Another bishop calls for pro-abortion ‘Catholics’ to be denied Communion
PHOENIX, Arizona, May 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has called for public figures and other self-professed Catholics who promote abortion to be denied Holy Communion.
“Woe to us bishops if we do not speak clearly about the grave evil of abortion, and the consequences of any Catholic who participates in the act or publicly supports it by word or action,” Olmsted said in a statement on Thursday.
Echoing his recent apostolic exhortation, Venemur Cernui, he suggested that Catholics cannot “publicly disagree with the Church on abortion while continuing to claim their Catholic Faith and receive Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”
The bishop also endorsed a pastoral letter released by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco earlier this month, calling it “a powerful defense of the Church’s teaching on the dignity of all human life, which logically and morally requires a consistent condemnation of abortion.” The letter stresses that pro-abortion Catholics “should not come forward to receive Holy Communion” and that excommunication can serve as a “medicine of last resort” for dissident politicians.
“Please stop the killing,” Cordileone urged pro-abortion lawmakers. “And please stop pretending that advocating for or practicing a grave moral evil — one that snuffs out an innocent human life, one that denies a fundamental human right — is somehow compatible with the Catholic faith. It is not.”
“It is a false compassion that treats the killing of an innocent child in the womb as ‘help’ for a mother in need,” Olmsted similarly remarked last week. “It is a false courage that condemns the sins of the past while the gravest evil of the present is treated as an ‘issue’ of legitimate disagreement among Catholics.”
“And it is a false patience and pastoral concern that, year after year, stays silent or speaks in abstractions while the slaughter continues with the full endorsement of Catholic politicians under our spiritual care as bishops,” he continued. “Such ‘patience’ is false because it is bereft of love and truth, and thus unmasks rather a deadly apathy towards one who professes the Catholic faith but whose public embrace of abortion puts his or her eternal soul at risk of damnation, and risks dragging untold numbers into hell by their example.”
Several other U.S. prelates, including Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, and Bishop Joseph Strickland have called for pro-abortion “Catholics” to be barred from Holy Communion in recent weeks. The Biden administration has brought the issue of worthy Eucharistic reception to the fore for U.S. bishops, as the nation’s self-stylized “second Catholic president” moves rapidly to implement an unprecedented anti-life agenda.
In the last four months, the Biden administration has gutted abortion pill restrictions, revoked President Trump’s multi-billion-dollar abortion funding bans, accelerated experimentation on aborted babies’ body parts, and authorized hundreds of billions of dollars of federal spending that could be used for abortion.
In April, the bishops announced plans to vote later this year on a document clarifying whether Catholics who promote abortion should be allowed to partake of the Eucharist. A 2004 memo to the bishops from the Vatican had affirmed that politicians who campaign or vote for pro-abortion policies engage in “formal cooperation” in “grave sin” and may not to be admitted to Holy Communion. The note echoed teachings promulgated under Pope John Paul II.
“When the church minimizes the danger of an unworthy reception of the Eucharist, she fails to properly love those who continue to jeopardize their souls,” Archbishop Samuel Aquila wrote in an essay quoted by Olmsted. “Trading ‘civility’ and ‘engagement’ for eternal life is not a good trade, and it is especially negligent for me, as a bishop, to remain quiet when people I am called to love may be endangering their eternal souls,” the archbishop added.
“I thank Archbishop Cordileone and Archbishop Aquila, as well as all my brother priests and bishops who voice their loving concern not only for unborn children and their parents, but for those who have been led to believe that they can publicly disagree with the Church on abortion while continuing to claim their Catholic Faith and receive Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament,” the Phoenix bishop said last week. “Therefore, it is an obligation and an act of love to proclaim and point out this truth in charity.”