Catholic Cardinal Restates Policy Leaving Decision To Refuse Communion to Politicians Who Support Abortion Rights to Local Bishop
WASHINGTON DC, Jun. 19, 2006 (www.kaisernetwork.org) - Cardinal Theodore McCarrick on Thursday at a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Los Angeles reiterated a policy approved by the bishops in 2004 that the decision to deny communion to Roman Catholic politicians who support abortion rights is up to the local bishop, Reuters/ABC News reports (Serjeant, Reuters/ABC News, 6/15).
The USCCB in June 2004 at a closed meeting in Colorado voted to approve a statement saying that Catholic politicians should work against legalized abortion "lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good."
However, the statement also said the decision to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should be left to individual bishops (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 9/20/04).
A task force on Catholics in public life, which McCarrick chairs, has been investigating the issue. McCarrick said there is "no substitute for the local bishop's pastoral judgment and his vital relationships with Catholic public officials in his own diocese."