Rudy Giuliani refused to challenge Pope Benedict XVI, who said last week that Catholic politicians who favor abortion have excommunicated themselves and should not take Communion.
The former mayor of New York is pro-abortion and said his differences with the Catholic Church are between him, God and his confessor, not the Pope. Giuliani is running for the leadership of the Republican Party.
"I don't get into debates with the Pope," Giuliani told reporters. "Issues like that for me are between me and my confessor. ... I'm a Catholic and that's the way I resolve those issues, personally and privately.
Giuliani resorted to the common false idea that there can be a split between what one believes in public and what one legislates for the sake of the common good. "That's what religion is all about — it's something that's between you and your conscience and God and then whoever your spiritual advisers are," he was quoted as saying.
The Giuliani campaign Wednesday night deflected questions about Giuliani's spiritual advisers and whether he takes Communion, saying that those are private issues.