The only reason the Rev. George Salazar could imagine denying Holy Communion to someone would be if they were too inebriated to know what they were doing, he said.

“I grant communion to whoever comes to the altar,” said Salazar, the priest at Immaculate Conception Church in Las Vegas, N.M.

Nevertheless, Salazar said last week, he will listen to what the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says next month about communion and abortion rights politics.

“I really don’t have a position on that,” said Salazar, 80.

The twice-yearly gathering of bishops and archbishops is expected to take up whether political leaders and people in the public eye who support abortion rights should be allowed to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. The issue arises as President Joe Biden, a Democrat who has backed abortion rights, routinely attends Catholic services.

The matter points to the increasing delineation of the Democratic Party as “pro-choice” — or in favor of abortion rights — and the Republican Party as “pro-life” — or anti-abortion. It also reflects the division among Catholics over liberal and conservative views. Archbishop John C. Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe said Thursday that tension has existed in the church for centuries.

Wester said he has never denied communion to a person and would do so only if a notorious sinner clearly sought to use communion to manipulate public opinion. He said as it stands, he wouldn’t want to politicize communion, but he will retain an open mind during the bishops’ June discussion by Zoom.

Wester said he didn’t like the fact that the question over politics and communion has become so public an issue.

“I can see where some people would raise the question,” he said. “I think it’s something that’s better handled by a bishop in his own diocese.”

The same issue arose at a Conference of Catholic Bishops session about 10 years ago, he said, and denial of communion was not endorsed. He said it would take two-thirds of the bishops to implement the concept, which would be difficult to obtain.

He also said the conference cannot issue mandates and can only make recommendations. The ultimate decision on whether a politician or public figure could receive communion most likely would involve his or her priest or the bishop in the region.

ABC News reported Biden was denied communion two years ago in a Catholic church in South Carolina. ABC also reported that in Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pa., a bishop in 2008 said he would not give communion to Biden, who was vice president at the time.

The Rev. Vincent Paul Chavez of St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church in Albuquerque said in a statement that communion, or the Eucharist, “must never be used for a political purpose.”

Chavez said the Conference of Bishops was “lax in opposing many of the controversial policies” of former President Donald Trump. He cited as an example the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. But now conservative bishops want to go after Biden, he said.

A leading bishop in the matter, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, wrote in a letter published this month that Catholics prominently in the public eye “have a special responsibility,” and “by their false witness, other Catholics may come to doubt the Church’s teaching on abortion” and communion.

Cordileone said abortion is “a preeminent priority” for Catholics because it violates the right to life, which is the foundation for all other rights. He wrote that “the killing must stop. Please, please, please: the killing must stop.”

Harry Montoya, a former Santa Fe County commissioner who ran for Congress last year, said he converted from Democrat to Republican a few years ago when it became more clear that supporting abortion rights seemed nonnegotiable for the Democratic Party.

“I struggled with it for years,” Montoya said. “I feel liberated, I guess you could say, not having that on my conscience.”

He said an abortion rights stance is “totally against the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Montoya, 61, said Catholic politicians who support abortion rights are “leading souls down the wrong path.”

Michele Jackson of Santa Fe walked down the aisle and emerged from Mass early Friday morning at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The sound of birds came through the open door of the spacious, sunlit sanctuary.

Jackson, 56, said being Catholic supersedes being a politician, not the other way around. If Biden intends to continue receiving communion, she said, he should repent his abortion rights advocacy and attend confession to have it wiped away. And then he must live with a repentant heart against that sin, she said.

“Personally, I’m a very conservative Catholic,” Jackson said. “God has the power of life and death. We do not.”

State Sen. William Sharer of Farmington, an anti-abortion Republican, said people can repent for their sins and receive forgiveness. But that is not the case with politicians who continue to espouse “pro-choice” views, the Catholic said.

“There’s no repentance if I keep going out in public and saying, ‘I did this and I’m proud of it,’ ” said Sharer, 62. And that is especially true, he said, of a “mortal sin” like abortion.

