CORPUS CHRISTI, September 27, 2004 ( -The excuses for unwillingness to deny communion to pro-abortion politicians are debunked in an article submitted to by Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi Texas.

In his article, Bishop Gracida notes that the Vatican has already ruled authoritatively on the question of denying communion.  “According to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in that Council’s June 24, 2000 Declaration on the question: ‘Should a priest deny Communion to a Catholic who is an obstinate public sinner?’ The answer is ‘yes,’” writes Bishop Gracida.  The Church’s Code of Canon Law (can. 915) says the same.  To those who suggest unwillingness to deny communion “because they say that they are not in a position to judge another person’s thinking or conscience on the subject of abortion, euthanasia and fetal experimentation”, the Bishop answers quoting Ezekiel.  “If I tell the wicked man that he shall surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked man from his way, he shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death.  But if you warn the wicked man, trying to turn him from his way, and he refuses to turn from his way, he shall die for his guilt, but you shall save yourself.”  Bishop Gracida relates his own experience of having to deny communion to an obstinately pro-abortion Catholic politician.  After instructing him in the faith by letter and sending another letter of warning, the Bishop issued a decree forbidding the politician to receive the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick until his repentance.  The Bishop did not publicize the decree knowing the pro-abortion press would exploit the news.  The bishop concludes, “every bishop has the duty and obligation to implement the provisions of Canon Law” which states, “Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

See the full 9-page article from Bishop Garcida on



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