Catholic politicians who support abortion, assisted suicide or any other issues out-of-step with Church teachings on life issues should refrain from receiving Communion, says Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans.
The archbishop made this statement in his weekly column in the archdiocesan newspaper, the Clarion Herald.
"When Catholic officials openly support the taking of human life in abortion, euthanasia or the destruction of human embryos, they are no longer faithful members in the Church and should not partake of Holy Communion," the archbishop wrote.
The statement is in line with the message relayed at the last meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in November in Washington, D.C. The bishops rebuked Catholic politicians, who do not act in line with Church doctrine on the dignity of life.
In an interview with the Associated Press Jan. 16, Fr. William Maestri of the Archdiocese of New Orleans clarified that the archbishop is calling for politicians, who oppose Church teaching, to voluntarily refrain from receiving Communion and not for priests to refuse them.
"To publicly support abortion is to be clearly outside the Catholic Church on a fundamental moral issue," Fr. Maestri told the AP. "It is simply unacceptable to cloister these things, if you will, to have these public-private walls of separation on fundamental commands such as those respecting life."