The Pew Research Center last month surveyed 5,109 American adults about abortion and reported 59 percent said abortion should be legal in all or most cases; 80 percent of Democrats and people who lean toward that party believed it should be legal in all or most cases, while 35 percent of Republicans responded that way.

Pew also reported that 55 percent of Catholics surveyed said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

In a Pew survey seven years ago, 37 percent of Catholics interviewed identified themselves as conservative, 36 percent as moderate and 22 percent as liberal. The remainder didn’t know.

State Rep. Moe Maestas, a “pro-choice” Catholic Democrat from Albuquerque, said he has never been threatened with denial of communion. But he said constituents who are adamantly “pro-life” have said: “You’re not a Catholic.”

“It’s the ultimate political football,” Maestas said. The “so-called pro-life movement … has divided the country. It has accomplished nothing.” He said the U.S. Supreme Court determined in 1973 that abortion was a constitutional right, and upholding the constitution is a lawmaker’s duty.

And “to pick one sin out of multiple sins” committed by people “just makes no sense,” he said.

State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, a Democrat from Albuquerque, said several times while serving in the Senate, people have come up to him after controversial hearings and told him he didn’t deserve to take communion.

“They’re not my parish priest. They’re not my spiritual adviser,” said Ortiz y Pino, a 78-year-old Catholic. “It’s none of their business.”

He said there are “real issues of faith” out there, such as peace, service to the poor and spreading the word of God. It’s a shame, he said, so many in the church have become preoccupied with abortion. He said he didn’t know how it could rise to the level of “the preeminent issue” of the church.

“It’s all a perversion, what’s going on, of our Catholic faith,” Ortiz y Pino said.

He added that communion is “not a reward for good behavior. … It’s simply a person’s choice to participate in the sacramental union with their savior.”

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat and pro-abortion rights Catholic, couldn’t be reached for comment late last week. A spokeswoman said Lujan Grisham “has a very clear record on the issue of reproductive rights.”

The Rev. Bill Sanchez, who oversees the parish in Cerrillos, said the strict understanding of abortion is that it’s the murder of a human being. It is “the culture of death,” he said, and supporters of it shouldn’t receive communion.

He said a person in one of the parishes he served spoke publicly for abortion, and others in the community asked the reverend why the person would consider himself in communion with the church.

“I asked him please not to receive communion, at least when I was presiding,” Bill Sanchez said. “And he never did.”

Bill Sanchez said he believes life starts at conception. He believes the church has the responsibility for defining access to communion, especially for those living contrary to the church’s teachings. He said he would hope “pro-choice” Catholics would admit they don’t believe in the key “pro-life” tenet and that “they should say honestly that they’re not in communion with the Catholic Church.”

He said he doesn’t vote for a political party: “I vote for life.”

The Rev. Salazar in Las Vegas said he is anti-abortion but doesn’t believe a person should be singled out for exclusion from communion because of their position in society.

Salazar said he heard people talk about Trump’s failings and then added: “Yeah, but he’s pro-life.”

“What about the lies he tells?” Salazar asked. “What counts and doesn’t count?”

There’s too much tunnel vision in this country, he said. “If I want to be pro-life, I want to be pro-life in all areas,” he said, including opposing putting migrant children in cages on the border.

He said he has no list of who can take communion and who can’t — it’s not that simple.

(56) comments

Khal Spencer

Interesting paper.

The Future of Roe v. Wade: Do Abortion Rights End When a Human's Life Begins?

carla lanting shibuya

I am baffled by the facile understanding that “abortion” begins and ends with the act itself. We cannot separate an abortion from the conditions that surround and cultivate its actuality. Myriad dehumanizing cultural and systemic injustice compound and create unbearable burdens and impossible choices.

These bishops are educated men. There are a million points along the spectrum in which to “stop a beating heart” (as the “pro-life” ad campaign goes). Why is abortion the litmus test? What about the death penalty, the EPA, oil and gas drilling, military spending, poverty ETC? What about our US tax dollars that go in large part to the policies of war?

