(CNSNews.com) - Bishop Thomas A. Daly of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Wash., issued a public letter on Friday declaring that politicians in his diocese who “obstinately persevere” in supporting abortion should not receive Communion until they had “reconciled to Christ and the Church.”
Although the bishop's diocese is in the West, he specifically pointed to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an example of a Catholic politician who had taken an “unacceptable position.”
Bishop Daly unambiguously described abortion legislation like the law Cuomo signed in New York as the “murder of children” and “evil.”
“Efforts to expand access to abortion, allowing murder of children up to the moment of birth is evil,” wrote Bishop Daly.
“Children are a gift from God, no matter the circumstances of their conception,” he said. “They not only have a right to life, but we as a society have a moral obligation to protect them from harm.
“The champion of this abortion legislation is Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic and governor of New York,” wrote Bishop Daly. “Governor Cuomo frequently cites his Catholic faith in support of legislation he favors.
“His public witness as a Catholic politician, coupled with his stalwart support of abortion, is unacceptable,” wrote Bishop Daly.
“Politicians who reside in the Diocese of Spokane, and who obstinately persevere in their public support for abortion, should not receive Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church (cf. Canon 915; ‘Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles.’ Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2004.)
“God alone is the author of life and for the civil government to sanction the willful murder of children is unacceptable,” the bishop wrote. “For a Catholic political leaders to do so is scandalous.”
The bishop pointed to the example of St. Thomas More, who gave up his life to remain true to his faith.
“I encourage the faithful to turn to our Lord in prayer for our political leaders, entrusting them especially to the intercession of St. Thomas More, a public servant who preferred to die at the hands of civil authorities rather than abandon Christ and the Church,” wrote Bishop Daly.