Pro-abortion politicians must refrain from receiving communion, says Bishop of Winona

.- Bishop Bernard Harrington of Winona (Minnesota) wrote in his weekly column that anyone supporting abortion rights should not approach the Communion rail.

The Bishop, a member of the Ad Hoc committee on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians headed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick reminded Catholics of the Church's teaching that those in "serious sin" should not receive the sacrament.

"There is no question that those who are in serious sin should not receive the Eucharist until they have turned away from sin and been reconciled within the Sacrament of Reconciliation," the Bishop adds in his column entitled "Catholic Politicians are Called to be Pro-Life."

"No Catholic can support abortion rights and believe that he or she has a correctly formed conscience,'' he wrote in the Courier, the diocesan newspaper. "Any Catholic who would believe that they are morally justified in supporting abortion has to know that they are in opposition to natural law and the official teachings of their Catholic faith,'' he added.

"I believe that the Eucharist should not be politicized,'' wrote the Winona Bishop; and said that politicians should take steps to "form a correct conscience'' and that bishops should counsel, assist and, if necessary, "confront the individual who errs in this way.''

"It is time that we recognize that morality and ethics determines what we believe and not our political party,'' he wrote. "Are we Catholic first or are we adherents to a political party and then Catholic?"

In his column, Bishop Harrington also recalled that awards, honors and platforms should be denied to any public official supporting abortion.

Read the Bishop's full column at: http://www.altermysite.com/mysite/dow/www/documents/Courier%20July%202004.doc

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