I can only conclude that these bishops want to create a new church of piously comatose practitioners in denial of their complicity in a throw away culture. I refuse to accept this truncated and fringe kind of teaching as "Catholic".

Mr. Ruggles, I appreciate your balanced and good writing.

Margaret Eyler

No need to be baffled. It's quite simple--abortion is is a stand-alone, fundamental issue separate from the others you listed. First, it is life and death. Second, it differs from death penalty in two ways: abortion takes the life of someone who can't defend themselves and has no voice. Second, an average of ten adults a year are executed. Well over 650,000 children are aborted every year.

Your wordiness does little to hide your weak arguments and limited understanding.

carla lanting shibuya

I do appreciate that despite your critique of my "wordiness" and "limited understanding" you did continue to read my post. In response to you:

-"First" - indeed, abortion is life and death! As is food and water and housing and work and justice and mercy.

-"Second" - What makes life sacred? We are indeed called to be the "voice for the voiceless" - and it is not indefensibility or voicelessness that makes life sacred. Life is sacred because we are made in God's image.

-And to your second "Second" point - If all of life is sacred, the deeper reality is that people are killed every year, life is cheap every year. People die of abortion, execution, starvation, neglect, ETC every year. That these happen in a world so wealthy and technologically savvy - is a sin. It is personal sin, structural sin, social sin.

- All of us have limited understanding. And so I am grateful for honest discussion between people of good will.

Khal Spencer

For a nice discussion that will offend everyone for some reason or other, I suggest Peter Singer's Practical Ethics, 3rd Edition, Ch. 6, "Taking Life: The Embryo and Fetus".

Prince Michael Jauregui

Be clear: I am not a "Liberal", nor a "Conservative". Neither, a Republican nor Democrat - and I'm certainly not a Catholic. If you must label me, I'm a Christian and an American, only in that precise order.

Firstly, the slaughter of innocent children while in their mother's womb has nothing to do with a "Woman's reproductive rights". This is a cunning and wicked Marketing ploy perpetuated by the U.S. Abortion industry. Not unlike, the NRA pimping-out the Second Amendment in a greedy effort to protect their industry and sell more guns, the Abortion industry has craftily cloaked their horrific multi-billion dollar business under the shroud of "Women's rights" - and opportunistic political-parties and politicians alike have promoted this evil deception.

In Good Conscience, I cannot subscribe to Catholic -or any Corporate Christian- doctrine. Be sure, The Most Divine and Eternal Savior of The World, Christ King Yeshua warned us about "Man-made doctrine" (the Gospel of St. Mark Seven:Seven). Still, the slaughter of nearly 70-million innocent unborn cannot be obfuscated by neither the vast transgressions of Catholic hierarchy, nor the sins of Christians in general. Again, the horrific and wicked dissection -and often sales of organs- of innocent Humans cannot, in any way, shape, form nor context, be justified: Big Business be dam**d.

For all those cowardly hiding behind the "Pro Choice" claim? Choose, to be responsible for your choices. Choose, to keep your clothes-on. Choose, to understand the consequences of your own actions. Now, that's actually pro-choice.

Now, a once-prosperous and Godly-blessed nation slowly and surely drown in the blood of nearly 70-million innocent unborn - the blood of We, The People. So much for "Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness".

KK Hannegan

Lots of sinners going to communion: Adulterers, tax cheaters, pedophile priests, drug dealers, all those committing The Seven Deadly Sins, wife beaters, child abusers, liars, murders, crooked politicians, gossips, liars. Everybody, including the bishops, need to mind their own business. Give communion to everyone who walks forward for the sacrament. Catholic or not. Sinner or Saint. The Santa Fe Archdiocese is selling off land and properties due to going bankrupt over pedophile priest law suits. The bishops need to look to their own turf and correct the horrors of child abuse that have taken place under their watch. Dragging reproductive rights into the conference is taking the focus off the corruption in the Church.

