(CNSNews.com) -- In light of recent legislation in some states to permit abortion up to the moment of birth, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who heads the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued a statement explaining that Catholic politicans who vote for and persist in supporting such "intrinsically evil acts," should "not present themselves to receive Holy Communion."
"Recent efforts to perpetuate and expand abortion in state laws have illuminated the deplorable actions of some Catholic public officials and advocates," said Archbishop Naumann in the Feb. 19 statement. "Advocating for intrinsically evil acts, like abortion, is a serious immoral act – one that involves grave matter, the prerequisite for the commission of a mortal sin. While we can object to the actions of these public officials, we are not able to judge their souls. At the same time, we know there will be a Judgment Day."
"Conscious and unrepentant mortal sin endangers our eternal souls and places ourselves on a path to Hell," said the archbishop. "In my own role as a bishop, I have a serious responsibility to make certain that those entrusted to my pastoral care are aware of the moral gravity and spiritual consequences of their actions. I also have a serious obligation to protect other members of my flock from being misled by a seeming tolerance of the scandalous behavior of some Catholics in public life." (Emphasis added.)
"It is critically important that I attempt to enter into dialogue with such Catholic leaders," he said. "If even after an extended dialogue a Catholic in public life persists in scandalous actions, I have found it necessary to request that they not present themselves to receive Holy Communion, for their own spiritual welfare and for the protection of many others from moral confusion." (Emphasis added.)
On Jan. 22, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage Catholic, signed the Reproductive Health Act into law. This legislation allows abortion up to the moment of birth and permits health practitioners (non-doctors) to perform abortions.
With Archbishop Naumann's statement on the record, CNSNews.com emailed the N.Y. Archdiocese with the following question for Cardinal Dolan, "Do you agree with Archbishop Naumann's statement that Catholics who persist in their support of abortion should not present themselves for Communion? Yes or no?"
That question, along with part of Arbp. Naumann's remarks, were sent by email three times to the communications office of the archdiocese and to two of the archdiocese's spokespersons, Mercedes Anderson and Joseph Zwilling.
CNSNews.com also spoke by telephone on two occasions with a woman in the communications office who confirmed that she had received the emailed question and had passed it on, twice, to Joseph Zwilling.
Despite those efforts, the archdiocese did not respond.