Tuesday, April 15, 2008

US Pro Abortion Catholic Politicians Expect to Receive Communion at Papal Mass

UPDATE: see end of post

Michael Hichborn, American Life League’s (ALL) media director, reports that pro-abortion Catholics are expected to try to receive Communion when the Holy Father holds Mass on Thursday.

ALL is the largest anti-abortion advocacy organization in the U.S. and has run a full page message to Pope Benedict XVI in the Washington Times. The message can be viewed here in pdf format.

The Politico wrote a good story today about the possible renewal of the abortion debate during the Pope’s visit and made reference to the ads placed by ALL.

The conflict could come to a head Thursday, when the pope is scheduled to celebrate a Mass at the Washington Nationals’ new ballpark. The Vatican has invited all Catholic lawmakers, and many abortion-rights-supporting Catholics — including Kerry and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — are expected to attend.

In ads placed in The Washington Times and Politico this week, the anti-abortion-rights American Life League is urging the pontiff to “protect the body of Christ from the bloodstained hands of pro-abortion ‘Catholics’” by denying Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

Unfortunately, it was a troubling sign when

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said she knows of no plan to deny Communion to particular lawmakers Thursday.

“You presume that everyone there knows the rules of the church and follows them,” she said. “No one is policing that. People go to church and people go to Communion if they feel in their heart they are prepared to receive Communion.”

Since when was “feeling in their heart” a rationale in Catholic teaching for the commission of objectively evil and sinful actions?

I venture to say the Pope must be in a state of constant prayer during this trip, being heavily weighed down in heart with the import of his message to America. My hope is that God will make a way possible for Benedict XVI during his visit to achieve a strong unequivocal expression of the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life and the urgent need to take precise measures in its defense.

UPDATE: Pope "deeply ashamed" of priestly abuse
During an exchange with reporters who accompanied him on today's flight from Rome to Washington, Pope Benedict XVI said that he was "deeply ashamed" of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.

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