Italian reporter to release Cardinal Ratzinger’s full letter to US Bishops on denying communion

The dean of Italian Vatican journalists, Sandro Magister of the weekly L’Espresso, will release tomorrow a story on the debate over whether communion should be denied to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. The story will include the letter that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, addressed to the US bishops.

According to Magister, Cardinal Ratzinger had clearly told Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington and head of the Ad Hoc committee for domestic policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, that communion may not be given to Catholic politicians who make systematic political efforts in favor of abortion.

Magister says that Ratzinger’s letter, which he will reproduce tomorrow in its entirety, is different, if not opposed, to what the US Bishops decided during their spring assembly held in Denver from June 14 to 19. Magister says the US bishops are divided in how to answer to the “public unworthiness of receiving Holy Communion.”

Magister also claims that not only the final document of the USCCB meeting in Denver, “Catholics in Political Life,” but especially Cardinal McCarrick’s comments to his fellow bishops, present “a clear divergence” with the letter Cardinal Ratzinger sent to both the Archbishop of Washington DC as well as to Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the USCCB.

Magister’s column will be available online tomorrow, Saturday, July 3, at:


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