The Catholic bishop of Illinois’ capital city has drawn a moral line in the sand, prohibiting legislators who helped pass the state’s recent radical late-term abortion bill from receiving communion.
In a move intended to demonstrate how serious the Catholic Church considers the killing of pre-born children, Bishop Thomas Paprocki (shown) of Springfield decreed that “Illinois Catholic lawmakers who promoted or voted for extreme abortion legislation are not to receive Communion.”
In a prepared statement, the diocese of Springfield called out two key state lawmakers by name: “Due to their leadership roles in promoting the evil of abortion by facilitating the passage of Senate Bill 25 this legislative session and House Bill 40 in 2017, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton have been barred from receiving Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois under a decree from Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.” The statement goes on to broaden the ban to include all legislators who voted for the measures.
The statement accused Madigan and Cullerton of showing “obstinate and persistent support of extreme abortion legislation” in their push for passage of 2017’s H.B.40, which legalized taxpayer funding for abortion, and the recently passed S.B. 25, which, the diocese noted, “makes abortion a fundamental right, allows for the killing of innocent children up to the moment of birth, and requires private insurance to pay for abortion, among other anti-life changes.”
In his statement, the bishop decreed that “in view of their gravely immoral action to deprive unborn children legal protection against abortion, it must be said that any Catholic legislator who sponsored, promoted, advocated, or voted for these pro-abortion bills has acted in a seriously sinful manner unfaithful to the 2,000-year-old Christian teaching against abortion and therefore, would place themselves outside of the full communion of the Catholic Church. Such persons are not to receive Holy Communion until they have celebrated the sacrament of reconciliation and displayed a public conversion of life.”
He observed that “the Eucharist is the most sacred aspect of our Catholic faith. As sacred Scripture warns, ‘Whoever eats unworthily of the bread and drinks from the Lord’s cup makes himself guilty of profaning the body and of the blood of the Lord.’ To support legislation that treats babies in the womb like property, allowing for their destruction for any reason at any time, is evil. It’s my hope and prayer these lawmakers reconcile themselves to the Church so they can receive Communion.”
As he issued the ban, Bishop Paprocki said he anticipated that “some will point out the Church’s own failings with regard to the abuse of children. The same justifiable anger we feel toward the abuse of innocent children, however, should prompt an outcry of resistance against legalizing the murder of innocent children. The failings of the Church do not change the objective reality that the murder of a defenseless baby is an utterly evil act.”
He added, “We also understand many unplanned pregnancies come with fear and difficulty. It is our obligation, as a society, to be there for these pregnant mothers, help them in any way possible, and empower them to make life affirming decisions. This also includes continued support for the mother and her child after birth. We must acknowledge a child in the womb is not a problem. He or she is a gift from God.”
The bishop went on to thank those state lawmakers “who stood up to these barbaric pieces of legislation and voted ‘no,’ and I applaud their courage to speak the truth that the most basic right we should all enjoy is the right to life.”
Illinois’ pro-abortion governor, J.B. Pritzker, has vowed to sign S.B.25, which, according to the pro-life Thomas More Society (and as reported by LifeSiteNews.com), would “allow abortions for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy; eliminate restrictions regarding where abortions may be performed; allow non-physicians to perform abortions; undermine and threaten institutional and individual rights of conscience; jeopardize any meaningful regulation of abortion facilities; require private health insurance policies to include coverage for all abortions, with no exemptions, even for churches and other religious organizations; eliminate any requirement to investigate fetal deaths or maternal deaths resulting from abortion; repeal a law prohibiting ‘kickbacks’ for abortion referrals; repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, which has been responsible for a more than 55 percent reduction in abortions among Illinois minors since 2012; and force parents to pay for their minor children’s abortions.”
Photo: AP Images