Eighteen Democratic members of the US House of Representatives have joined in criticizing Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) for his statement that pro-abortion politicians should not receive Communion.The Bishops of the United States have not had the backbone to say this, although this is really the policy of the Church. This is probably getting some of these abortion supporting "Catholic" politicians a little nervous. I think some of the more moderate Catholics would think twice about voting for a formally excommunicated politician, maybe I'm wrong.
During a conversation with reporters on May 9, as he was flying to Brazil, the Holy Father had said that he fully supported the decision of some Mexican bishops to bar politicians from receiving the Eucharist after the lawmakers voted to legalize abortion in Mexico City. The Mexican bishops, the Pope said, had "simply announced to the public what is stipulated by the law of the Church."
So, formally excommunicating those who, "by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one's children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms." (SC 83)
But the Democratic legislators, led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, charged that the Pope's stand (and by implication the laws of the Church) "offend the very nature of the American experiment."
A move to exclude pro-abortion legislators from receiving Communion would be "a great disservice to the centuries of good work the Church has done," the 18 Congressmen argued.
A great disservice? How about a great disservice to the Truth?
Advancing respect for life and for the dignity of every human being is, as our church has taught us, our own life’s mission. As we said in our Statement of Principles, ‘We envision a world in which every child belongs to a loving family and agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life and the undesirability of abortion – we do not celebrate its practice. Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term.’ That is precisely what some of us are doing with our initiative ‘The Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act’ – which includes policies that promote alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, improve access to children’s healthcare and child care, as well as encourage paternal and maternal responsibility.Huh? I'm glad they at least mentioned adoption, but I don't understand why that's not the primary option considered. If they indeed "agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life..." they could never support abortion. And, what's all this about being committed to stopping unwanted pregnancies? Think they do that by telling people to not have sex? I'm sure not, I'm sure it's contraception.
You can read the whole statement, if you'd like, but I'm sure you'll be as disappointed as I am.