(CNSNews.com) -- Bishop Thomas Paprocki, head of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Ill., decreed today that Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, and all the Catholic lawmakers who voted for the latest pro-abortion bills in the General Assembly are barred from receiving Holy Communion in the Springfield Diocese because of "their leadership roles in promoting the evil of abortion."
"Due to their leadership roles in promoting the evil of abortion by facilitating the passage of Senate Bill 25 this legislative session and House Bill 40 in 2017, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton have been barred from receiving Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois under a decree from Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois," said a statement the bishop released.
"In addition, Illinois Catholic lawmakers who voted for either of these abortion bills are not to present themselves to receive Holy Communion," says the statement.
"[T]these legislative leaders have shown obstinate and persistent support of extreme abortion legislation," said the bishop. "House Bill 40 legalized taxpayer funding for abortion and Senate Bill 25 makes abortion a fundamental right, allows for the killing of innocent children up to the moment of birth, and requires private insurance to pay for abortion, among other anti-life changes."
Bishop Paprocki then explained the importance of the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Catholic faith.
“The Eucharist is the most sacred aspect of our Catholic faith,” he said. “As sacred Scripture warns, ‘Whoever eats unworthily of the bread and drinks from the Lord’s cup makes himself guilty of profaning the body and of the blood of the Lord.’ To support legislation that treats babies in the womb like property, allowing for their destruction for any reason at any time, is evil. It’s my hope and prayer these lawmakers reconcile themselves to the Church so they can receive Communion.” (Emphasis added.)
“In view of their gravely immoral action to deprive unborn children legal protection against abortion, it must be said that any Catholic legislator who sponsored, promoted, advocated, or voted for these pro-abortion bills has acted in a seriously sinful manner unfaithful to the 2,000-year-old Christian teaching against abortion and therefore, would place themselves outside of the full communion of the Catholic Church,” said Bishop Paprocki.
“Such persons are not to receive Holy Communion until they have celebrated the sacrament of reconciliation and displayed a public conversion of life," he added. (Emphasis added.)
Aware of how the liberal media and pro-abortion activists will respond to his decree, Bishop Paprocki further said, "In issuing this decree, I anticipate that some will point out the Church’s own failings with regard to the abuse of children. The same justifiable anger we feel toward the abuse of innocent children, however, should prompt an outcry of resistance against legalizing the murder of innocent children. The failings of the Church do not change the objective reality that the murder of a defenseless baby is an utterly evil act." (Emphasis added.)
In concluding, Paprocki said, “We also understand many unplanned pregnancies come with fear and difficulty. It is our obligation, as a society, to be there for these pregnant mothers, help them in any way possible, and empower them to make life-affirming decisions. This also includes continued support for the mother and her child after birth. We must acknowledge a child in the womb is not a problem. He or she is a gift from God."
“I want to thank lawmakers who stood up to these barbaric pieces of legislation and voted ‘no,’ and I applaud their courage to speak the truth that the most basic right we should all enjoy, is the right to life,” said the bishop.
In 2018, Paprocki advised Catholic Sen. Dick Durbin (D) not to present himself for Communion because of his support for abortion.
Springfield is the capital of Illinois.