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Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City,

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The incoming head of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life efforts defended denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians, saying they need to be held to “accountability.”

Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann said this to EWTN before the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. He explained that when Kathleen Sebelius – later one of the architects of the HHS contraception mandate – was the governor of Kansas, she persistently supported abortion while claiming to be Catholic.

Naumann said he had a “long dialogue” with Sebelius about this before banning her from Communion, but ultimately, “I had no alternative but to take that rather drastic step.”

Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law says that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

Many Catholic bishops ignore canon 915 and distribute Holy Communion, which the Church teaches is the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, to public officials who actively advocate for abortion while purporting to be Catholic.

Naumann also revealed that he was in a way a “crisis pregnancy” because his father was murdered before he was born.

“As a Church, our responsibility is to surround with love those that might be in a difficult pregnancy,” he said, and help them choose life.

Commenting on the abortion referendum in Ireland tomorrow, Naumann assured the pro-life Irish of his prayers.

“We’re really grateful for the leaders in Ireland that have really done a remarkable job…awakening” the nation, said Naumann. That country is “a symbol of faith and Catholicism in so many ways. And for Ireland to abandon its long history of protecting all lives [especially the unborn], this would be a devastating blow internationally.”