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.
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .