Catholic Bishop Refuses Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:04 PM EDT

( - A pro-life group is praising a Roman Catholic bishop for using the authority of his office to deal with what it calls a public scandal.

Bishop Raymond Burke of La Crosse, Wis., has issued a formal decree barring pro-abortion Catholic politicians from receiving Holy Communion.

It's a good move, said the American Life League. "Bishop Burke is not only enforcing Church law but is courageously stepping forward in defense of innocent human beings," said American Life League President Judie Brown.

According to Bishop Burke, "A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion or euthanasia, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal for others."

For the past year, the American Life League has been urging Catholic bishops to use their authority under Canon Law to do exactly what Bishop Burke has done.

ALL notes is has worked "diligently" to bring the pro-abortion comments of Catholic politicians to the attention of the bishops in their dioceses.

"Since our effort began last year," Brown said, "American Life League has identified more than 500 state and federal officeholders who claim to be Catholic while making public pronouncements on abortion that are contrary to Church teachings."

She said the American Life League will continue to publish the names of public officials who claim the Catholic faith, yet ignore the Church's teachings on the sanctity of human life.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently established a task force to take action on this serious problem, Brown noted.

"We will continue to encourage the task force - and all American bishops - to defend the truth and send a loud, clear message to all Catholic public officials: You cannot be pro-abortion and Catholic."

Bishop Burke will be installed later this month as the new archbishop of St. Louis.

See Earlier Story:
Catholic Bishops Eye Possible Crackdown of Pro-Abortion Pols (Nov. 18, 2003)