ROME, August 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Top officials at the Vatican are throwing their support behind pro-life Catholic leaders campaigning against dioceses allowing pro-abortion politicians receive Holy Communion, says one such leader.

American Life League President Judie Brown spoke with LifeSiteNews yesterday about her recent trip to Rome, where she spoke with Vatican officials about Communion for pro-abortion politicians and the changing pro-life landscape in America. 

Cardinal Raymond Burke told Brown to be “persistent” in her campaign to have Canon 915 enforced, she said.

Canon 915 states: “Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

Brown also noted that Burke encouraged her to make use of the numerous articles he himself has written on the subject

“He encouraged us to be persistent, to use his articles and not to back down from our position which is the same as his,” she said.  “It’s not arbitrary it’s a matter of the law of the church which needs to be enforced.” 

Cardinal Burke, she noted, spoke of applying the sanction called for in canon 915 as “therapeutic” in terms of helping people come back in line with the church.

The fact that many bishops are “not comfortable” about it, said Brown, doesn’t matter.

Brown also addressed at the meeting how intentional distortions of official Church statements have confused Catholics on the abortion issue. 

“In America, conception is defined as implantation, so when the Church makes a statement - Dignitas Personae is the most recent example - our enemies turn around and say even the Church doesn’t believe there’s life before implantation,” Brown explained to Zenit news. 

“Church officials must be clear that when the word conception is used, it means the ‘biological beginning of a person.’”

While in Rome, Brown covered a wide range of topics including America’s growing pro-life youth movement, ad hominem attacks on pro-life Catholics, and the ramifications of a “culture-of-death president.”

“Cardinal Burke is the primary example of being targeted by the media,” she told LifeSiteNews.com. “The reason for that is that he won’t back down. He tells Catholics all the time, including me, to continue to persist in the faith, and he does it.”

“We have every reason to be optimistic. But, all Catholics must stand up and be Catholic even when it’s uncomfortable,” she concluded.