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US bishops’ pro-life chief: pro-abortion politicians should not receive communion

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Archbishop Naumann warned that unrepentant mortal sin 'places ourselves on a path to hell'

For their own good, Catholic politicians who support abortion must not receive communion, the chair of the US bishops’ pro-life committee has said.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas said that advocating for “intrinsically evil acts” such as abortion is a grave moral matter than can lead to mortal sin.

“Recent efforts to perpetuate and expand abortion in state laws have illuminated the deplorable actions of some Catholic public officials and advocates,” Naumann said.

“Their efforts to support and even celebrate such legislation will result in killing many more unborn children, as well as the spiritual and emotional wounding of their mothers and fathers.”

The archbishop also warned of the spiritual consequences: “Conscious and unrepentant mortal sin endangers our eternal souls and places ourselves on a path to Hell.

“To receive our Eucharistic Lord, while in a state of mortal sin, only further jeopardizes the eternal fate of our souls.

“Sincere repentance, a conversion of heart, and a genuine effort to make amends for the harm caused by our sin, are essential to be able to receive God’s mercy.”

Naumann said that he also has responsibility to ensure other Catholics are not scandalised or misled by an apparent tolerance of politicians who support gravely immoral causes.

“In my own role as a bishop, I have a serious responsibility to make certain that those entrusted to my pastoral care are aware of the moral gravity and spiritual consequences of their actions,” he said.

“I also have a serious obligation to protect other members of my flock from being misled by a seeming tolerance of the scandalous behavior of some Catholics in public life.”

While dialogue with these politicians is important, if they refuse to repent then, for their own good, they cannot receive communion.

“It is critically important that I attempt to enter into dialogue with such Catholic leaders. If even after an extended dialogue a Catholic in public life persists in scandalous actions, I have found it necessary to request that they not present themselves to receive Holy Communion, for their own spiritual welfare and for the protection of many others from moral confusion.”

The archbishop concluded by calling on Catholics to pray for the “spiritual healing” of those politicians and for “all those advocating for legalised abortion”.

“When we truly repent, God is always eager to lavish us with His mercy,” he said.