NEW ORLEANS, January 16, 2004 ( – New Orleans Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes has warned anti-life Catholic politicians they should not receive Holy Communion, and Catholics who vote for such politicians participate in the evil.

In the January 14, 2004 edition of the New Orleans Diocesan newspaper The Clarion Herald, Most Rev. Hughes writes: “When Catholic officials openly support the taking of human life in abortion, euthanasia or the destruction of human embryos, they are no longer faithful members in the Church and should not partake of Holy Communion. Moreover, citizens who promote this unjust taking of human life by their vote or support of such candidates share in responsibility for this grave evil.” 

In the article, Archbishop Hughes quotes church documents supporting his statement that “issues that admit of no exceptions” include “abortion, physician-assisted suicide, homicide, the destruction of human embryos in artificial fertilization, stem cell research and cloning.” 

Most Rev. Hughes writes that “In each of these, the issues are clear-cut. We cannot do what is wrong even for good purposes.” 

Regarding other life issues, such as care for the poor, the Archbishop points out: “there will inevitably be conflicting strategies.” 

He notes, “it is always important to witness to what is morally correct” but “we preserve the rightful freedom of individuals to make prudential judgments.”


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