Yesterday, the American Life League began a $500,000 advertising campaign targeting Catholic bishops who do not refuse Communion to politicians who oppose church teaching in public policy. The campaign follows D.C.'s Cardinal Theodore McCarrick statement saying he is not comfortable denying Communion to John Kerry. The Life League's first ad shows Jesus on the cross and asks McCarrick, "Cardinal McCarrick: Are you comfortable now?"
Such pressure has made nearly every recent Sunday of John Kerry's campaign a spectacle as reporters speculate if Kerry will take Communion. The pressure has also passed beyond Kerry. Following statements by three New Jersey bishops saying that politicians who support abortion should not take Communion, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has decided he will not take Communion. The bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has also supposedly warned Senator Tom Daschle not to call himself a Catholic.
If the Catholic Church does crack down on politicians who support abortion or gay marriage, The Washington Post asks, where will it end?
Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, said her organization believes that all priests and lay Eucharistic ministers who hand out Communion are obligated—with or without instructions from their bishops—to refuse Communion to any federal, state, or local official who is known to disagree with church teaching on abortion, contraception, stem cell research, euthanasia, or in vitro fertilization.Â
Other liberal and conservative Catholic groups add issues like gay marriage, war, and the death penalty as reasons to the list of reasons for refusing Communion. Evangelicals seem to support efforts to crack down on wayward Catholic politicians, but how long will that support ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more