Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading Catholic bishop delivered the opening statement of the quadrennial debate over whether or not pro-abortion Catholic politicians should receive communion. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver says Barack Obama’s running mate Joe Biden should refrain from the sacrament.
Biden is a pro-abortion Catholic and has a long voting record of supporting abortion and opposing any sensible limits on it.
In an email sent Sunday to the Associated Press, Archbishop Chaput said Biden should following the teachings of the Church by opposing abortion or voluntarily refrain from receiving communion.
Not doing so would be “seriously wrong,” he said.
“I certainly presume his good will and integrity and I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for Communion if he supports a false ‘right’ to abortion,” the Catholic leader added.
Chaput told AP he would likely try to speak privately with Biden to encourage him to reform his abortion views or not receive the sacrament.
According to a Washington Times report, Biden took communion on Sunday at his home parish in Delaware, St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Greenville.
This is the second time the abortion-communion debate has cropped up in the context of a presidential election — with the first coming over concerns about John Kerry, the pro-abortion presidential nominee in 2004.
Then, more than a dozen Catholic officials told Kerry not to present himself for communion at churches under their purview.
Earlier this month, a top Vatican official, former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke — now the prefect of the Apostolic Signature — said all Catholics, including politicians, should not receive communion if they are pro-abortion.
Archbishop Burke also issued a challenge to ministers to make sure they are not providing the sacrament to pro-abortion lawmakers who have not repented from their position, which is at odds with the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.
Communion should be denied to pro-abortion politicians “until they have reformed their lives,” he said.
Chaput has spoken out quite a bit about abortion in recent days — with him rebuking the Democratic Party for using flowery language in the platform to direct attention away from its pro-abortion stance.
Earlier, the party refused to invite Chaput to the convention for a benediction.