Cardinal Expects Many U.S. Prelates Wouldn't Restrict Holy Communion

In Interview With Italian Magazine

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ROME, MAY 21, 2004 ( Cardinal Theodore McCarrick speculates that many U.S. bishops would not like to see the Eucharist used as a sanction against pro-abortion politicians.

“I think that many bishops among us think that such persons should have canonical censures,” the cardinal told 30 Giorni magazine. “But I also think that many bishops would not like the possibility of receiving the Eucharist to be a part of these sanctions.”

“Personally, I think it should be a pastoral concern to avoid the Eucharist becoming a point of confrontation,” he added.

The cardinal archbishop is heading a U.S. bishop’s task force to discuss issues regarding the participation of Catholics in political life, including reception of the sacraments.

The issue of Communion came to the fore as Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who regularly and publicly receives the Eucharist, has repeatedly voted for pro-abortion legislation.

In an interview with 30 Giorni, Cardinal McCarrick said it is the first time that the bishops of a country have thought it necessary to create such a commission.

“This happens, perhaps, for two reasons,” the cardinal said. “Because we are a democracy in which each one is free to express his opinion, and because our Catholic faithful have great reverence for the Holy Eucharist and they are distressed if someone receives it without the due predisposition.”

The cardinal hopes that the task force’s conclusions will be available before the November presidential elections, but he cannot guarantee it, “as it is a complex and delicate question.”

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