Sacramento Bishop Challenges Governor on Abortion

Tells Davis to Stop Receiving Communion

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SACRAMENTO, California, JAN. 23, 2003 ( Bishop William Weigand called on Governor Gray Davis to renounce his support of abortion or stop taking Communion, the Sacramento Bee reported.

At a Mass on Wednesday, Sacramento Bishop Weigand told congregants at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament that Davis should refrain from taking the Eucharist while he continues to support abortion.

Davis spokesman Russ Lopez said: «Governor Davis has said repeatedly that he is proud of the legislation he has signed giving women the right to choose.»

Bishop Weigand said later that he did not contact the Vatican before deciding to chastise the governor, the newspaper said.

Just a week ago, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a document saying that Catholic politicians must be consistent with their faith in their political life.

The «Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life,» approved by John Paul II himself, supports the action of believers in democracy and exhorts them to be consistent with their convictions.

Meanwhile, the recent appointment of a coadjutor bishop elsewhere in California drew media attention.

Bishop Allen Vigneron, an auxiliary from Detroit, was named by the Pope this month to eventually succeed Oakland Bishop John Cummins, who turns 75 in March.

Some priests told the San Francisco Chronicle they think Bishop Vigneron may have been appointed in Oakland to more strictly enforce Catholic orthodoxy.

«Our concern is that his reputation is as a control person on the far right,» one priest said. «What’s his agenda?»

Bishop Vigneron addressed that question in an interview with the Chronicle.

«My mission is to be the bishop and witness to the Catholic faith,» he said. «The Church articulates Christ’s vision of the human person and the life we have to live. That is what I’ll stand up for. What’s outside of that, I will challenge.»

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