Jan 8, 2004 / 22:00 pm
In an unprecedented action, La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke has issued a document clearly stating that Catholic legislators who support abortion rights or euthanasia should not present themselves to receive Communion and should be refused if they do so.
The four-paragraph Notification was published in the weekly diocesan newspaper Thursday and was posted on the diocesan Web site, along with a 10-page pastoral letter titled "On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility."
Citing Vatican doctrine, canon law and teachings of the U.S. bishops, Burke says in the notice that it is his duty as bishop "to explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in leadership positions who contradict the Gospel of life through their action and policies."
The notice says: "Catholic legislators who are members of the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse and who continue to support procured abortion or euthanasia may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion. They are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, should they present themselves, until such time as they publicly renounce their support of these most unjust practices."