COLORADO SPRINGS, May 17, 2004 ( – Michael J. Sheridan, the heroic Bishop of Colorado Springs who wrote a pastoral letter noting that not only anti-life and anti-family politicians but also the Catholics who vote for them commit a grave sin and thus may not receive communion until they repent, was grilled by CNN Friday.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Bishop Sheridan: “I talked to a lot of Catholics today who are frankly kind of stunned by what you’re doing and they said that what you seem to be doing is turning the sacraments into a weapon.  Is that what they were meant (to be)?” After the Bishop remained firm in his resolve, Cooper asked: “You picked though certain topics, I mean gay marriage, euthanasia, stem cell research, the pope speaks against the war in Iraq, why these subjects?”  Using the question as an opportunity to teach, Bishop Sheridan responded, “Well, the issues that I’ve chosen to speak about in this letter are what we understand to be intrinsically evil in and of themselves. The issues that you think of, while important in having moral consequences and moral dimensions to them, are not and have never been declared by the church to be evil in and of themselves. So, for example, the church has never taught and does not now teach that the imposition of the death penalty is in all circumstance evil.”  Cooper concluded his hostile questioning quoting a Catholic who accused the Bishop of driving “Catholics away from the Church”. Cooper the quoted falling stats on Church attendance asking, “Can the church afford this?”  Bishop Sheridan responded that “the truth is sometimes divisive.”  He concluded, “It’s an unfortunate consequence, not one intended, but the alternative is to say nothing and, if I do that, then I jeopardize my own salvation, I believe, because as a bishop I have the mandate to speak the truth.”  See LifeSite’s coverage of Bishop Sheridan’s original letter:  US Bishop: It is a grave sin to Vote for Pro-Abortion and Pro-Homosexual Marriage Politicians