ARLINGTON, VA, October 10, 2002 ( – Honorable Richard Black, member of the Virginia House of Delegates and a heroic defender of life and family in the state legislature, was refused Holy Communion at Arlington’s St. Thomas More Cathedral.  On September 22, the Cathedral Rector, Fr. Dominic Irace refused to give Communion to Delegate Black since Black was kneeling to receive.  Fr. Irace told him he must stand to receive but Black chose rather to genuflect and withdraw.

In a letter of concern to Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde, Catholic pro-life activist Dr. Joseph Strada, wrote: “This affront to Delegate Black, and his family, is doubly shameful because Delegate Black is, without question, the most courageous defender of the innocent unborn on the floor of the House of Delegates in Richmond. One has to wonder if Fr. Irace would have been so bold as to refuse Holy Communion to Senator Ted Kennedy or other militantly pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians who regularly attend Mass in Arlington churches.”  After Mass, and in the presence of Black’s wife and daughter as well as other faithful, Fr. Irace shouted insults to Delegate Black as he exited the Cathedral. When Delegate Black tried to avoid Fr. Irace, pointing out that he had refused him Holy Communion, Fr. Irace shouted “you liar!” several times. As Delegate Black left the Cathedral, Fr. Irace loudly called him a “conservative idiot.”  In an interview with LifeSite, Delegate Black said that while he has been under tense situations in combat for his country and in the war-like political realm, he was concerned for other faithful Catholics who may be intimidated by Fr. Irace.

  To express your concerns:  Bishop Loverde:  The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde   Diocese of Arlington   200 North Glebe Road,  Suite 914 Arlington, VA 22203 Or email family life office at [email protected]   Delegate Richard Black 20978 Flatboat Court   Sterling, VA 20165 (703) 406-2951   fax: (703) 450-2076 [email protected]   See Joseph Strada’s letter to the Bishop:


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