(CNS News) -- In response to Rep. Susie Lee's (D-Nev.) recent commentary in defense of abortion, the Catholic bishop of Las Vegas, George Leo Thomas, has called on all pro-abortion Catholic politicians in the Diocese of Las Vegas to voluntarily stop receiving Holy Communion.
"If a politician from the Diocese of Las Vegas finds himself or herself at odds with the church's teaching on the sacredness of human life, I ask him or her voluntarily to refrain from the reception of Holy Communion while holding public office."
"I place the onus of that decision upon the individual politician's shoulders, and not on the backs of Pastors and Eucharistic Ministers," he added.
In her Jan. 24 commentary, Rep. Susie Lee, a self-identified Catholic, expressed strong support for Roe v. Wade and abortion "rights." She also called on the U.S. Senate to pass the Women's Health Protection Act, which would essentially codify abortion (Roe v. Wade) into federal law.
"I voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act because politics doesn’t belong in the doctor’s office and should have no bearing on an individual’s health care decisions," wrote Lee. "As a Catholic, I have a deep understanding of the moral dilemma that the choice to have an abortion presents."
Bishop Thomas wrote of Lee's column, "In her guest column printed in the Las Vegas Sun, January 24, 2022, Representative Susie Lee, a self-identified Catholic, articulated a position that stands in stark contrast to the hallowed moral teaching of the Catholic Church."
"As a Catholic politician, Lee is not alone in her selective and truncated understanding of the church's moral and social teaching," he added.
“Throughout her column, Lee proffers her support for unrestricted reproductive care, without ever mentioning the consequences of her advocacy for the unborn child, over 60 million of whom have been annihilated in the womb since the enactment of Roe v. Wade 49 years ago,” wrote the bishop.
In conclusion, he wrote, "Susie Lee's guest column provides the catalyst for me to articulate the Church's teaching on the sacredness of human life and our position regarding politicians and the reception of Holy Communion.
"At the same time, I am ever in the ready to discuss this matter privately with Representative Lee or with any Catholic politician to whom this position applies.
"Please be certain of my prayers for all who hold public office during these tumultuous and challenging times."
Some of the other well-known pro-abortion Catholic politicians in Congress include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
In 2007, when asked whether he supported Mexican church leaders excommunicating Catholic politicians who were pro-abortion, then-Pope Benedict XVI said, “Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon (church) law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body of Christ."
“They [Mexican Church leaders] did nothing new, surprising or arbitrary," he said. "They simply announced publicly what is contained in the law of the Church... which expresses our appreciation for life and that human individuality, human personality is present from the first moment [of life].”