Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Communion Wars

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Communion Wars

Article excerpt

Last April we reported in this space how Bishop William Weigand of Sacramento publicly challenged Catholic politicians who supported legalized abortion, even preaching that then-governor Gray Davis needed to "abstain from receiving Holy Communion until he has a change of heart." With Davis now out, the issue has cooled a bit in California. Not so in Wisconsin where some Catholic politicians--and some priests--are facing the situation even more directly.

In January Bishop Raymond Burke of La Crosse made public a notice he signed last November that says Catholic legislators of the diocese "who continue to support procured abortion or euthanasia may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion. They are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, should they present themselves, until such time as they publicly renounce their support of these most unjust practices."

Burke's chief of staff, Father Richard Gilles, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "That is a direct statement to the priests. They have an obligation to not give [such politicians] Holy Communion. But I think any pastor who has any sensitivity or common sense would sit down in private with these people and talk to them and ask them not to come to Holy Communion. …

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