The three bishops issued a joint proclamation, called "Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion.".- The American Life League is âoverjoyedâ by the decision taken by the bishops of Atlanta, Charlotte and Charleston to refuse Communion to pro-abortion Catholic public figures.
"There are three main concerns with a Catholic public figure's open support for abortion,â said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. âThe first is concern for the eternal consequences that exist for the public figure's soul. The second is concern for the scandal that is caused by misleading the faithful into believing it is acceptable for Catholics to support abortion. The third is concern for the sacrilege that occurs when a known pro-abortion Catholic is allowed to receive Holy Communion.â
The bishopsâ joint proclamation states that the recognizes âthat there is a manifest lack of a proper disposition for Holy Communion in those whose outward conduct is "seriously, clearly, and steadfastly contrary" to the Church's moral teaching (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 37b). A manifest lack of proper disposition for Holy Communion is found to be present in those who consistently support pro-abortion legislation. Because support for pro-abortion legislation is gravely sinful, such persons should not be admitted to Holy Communion.â
The letter also says: âBecause of the influence that Catholics in public life have on the conduct of our daily lives and on the formation of our nation's future, we declare that Catholics serving in public life, espousing positions contrary to the teaching of the Church on the sanctity and inviolability of human life, especially those running for or elected to public office, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in any Catholic church within our jurisdictions: the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Dioceses of Charleston and Charlotte.â
âIt is our prayer that the rest of the country's bishops will join these steadfast shepherds of the Church by enforcing Canon 915, which states that persons 'who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to communion',â said Brown.
Read the full document of Southern bishops at: