Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore J. Cordileone recently said priests should refuse Communion to pro-abortion Catholic public figures who “do not want or cannot give up” their “advocacy for abortion”.
“If you find that you do not want or cannot give up your advocacy for abortion, you should not come forward to receive Holy Communion,” the Archbishop told prominent Catholics. “To publicly assert the Catholic faith while publicly rejecting one of its most basic teachings is simply dishonest. “
Cordileone’s rebuke of public figures who support abortion appeared on 17 pages letter Saturday titled Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. He did not name any of these figures, although one of the archdiocese’s most famous parishioners, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is a long-time advocate for abortion. President Joe Biden also calls himself a pro-abortion Catholic, despite church teachings on the issue.
“If their participation in the evil of abortion is not addressed frankly by their pastors, it may lead Catholics (and others) to assume that the moral teaching of the Catholic Church on the inviolable sanctity of human life is not seriously held back, ”Cordileone wrote. . “The constant teaching of the Catholic Church from its very beginnings, the repeated exhortations of every pope in recent times up to and including Pope Francis, the frequent statements of the bishops of the United States, all of this clearly shows what the teaching of the Catholic Church The Church is regarding abortion.
He adds that pastors should call Catholic public figures “”to conversion and to warn them that if they do not improve, they will have to answer before the tribunal of God for the innocent blood that has been shed.
Cordileone said this could happen through private conversations “between the lost Catholic and his pastor or bishop,” but said that the “sad truth” is that such discussions often produce little change, “Thus leaving to the individual the possibility of continuing to participate fully in the life of the Church” and causing scandal to other Catholics.
“Because we are dealing with public figures and public examples of cooperation in moral evil, this correction can also take the public form of exclusion from receiving Holy Communion,” the Archbishop wrote. “When other avenues are exhausted, the only recourse left to a pastor is public medicine for temporary exclusion from the Table of the Lord. It is a bitter medicine, but the severity of the harm of the abortion can sometimes justify it. “
“I tremble that if I do not openly challenge the Catholics under my tutelage who advocate abortion, they and I will have to answer before God with innocent blood,” he added.
Cordileone’s letter came days after The Associated Press reported that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will convene a national meeting in June to discuss whether to tell Biden and other Catholic politicians to high level of not receiving Holy Communion at Mass if they continue to be public defenders of Abortion.
“Because President Biden is Catholic, this presents a unique problem for us,” Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s committee on pro-life activities, told the newspaper. “It can create confusion. … How can he say that he is a devout Catholic and does these things that are against the teaching of the church?