Catholic Politicians Who Support Abortion 'Not Really Catholic,' Says Philadephia's New Archbishop

By Michael W. Chapman | September 12, 2011 | 5:33pm EDT

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Concerning Catholic politicians who support abortion, the newly installed archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, said that, "If they don't believe what the church teaches, they're not really Catholic."

Chaput, the former archbishop for the diocese of Denver, made his remarks in a Sept. 6 interview with the Associated Press. Some of the more prominent pro-abortion Catholic politicians include Vice President Joe Biden, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.),  and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Cardinal Raymond Burke, who heads the highest court at the Vatican, said in 2007, "It is clear that Church discipline places an obligation on the minister of Holy Communion to refuse Holy Communion to persons known, by the public, to be in mortal sin. ... No matter how often a bishop or priest repeats the teaching of the Church regarding procured abortion, if he stands by and does nothing to discipline a Catholic who publicly supports legislation permitting the gravest of injustices and, at the same time, presents himself to receive Holy Communion, then his teachings ring hollow."

Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest court at the Vatican.

The Catechism of the Catholic church, section 2322, states: "From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a 'criminal' practice, gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life."

Cardinal Justin Rigali, the former archbishop of Philadelphia, granted an interview to LifeSite News in June 2008, where he discussed giving Holy Communion (the Eucharist) to Catholics properly disposed spiritually to receive it.

"We're talking about the very life of the church when we're talking about the Eucharist and participation in the Eucharist," said the Cardinal "St. Paul tells us that anyone who receives the Eucharist must be prepared.  This is the apostolic catechesis."

Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali.

"St. Justin in the second century tells us: 'The only people who are to go to Communion are people who believe everything we believe'. So it's a question of our faith," said Rigali.

The Cardinal also referenced St. Paul and warned, "Anyone that approaches the body of Christ has to examine himself to see where he stands, because if you're not worthy then you're heaping condemnation on yourself."

"We teach children who prepare for first Holy Communion to be worthy, to be in the state of grace," he said.  "That's what we tell everybody -- you have to be in the state of grace."

Cardinal Rigali further said: "To be in the state of grace you must embrace what the Church embraces, you have to embrace the faith of the Church, and you're not free to receive the Eucharist if you don't embrace the faith of the Church. This is St. Paul, this is St. Justin, this is the whole history of the Church."

Cardinal Edward Egan, the former archbishop of New York, criticized Catholic Republican Rudy Giuliani, who is pro-abortion, for receiving Communion at a papal Mass in 2008.

Cardinal Edward Egan.

Cardinal Egan, speaking with LifeSite News, said: "The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God. ... Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind."

"Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion.," said the Cardinal.

"I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York," said Egan, "and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding."

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