Magazine article Church & State

Calif. Bishop Tells Pro-Choice Governor to Quit Communion. (People & Events)

Magazine article Church & State

Calif. Bishop Tells Pro-Choice Governor to Quit Communion. (People & Events)

Article excerpt

Sacramento Bishop William K. Weigand has urged California Gov. Gray Davis to drop his support for legal abortion or stop receiving communion at Roman Catholic services.

Weigand, speaking at a mass to mark the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion in Roe v. Wade, singled out Davis, a Democrat who strongly supports abortion rights, and told the congregation that no Catholic can be pro-choice, the Sacramento Bee reported.

"As your bishop, I have to say that anyone--politician or otherwise--who thinks it is acceptable for a Catholic to be pro-abortion is in very great error, puts his or her soul at risk and is not in good standing with the church. Such a person should have the integrity to acknowledge this and choose of his own volition to abstain from receiving Holy Communion until he has a change of heart."

Weigand said he was motivated to act by the actions of a local priest, Monsignor Edward Kavanagh, who in December told Davis that he and his staff were not welcome to visit a Catholic orphanage and distribute gifts to children unless he first renounced his support for legal abortion.

Davis told Kavanagh he had no intention of switching sides.

"I'm unapologetically pro-choice, and I'm not changing my position," he said. Davis later arranged for the children from the orphanage to come to the state capitol building to get the presents.

"Ever since the little incident last month, people have been asking questions," Weigand said. …

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