Margaret Eyler

I’m regards to corruption reform, that’s old news and has been being addressed for years now. Who are you to demand that a religion that you don’t prescribe to does whatever you think it should? Again, do you demand that folks run willy nilly through mosques, synagogues and temples? Noooo because you have respect for their religion. Stay out of other peoples business. The archdiocese is drowning in issues, and they all stem from being anti-Catholic at their core.

Ian Fuego

Amen Margaret!🙏🏼

Ian Fuego

This is not politicizing the Eucharist, this is for the sake of the souls who publicly remain in mortal sin. Woe to those who knowingly give communion to those who publicly remain in mortal sin.

"Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died" 1Cor 11: 27-30

Al Chavez

Ian, in principle you are correct. St. Paul's warning is clear.

But we need to be careful. The command Christ gave us was short and to the point: "Judge not." Only God can judge the conscience of a person. The Church does have the power of excommunication but that is only exercised by competent authority. The rest of us oppose error and sin as such, but must never judge an individual person.

Ian Fuego

AL, we are not called to judge hearts, only God does that, but we are called to judge behaviors/ actions. The command Jesus gave us was short and to the point "judge with right judgment.” Jn 7:24 😉

William Mee

The Pope has written (papal encyclical) in 2015-16 on this topic of abortion. It is much more complicated than Evangelical Christians have stated. Abortion is no longer a complete “mortal sin.” A woman can be saved and welcomed back into the church in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ and church doctrine. There is a strict process for the woman and her sponsors to come back into the church.

Abortion is the fault of a society that leaves no other option. A society that has forgotten its values and lost its way. How many children have you adopted? If none, then you are the problem. A women’s abortion is our own fault; each of us. We have failed to help the least amongst us as Jesus taught. We have failed to have faith. We have failed to educate. We have failed to support people in their darkest time. We have failed to counsel or restrain that man causing part of the problem.

The failure in education starts in the home to teach the young about sex. Our schools have been bludgeoned in the public square to pick up and repair the failure of the parents. The peers of the couple engaging in unsafe sex have failed them. There is a lot of blame to go around—enough so that maybe the woman needs none.

I am a long-term Democrat too—but also a new fully-fledged Catholic. It is possible to be both if we live morally.

The Pope’s writing are tough on all of us. Let’s reflect and not attack needlessly. Especially when it is intended for the narrow purposes of defending a extremely corrupt, unreligious and immoral politician.

On Sept. 1, 2015, Pope Francis extended to priests worldwide the authority to absolve women for the sin of abortion as a part of The Year of Mercy, which begins on Dec. 8. The announcement was widely reported in the secular press as a major change in church practice. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., head of Canada’s Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and English language media attaché to the Holy See Press Office, explains what is new—and what’s not—in Francis’ words.

From the above:

“As followers of Christ our response to abortion must be two-fold. We must never forget the child whose life is lost to abortion. Each child is valuable and precious in God’s eyes, and in our hearts. At the same time we must recognize and address the very real need of women to find healing after an abortion experience. The Catholic Church, while never minimizing the grave evil that is abortion, has been at the forefront in offering hope for healing and reconciliation from the pain of an abortion experience.”

Margaret Eyler

Obviously women who receive abortions should absolutely be blanketed in compassion. The lawmakers who pretend to be Catholic and uphold abortion access should be excommunicated. That’s as simple as it gets.

carla lanting shibuya


paul pacheco

The Catholic Church is not a democracy! You either follow the rules/laws or you’re not catholic! If you’re not catholic, you cannot receive Holy Communion. Come on Fr. Salazar, you should know that! It’s not a social issue! Abortion is an intrinsic evil; it’s pure evil murder! Same with being a homosexual! You can go to Mass but you can’t receive Holy Communion. You either refrain from sin or repent! Maybe Fr. George should see a priest who can explain the evil of abortion to him in a priestly manner!

