CHICAGO, October 26, 2004 ( – In an article released in the Chicago diocesan newspaper earlier this month, Cardinal Francis George stressed that abortion is the primary political concern.  He also addressed the issue of pro-abortion politicians and the reception of communion.  “Both officeholder and voter, if they profess the Catholic faith, evaluate their political choices in the light of (their) faith,” wrote Cardinal George.  “Always basic to every other consideration of the common good is the defense of every human life,” he said.  “The defense of every human life, no matter how weak or poor it may be, is not just one of a laundry list of moral concerns. It is key to pursuing the common good.”  Regarding the reception of communion, Cardinal George stated, “Only if one is in good faith can one receive Communion, and the judgement on one’s preparedness for receiving the Body of the Lord rests normally with each believer, as it should.” He added, “If one’s sin is manifest and obstinate, however, the minister of Holy Communion may and sometimes must refuse to give Communion.”  The Cardinal wrote, “Should Catholic “pro-choice” politicians receive Holy Communion? Objectively, no.”  He added that such a politician “may have convinced himself he is in good conscience” and pointing out that “The burden of helping politicians form their consciences falls back upon their pastors.”  Cardinal George also answers the question: “Should a minister of Holy Communion give a “pro-choice” politician the Body of the Lord?” with “If a voting record is evidence of ‘manifest and obstinate’ sin, no.”  Despite the fact that the Cardinal is convinced that “a firm case can be made that refusing Communion, after pastoral counseling and discussion, is a necessary response to the present scandal,” he oddly excuses himself from action in that regard, at least for now.  “If I haven’t made it in this Archdiocese, it’s primarily because I believe it would turn the reception of Holy Communion into a circus here,” he says.  See the article in the Catholic New World   jhw


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