Archbishop Wuerl says politicians’ support for abortion is wrong
Archbishop Donald Wuerl
Archbishop Donald Wuerl

.- Archbishop of Washington Donald W. Wuerl has expanded his previous comments about politicians who support permissive abortion laws but also present themselves to receive Holy Communion.  Though he insisted that support for abortion is wrong, he said that convincing and persuading national Catholic pro-abortion political figures is best done in their respective home dioceses, rather than in the Archdiocese of Washington.

Writing in his archdiocesan newspaper The Catholic Standard, Archbishop Wuerl said that both Catholic citizens and Catholic politicians must follow Catholic moral convictions.

“Just as Catholic voters are not asked to leave aside the most deeply held moral convictions of our faith when they enter a voting booth, so Catholic elected officials are not asked to deposit the moral and ethical convictions of the Church at the door of Congress or at the State Assembly where they serve,” he wrote.

The archbishop reiterated Catholic teaching on abortion, saying, “The teaching is clear. Abortion and support for abortion are wrong. No informed Catholic can claim that either action is free of moral implications, and certainly no one should be led to believe, because of someone else's voting record, that this teaching about abortion is uncertain.”

The archbishop said Catholics’ political actions must be based on the natural moral law and respect for “the most basic of all human rights,” the right to life.

Archbishop Wuerl said that he, along with priests and bishops nationwide, has taught “with persistence and insistence” that abortion is an intrinsic evil.  He noted that the Archdiocese of Washington sponsors a Mass and Rally for Life each January.

He characterized as an “altogether different yet related issue” how to respond to public officeholders who support abortion legislation.  He said that a June 2004 statement from the Catholic bishops of the United States titled “Catholics in Political Life” taught that the responsibility to assess the situation and to apply canon law within a bishop’s own diocese “clearly rests with the individual bishop.”

“Bishops may arrive at different conclusions based on their local situations,” Archbishop Wuerl said.  The U.S. bishops’ document, he noted, was confirmed in 2004 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and is now Pope Benedict XVI.

While emphasizing that the archdiocese would continue to teach about the “evil of abortion,” he said that national political figures must be persuaded and convinced in their home dioceses.

“A decision regarding the refusal of Holy Communion to an individual is one that should be made only after clear efforts to persuade and convince the person that their actions are wrong and bear moral consequences,” the archbishop said.  “Presumably this is done in the home diocese where the bishops and priests, the pastors of souls, engage the members of their flock in this type of discussion. In the case of public figures who serve in Washington as representatives of other parts of the nation, this dialogue and any decisions would take place within their home diocese.”

Archbishop Wuerl said he had always respected the “role of the local Church.”  For that reason, he wrote, “I have not accepted the suggestions that the Archdiocese of Washington or episcopal conferences have some particular role that supersedes the authority of an individual bishop in his particular Church.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: