At Thursday’s papal Mass at Nationals Park in Washington, some United States senators supportive of permissive abortion laws declined to present themselves to receive Holy Communion, while other pro-abortion senators went up to receive, LifeSiteNews reports.
According to photos taken by Tom McFadden, Director of Admissions at Christendom College, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy remained seated as his row left to receive the Sacrament. However, the photos also show pro-abortion Senators John Kerry and Chris Dodd receiving Holy Communion.
Catholic pro-abortion politicians have been frequently advised and warned not to receive Holy Communion. A 2004 letter from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, sent by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, said such politicians “must” be refused communion. Cardinal Francis Arinze last November recently reiterated the prohibition, citing the same letter.
Pope Benedict himself addressed the topic in his March 2007 apostolic exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis,” warning Catholics in general and Catholic politicians in particular not to receive Holy Communion unworthily. In the letter, he wrote that politicians must adhere to “non-negotiable” values, such as “respect for human life” and “its defense from conception to natural death.” Such politicians “must feel particularly bound” to “introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature.”
The Pope referenced 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, which discusses worthy reception of Holy Communion.
The American Life League had taken out full-page advertisements warning American politicians not to receive the Holy Eucharist “sacrilegiously.”