St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke recently addressed the behavior of Catholic politicians who publicly dissent from Church teaching yet still receive Holy Communion. The archbishop’s teachings have caused a reaction from presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who is considered to be in such a position.
In reaction to reports from CNA, the Associated Press asked if Archbishop Burke if he would refuse Holy Communion to Rudy Giuliani or other candidates who support abortion rights, he replied: "If any politician approached me and he'd been admonished not to present himself, I'd not give it. To me, you have to be certain a person realizes he is persisting in a serious public sin."
The Associated Press reports that Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and current Republican presidential candidate, responded to the archbishop's comments while appearing at a coffee bar in a St. Louis suburb.
"I'm not running for religious office," he began. "I'm not going to debate the opinion of an archbishop of the Catholic Church or an official of the Protestant Church or a rabbi," Giuliani said. "That's an interpretation of religion. They're entitled to their interpretation of religion."
Giuliani is already barred from Holy Communion because he has divorced and remarried without an annulment.
Recently Archbishop Burke published an essay in a prominent canon law journal reiterating the duties of Catholics in public office to receive Holy Communion worthily. His essay also emphasized the duties of ministers of Holy Communion to ensure the Sacrament's worthy reception. He advised that clergy privately caution potential communicants who are in manifest grave sin against receiving the Eucharist.