Margaret Eyler

If you don’t want to follow Catholic teachings then don’t be a Catholic. There are plenty of Christian denominations to choose from. I would never walk into a mosque or temple or any other organization and demand that their tradition accommodates my whims.

paul pacheco


carla lanting shibuya

Have you observed though, that Catholics have differing understandings of Catholic Teaching? Is one bishop more Catholic than another? Is one Pope more Catholic than another? Is on priest more Catholic than another? Is one Catholic more Catholic than anyother? And who determines this?

Consider too our understanding over time - what we once understood in our 20's, hopefully deepens over time. The truth doesnt change, but our understanding of it does. So too Catholic Teaching - which era of teaching or council is more true, more "Catholic"? And who determines this?

Don't be Catholic if "you don't want to follow Catholic teachings" doesn't say much. A question I ask myself - is our Catholic Church a legal relationship or a familial one? In my experience, Church and family are devoted, messy, imperfect and always calling us to let go of small understandings into greater love for each other and for others.

Margaret Eyler

Have you heard of the Catechism? It's all right there in black and white...

carla lanting shibuya

...and there is the foundational Catholic Teaching on "Natural Law," that God gives each of us the ability to make a conscientious informed decision for the good of our life and the good of our relationships. I am grateful that (to paraphrase the Sacramentary of Pope Paul VI in the Second Eucharistic Prayer) God counts us worthy to stand in God's presence and serve God. Two accept this God-given gift of worthiness requires an enormous kind of faith and an enormous sacrifice of ego. The acceptance of such un-earned/un-earn-able Love is a hard gift to realize, one I pray to understand and trust.

Khal Spencer

The First Amendment denies government the right to pass a law respecting an establishment of religion. Since the Supreme Court has ruled that a woman has a qualified right to an abortion (subject to the limits in Roe and Casey), what the Church is asking is that politicians impose Church law on the public via governmental action. That's wrong. If the Church can twist Biden's arm on abortion rights, why not someone else twist the government's arm on Sharia law?

Seems an awful hair to have to split. If I were in office, I would tell the Church that it is not in my power to deny a woman a right guaranteed under the Constitution nor is it in my power to impose Canon Law on the public. As a Catholic, I would attempt to find solutions other than abortion but in the final analysis, its between each woman, her conscience, and her maker. Putting the sacraments at odds with the constitution is just wrong.

What was it Christ said? "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). I don't think he said it would always be easy to figure out where that line in the sand might be.

I pray that Archbishop Wester thinks this through carefully and as an archbishop, assume he will do so.

Margaret Eyler

You got it all wrong from the jump, Khal. The constitution guarantees a right to LIFE—which, scientifically speaking—begins at conception. (Unless you can argue otherwise?) Should be illegal, and all this back and forth would be moot.

Khal Spencer

Show me where in the Constitution there is an explicit right to life. Go ahead, I'm waiting. Meanwhile, I don't think the Burger Court would have missed that.

Margaret Eyler

Sorry to keep you waiting. The 14th.

Margaret Eyler


Khal Spencer

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

I guess you missed the part about "born" or "naturalized". Nowhere do I see "conceived". You can spout all the argle-bargle you want about personhood being bestowed upon conception, but it holds as much legal status as cheesecloth holds water.

Khal Spencer

Also, the 14th A says "the state" shall not deprive an individual of L, L, or P without "due process of law". The abortion issue, from the perspective of the state, has had its due process exercised; SCOTUS twice said abortion is legal per the restrictions of Roe and Casey.

Sure, if you disagree with that on ethical terms as a Catholic, you can try to amend the Constitution or light a candle to that six judge conservative majority on today's Court (I'm already doing that on some 2A issues). But until something changes, abortion is legal.

Margaret Eyler

I didn’t miss anything. It’s referring to “persons”, not citizens. Otherwise it would legal to kill illegals (which is ridiculous).

Also, life begins at conception. It’s not argle-bargle, it’s (your beloved) science.

Finally, you could spend a week reading dissenting statements from even pro-choice legal scholars on the un-constitutional nature of Roe.

