SPOKANE, Wash. (ChurchMilitant.com) - One U.S. bishop is affirming that pro-abortion politicians should be barred from Holy Communion.
In a statement on Feb. 1, Bp. Thomas Daly of the Spokane diocese warned that any local lawmakers who support abortion must not receive the Blessed Sacrament.
Bishop Daly noted the recent "sad anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision" and wrote about how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently passed a radical pro-abortion bill into law.
He said of Cuomo, "His public witness as a Catholic politician, coupled with his stalwart support of abortion, is unacceptable," adding he will not tolerate this type of duplicity from politicians in his diocese.
"Politicians who reside in the Catholic diocese of Spokane," Bp. Daly wrote, "and who obstinately persevere in their public support for abortion, should not receive Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church."
This is in contrast with how Cdl. Timothy Dolan of the New York archdiocese responded to Cuomo. Despite speaking out against the so-called Reproductive Health Act, Cdl. Dolan turned down the idea of excommunicating Cuomo for signing the bill into law.
The new law allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy under some circumstances and permits health professionals who are not doctors to perform abortions. It also removes protections for babies born alive from attempted abortions.
The bishop of Spokane affirmed the right to life in his statement, saying that "efforts to expand access to abortion" are "evil." He continued, "Children are a gift from God, no matter the circumstances of their conception. They not only have a right to life, but we as a society have a moral obligation to protect them from harm."
Bishop Daly went on to state, "The Church's commitment to the life of every human person from conception until death is firm. God alone is the author of life and for the civil government to sanction the willful murder of children is unacceptable. For a Catholic political leader to do so is scandalous."
During the U.S. bishops' meeting in Baltimore last November, Bp. Daly was one of the most outspoken bishops on the clerical sex abuse scandal and the "Summer of Shame."
At one point during the proceedings, Bp. Daly said, "I think the issue of Abp. McCarrick is still, in the minds of people, troubling."
Bishop Daly presented concerns from faithful laity he had spoken with who wondered how McCarrick's behavior had been rumored for years among Church leaders but no one took action.
"Did this come to be," he asked, "because we have certain bishops and priests who don't see anything wrong with consensual sex between adults?"
"It might be they themselves were compromised," Bp. Daly continued. "Others, ambitious clerics on the ecclesiastical escalator, doing everything to contain things and not saying anything, and then moving up the ladder. And then maybe, sadly, the realization that some who were involved in this didn't think anything really, 'What did it do with my vocation?'"
He argued that, in addition to concerns about sexual predation at seminaries, there should also be focus on religious orders.
The bishop said he knew of "faith-filled parents" who want their children to discern a potential vocation to priesthood or religious life, but "are running out of patience" with the sexual abuse scandal and Church leaders' handling of it.