly above the section in which Ted Kennedy was seated. Several minutes prior to the general distribution of communion a priest walked down to Ted Kennedy and gave him communion. There was some discussion amongst we in our section about the inappropriateness of his reception of the Host. Be certain, he remained seated not out of some self-enforced respect for the sacrament, but rather out of respect for his girth and mobility."
American Life League (ALL) President Judie Brown told LifeSiteNews.com that no pro-abortion politicians received Holy Communion directly from Pope Benedict during the Mass. ALL had taken out a full page ad warning Catholic pro-abortion politicians not to sacrilegiously receive the Eucharist.
While the highest authorities in the Vatican and indeed the Pope himself have insisted that pro-abortion Catholic politicians be denied Holy Communion, several prominent US bishops with the leading of now-retired Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick have refused to follow such direction from Rome.
Francis Cardinal Arinze, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, speaking at a Catholic family conference in Ohio last November confirmed that pro-abortion politicians must be denied communion. He referenced a 2004 letter on the subject sent by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who said that such politicians "must" be refused Communion (see coverage: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08040408.html).
Since becoming Pope, Benedict XVI has also addressed the subject. In March 2007 the Pope warned Catholic pro-abortion politicians against receiving Communion. In the document on Holy Communion, called "Sacramentum Caritatis" or the Sacrament of Love, Benedict XVI gave Catholic politicians a biblical warning against receiving Communion unworthily.
In a section on "Eucharistic consistency", the Pope said that politicians must adhere to "non negotiable" values "such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms." He added, "Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature."
"There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist," he said referencing the Biblical passage 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. That passage reads: "Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord." (see coverage: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/mar/07031303.html )