Stefanie Beninato

A fetus cannot be sustained outside a woman's womb until approximately 20 weeks after the conception of the sperm and egg. Even then viability (life) is tenuous. And the Catholic Church's teaching on when life began has changed over time. St Thomas Aquinas said it began at birth...He has not been removed from the rolls of saints for that position so why should Catholics who follow the Constitution as elected officials be denied communion as practicing Catholics? I remember when JFK was running--the biggest fear was that the Pope would move into the WH and tell Kennedy what to do. And for all of you who support ostracizing these politicians--do you support the death penalty? Are you truly pro-life for the first eighteen years of any child's life? That is have you lobbied for health care and education at the expense of the state? Have you lobbied the Church to provide this type of support?If not I would suggest that your pro-life stance is easy--it is only nine months long--not for the eighteen formative years after birth.

Khal Spencer

Hey, Stefanie. Don't muddy the water with facts or ethical consistency.[beam]

Khal Spencer

IIRC, the Roe v Wade decision did a deep dive into the history of abortion, quickening, etc. If folks have not read the entire decision, they ought to.

The Church can say what it will and either refuse communion or excom people for not obeying Church law, but the state is the state and goes by state law. Church and state have to respect each other's swim lanes. That's all.

Margaret Eyler

I’m confused. Are we supposed to “change with the times” as everyone is pushing, or do you demand we hold to the scientific whims of someone who died in the 1200s?

Also, the viable life argument is weak. A one month old can’t survive without care, so should we let those babies die too?

Similarly, who are you to judge what a good “quality of life” is for the first 18 years of someone’s life? Do you think impoverished moms look at their kids and regularly think, “I should’ve eliminated you when I had the chance because we live in a trailer.” That’s so self righteous.

Finally, the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world. So yes, the church does provide this support. (To get political, Republicans also donate more to charity than Democrats.)

And why do people keep thinking the state and more money can fix everything? The nuclear family and basic moral standards associated with judeo-Christian values are statistically associated with higher success for individuals across the board.

Khal Spencer

The "personhood" movement has had mixed success, but abortion is still the law of the land. As far as what scientists say, your suggestion that there is unanimity is highly suspect.

Khal Spencer

"...Just to end, there is no consensus among scientists as when personhood begins. Matter of fact, the notion of fertilization is a rather weak statement because of the ability of the same genetic material to form twins and triplets. Probably no one realizes what an incredible event human personhood is than the embryologist and the obstetrician/gynecologists. Embryologist Jean Rostand wrote, "Quite a profession this is - this daily inhalation of wonder." I think that this is in some ways, it could be a wonderful teaching moment, to teach the public about what its assumptions are, what its misconceptions are about conception, and I have here, and it's on the handout, some references. These are two papers that I've done. One is a bioethics book, one is a paper on personhood. You should be able to get the chapter on personhood from the Sinauer website. Also, for those interested in epigenetics and epigenetics teratology in medicine, I just co-authored a book with David Eple called Evolutionary Developmental Biology: The Synthesis of Epigenetics Medicine in Evolution, and for those of you interested in that aspect, the chapters there should be interesting. Thank you very much. "

Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology (Swarthmore) Scott Gilbert

Margaret Eyler

Ok sooo if twins and triplets are still able to form after day 1 of conception, that just means the death toll can go UP?? Weak argument. You sited one person...

Margaret Eyler

Khal Spencer

Don't move the goalposts.

"a new human embryo, the starting point for a human life"

Not a person.

Margaret Eyler

A sample of 5,502 biologists from 1,058 academic institutions assessed statements representing the biological view 'a human's life begins at fertilization'. A consensus affirmed each of the three statements representing that view (75-91%). Overall, 95% of biologists affirmed the view (5212 out of 5502).

Khal Spencer

Good study, but you left off a little bit of it. Thanks for pointing me to that paper.

