Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of the Springfield, Illinois diocese has forbidden priests within his dioceses from serving communion to Illinois lawmakers who voted in favor of loosening abortion laws within the state. The bill is still awaiting the governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature.
The bishop wrote:
In accord with canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law…Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan, who facilitated the passage of the Act Concerning Abortion of 2017 (House Bill 40) as well as the Reproductive Health Act of 2019 (Senate Bill 25), are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois because they have obstinately persisted in promoting the abominable crime and very grave sin of abortion,”
While I disagree with the Catholic Church on many things, I do agree with the value that they place in human life. There are many Catholic politicians and media figures who support abortion. It is a total contradiction to the teachings of their church. You can’t pick and choose.
It’s significant that Bishop Paprocki has taken this step, but in the current abortion climate, it’s unfortunate that it’s taken so long. I know people will try to create straw men arguments of the many moral failings within the Catholic Church. It’s a card people like to play. But this is an issue that churches need to take seriously. Supporting abortion is supporting the termination of a human life. It is wrong, and it is sinful.
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Josh Benner has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served churches in Minnesota and Illinois. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in St. Louis.