The Colorado Catholic Bishops are asking lawmakers who recently voted for a pro-abortion law to “voluntarily abstain from Holy Communion,” according to an open letter signed on June 6.
The abortion bill referenced by the bishops is the Reproductive Health Equity Act, signed into law on April 4. The law established a “fundamental right” to abortion in the State, depriving every unborn human being of fertilization until birth of their human right to life. The letter was signed by Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Denver Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez, Pueblo Bishop Stephen Berb and Colorado Springs Bishop James Golka.
“Voting for RHEA was part of a gravely sinful action because it facilitates the murder of innocent unborn people, and the Catholic politicians who did so most likely placed themselves outside the communion of the Church,” said the bishops. wrote.
They continued, “Until public repentance takes place and sacramental absolution is received in Confession, we ask Catholic legislators who live or worship in Colorado and who voted for RHEA to abstain. voluntarily to receive Holy Communion.
In the letter, the bishops welcomed the strong show of support against the legislation. They noted that more than 350 people testified against RHEA in the House and more than 215 testified against her in the Senate. Tragically, the bill past the state Senate on March 23 by a vote of 20 to 15 and was signed into law in early April by Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
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The bishops lamented that the extreme pro-abortion bill received support from some Catholic lawmakers, despite the Catholic Church being clear and unwavering in its opposition to abortion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church States, “Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of any induced abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains immutable. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed either as an end or as a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.
The bishops said the request was not made “lightly”. They also noted that the burden of deciding whether to receive Communion does not rest “on the shoulders of priests, deacons or extraordinary lay ministers of the Eucharist,” but “on the consciences and souls of politicians who have chosen to uphold this evil and unjust right.”
“We are always willing to engage in conversation with any Catholic politician to whom this applies, and we want you to know that we regularly pray for all those who hold public office,” they said.
Catholic Church reaffirmed importance of the Eucharist (Communion) last year when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a new document on the Eucharist. The bishops did not explicitly mention whether pro-abortion politicians should be denied communion, but they explained why Catholics should not receive the Eucharist when in a state of mortal sin.
In their letter, the Colorado bishops noted that receiving Communion while in mortal sin is “a failure to show due reverence to the sacred Body and Blood of Christ.”
Some bishops have banned Catholic politicians from receiving Communion. In April, Salvatore Cordileone, the Archbishop of San Francisco, published a public notification to Nancy Pelosi – who claims to be a devout Catholic while supporting abortion – asking her to either stop advocating for abortion or stop mentioning her Catholic faith. She did neither, prompting the Archbishop to to forbid prevent him from communicating. Pelosi is just one of various pro-abortion Catholic politicians banned by some Church officials from receiving Communion for supporting abortion.
With the possibility of overturning Roe vs. Wade on the horizon, now more than ever, it is essential that Catholic legislators defend the right to life of our country’s unborn children.
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