"...This paper does not argue that the finding ‘a fetus is biologically classified as a human at fertilization’ necessitates the position ‘a fetus ought to be considered a person worthy of legal consideration’. The descriptive view does not dictate normative views on whether a fetus has rights, whether a fetus’ possible rights outweigh a woman’s reproductive rights, or whether a fetus deserves legal protection. However, presenting this view to Americans could facilitate such discussion. Resolving the factual dispute on ‘when life begins’ with biologists’ descriptive view could help parties focus on policy discussions related to the important ethical and legal issues of the U.S. abortion debate."

Diane Gonzales

The Conference of Catholuc Bishops would be the last ones I would look to for moral guidance. Given the record of many of the bishops, they should not even be giving the sacraments much less judging who can or cannot receive them.

Stefanie Beninato


John Bockmann

"State Sen. William Sharer of Farmington, an anti-abortion Republican, said people can repent for their sins and receive forgiveness. But that is not the case with politicians who continue to espouse 'pro-choice' views, the Catholic said."

Senator Sharer made that up or was misquoted. God doesn't have a no-forgiveness clause for politicians who sin. Is there any other kind of politician?

Jesus died so everyone can be forgiven, and he said: "If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying 'I repent,' you must forgive them." Luke 17:3-4

...but obviously you don't have to re-elect them.

Margaret Eyler

I think what he meant was more along the lines of “if you claim to be Catholic but you don’t practice Catholicism, you aren’t in fact Catholic.” Which is true.

Ernest Green

Do you not see how your own interpretation would disqualify most of the bishops themselves? At times their decisions stray from the core teachings of God in defense of the authority of the church (the cover-up of crimes against minors). Defy thy Name in one own's self interest, a big no-no. In regards to communion, one could argue denying the offering to nearly all public lawmakers in that an array of legislative positions stray from scripture. Sen Sharer, as an easy example, would disqualify himself from the sacrament of communion through his support of capital punishment. And on and on without end.

Margaret Eyler

I firmly believe that the standard we are talking about SHOULD be applied equally across the political spectrum (I do not support candidates who promote capital punishment and believe they should also be held accountable by the Church.) And most bishops would not be disqualified—that’s a vast generalization based on zero evidence. The atrocities of past bishops shouldn’t be applied to that position across the board.

Khal Spencer


Ernest Green

Any claim to moral credibility that the Catholic Bishops might have still held (after inaction on decades of immoral behavior and abuses) was cast away in their conscious and collective support of the most degenerate and immoral world leader in 100 years. On positions such as gun violence, racial extremism, the public health crisis, wealth and justice inequality, all issues in-flame recently the bishops say not a word. Invisible on all fronts but they will wade into birth control not because of moral consideration but for an eye on tithing and finances. These men no longer have an understanding of what Christian means and the laity will use their voice in their absence from the pews.

Margaret Eyler

The USCCB regularly speaks on hot button issues. You just might not have read about it in USA Today🤓

Stefanie Beninato

If the Catholic Church wants to politicize the abortion issue by denying its members who support women's rights communion, then it should lose its status as a nonprofit exempt from taxation.

Khal Spencer

I'm pretty sure that issue based advocacy is fair game, as long as the Church doesn't come out for or against specific parties or candidates. Whether the Church should have a tax-exempt status at all is another issue.

Stefanie Beninato

I think, Khal, that if you ostracize a politician from receiving communion because that official is upholding the law as per constitutional duty then you are coming out against that politician....It is not just advocacy.

Khal Spencer

One can uphold the law or one can promote the law and I suppose those are different things. Still, I wonder if that has ever been tested by the IRS or in court. Do you know?

Khal Spencer

Churches are private entities and I think they can set their own rules. If they deny communion to someone who fails to pass the Church Rules test, that is fair game. If a church says to vote for A over B, that is a violation of a nonprofit rule.

Margaret Eyler

Ok Beto🙄. This has nothing to do with....nothing lol

Margaret Eyler

What about the "women's rights" of female babies that are eliminated? Just thinking legally...

Welcome to the discussion.

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