Church discipline: Bishops will weigh in on proabortion politicians months early
America's Catholic bishops are expected to release a statement today on the subject of Communion and Roman Catholic politicians who support abortion. That's a significant shift from earlier plans not to say anything until after the November elections.
The Rocky Mountain News of Denver quotes St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke as saying there's "a difference of opinion" between the bishops, which is stating the obvious. "You can imagine there's been a lot of discussion about it."
Burke himself says that whatever the statement says, he'll maintain his position that pro-abortion politicians must be refused Communion. "I have to do what I know to be right," he told the News: "If the statement says that it's the responsibility of each bishop (to act) with regard to the legislators in his pastoral care, that's fine. I've said that repeatedly."
We'll look forward to reading the statement, because in the meantime there have been many unclear reports about another important statement on the subjectthis one from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Everyone agrees that Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Roman Catholic Church's top enforcer of doctrine, sent a letter to the bishops. But there's a lot of spin about what the word from the Vatican really is.
The San Antonio Express-News quotes local Archbishop Patrick Flores as saying Vatican officials "told us that our job is to teach the faith, but that we're not to use Communion as a weapon against people."
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