By John-Henry Westen

Poppe Benedict VATICAN CITY, March 13, 2007 ( – Today, Pope Benedict XVI released the long-awaited document on Holy Communion, called “Sacramentum Caritatis” or the Sacrament of Love. It is a follow-up document reflecting on the 2005 meeting of bishops on the Eucharist.

In the 110+ page document, the Pope gives Catholic politicians a biblical warning against receiving Communion unworthily.

In a section on “Eucharistic consistency”, the Pope says that politicians must adhere to “non negotiable” values “such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms.” He added, “Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature.”

Thereafter, Pope Benedict drew a connection to reception of the Eucharist. “There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist,” he said referencing the Biblical passage 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. That passage reads: “Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.”

Drawing on this dire warning from St. Paul, which was specifically referred to politicians by the Pope, many priests and bishops have seen it as an act of charity to deny pro-abortion politicians communion. For the action not only causes them to reflect seriously on their disconnection with the Church, it also saves them from committing a gravely sinful act which portends “judgement”.

Speaking of the values of the protection of life and the traditional family, the Pope stated: “Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them.”

See the full document here: