by John Mallon
ZENIT News Agency--The World Seen from Rome
No Communion for Pro-Abortion Politicians, Says Cardinal Arinze
Clarifies That Priests Must Refuse Them the Eucharist
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Politicians who support abortion must not go to Communion and priests must deny them the sacrament, says Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
The cardinal clarified this position of the Church today at a press conference called to present the instruction "'Redemptionis Sacramentum': On Certain Matters to Be Observed or to Be Avoided Regarding the Most Holy Eucharist."
In response to a journalist's question, Cardinal Arinze said: "If the person should not receive it, then it should not be given. Objectively, the answer is there."
The cardinal explained that a priest must not give Communion unless it is a surprise occasion and "he does not have the time to reflect."
One of the journalists asked the cardinal if he could give his judgment on the concrete application of this norm in the case of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who says he is a Catholic but supports abortion.
"The norm of the Church is clear," he said. "The Catholic Church exists in the U.S.A. and there are bishops there. Let them interpret."
Kerry supports abortion and has said he would nominate only U.S. Supreme Court justices who support his position. Pro-life groups in the United States say Kerry has a "perfect record" of voting for legislation that allows abortion.
by John Mallon
Archdiocese of Denver - DCR - Archbishop Charles Chaput's column, April 14, 2004: Excerpts:
"First, quoting John Paul II, [The CDF Doctrinal Note] reminds us that, "man cannot be separated from God, nor politics from morality." In other words, unless our personal faith shapes our public choices and actions, it's just a pious delusion. Private faith, if it's genuine, always becomes public witness — including political witness. "
"Pro-choice" candidates who claim to be Catholic bring all of us to a crossroads in this election year. Many Catholics, including some Church leaders, argue that "(we) should not limit (our) concern to one issue, no matter how fundamental that issue is." That's true — but it can also be misleading.
"Catholics have a duty to work tirelessly for human dignity at every stage of life, and to demand the same of their lawmakers. But some issues are jugular. Some issues take priority. Abortion, immigration law, international trade policy, the death penalty and housing for the poor are all vitally important issues. But no amount of calculating can make them equal in gravity.
"The right to life comes first. It precedes and undergirds every other social issue or group of issues. This is why Blessed John XXIII listed it as the first human right in his great encyclical on world peace, Pacem in Terris. And as the U.S. bishops stressed in their 1998 pastoral letter Living the Gospel of Life, the right to life is the foundation of every other right. "