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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-20-04

Bishops' Denial of Communion for Pro-Choice Catholics Sparks Criticism

Democrats in the House of Representatives sent a letter last week to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington criticizing the recent decision of some bishops to deny communion to pro-choice Catholics. The letter, signed by 48 Catholic House members, including some with anti-abortion voting records, warned that the Church will suffer if bishops continue to speak out against allowing pro-choice politicians or even Catholics who vote for such politicians to receive communion, according to the Washington Post.

The letter was sent to Cardinal McCarrick because he heads a task force of bishops that are considering what the Church should do about Catholic politicians whose voting records and positions on issues go against Catholic doctrine, the Post reports. Anti-abortion groups such as the National Right to Life Committee and the American Life League have been urging the tactic of denying communion for years.

The letter, written and circulated by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Nick Lampson (D-TX), states that the bishops are “allowing the church to be used for partisan purposes,” the New York Times reports. Furthermore, “…attempts by Church leaders today to influence votes by the threat of withholding a sacrament will revive latent anti-Catholic prejudice, which so many of us have worked so hard to overcome,” the Post reports.

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Media Resources: Washington Post 5/20/04; New York Times 5/20/04


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