Bishop to Biden: No Communion in Colorado Springs Diocese

By:  R. Cort Kirkwood
10/15/2012
       
Bishop to Biden: No Communion in Colorado Springs Diocese

If Vice President Joe Biden travels to Colorado to campaign for re-election, it would be better if he did not present himself for Holy Communion at a Catholic Church within the Diocese of Colorado Springs. Because Bishop Michael Sheridan, a stalwart defender of the unborn, says the pro-abortion Catholic won’t likely receive it. Sheridan said he would ensure that Biden knows he is not to partake of Holy Communion.

If Vice President Joe Biden travels to Colorado to campaign for re-election, it would be better if he did not present himself for Holy Communion at a Catholic Church within the Diocese of Colorado Springs. Because Bishop Michael Sheridan (pictured beneath the diocesan coat of arms and logotype), a stalwart defender of the unborn, says the pro-abortion Catholic won’t likely receive it.

Sheridan said he would ensure that Biden knows he is not to partake of Holy Communion, which Catholics believe is the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Sheridan’s Statement

Sheridan warned Biden during an interview with a writer for the Gazette-Telegraph of Colorado Springs.

Columnist Daniel Cole pointed to Sheridan’s strong, unequivocal statement in 2004 on the subject of abortion, politicians and the voters who put those politicians in office. Sheridan wrote in a teaching that he reprised in 2007, “There must be no confusion in these matters." He added:

Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem cell research or for any form of euthanasia ipso facto place themselves outside full communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation. Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia suffer the same fateful consequences. It is for this reason that these Catholics, whether candidates for office or those who would vote for them, may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance.

Cole asked the prelate whether his position had changed.

Answered Sheridan:

It’s clear to me that the Code of Canon Law, Canon 915, says that a Catholic politician who publicly espouses positions that are contrary, not just to any teachings of the Church, but to serious moral teachings, should not receive Holy Communion until they recant those positions publicly.

Canon 915 is a codicil of canon law that governs who may received Holy Communion and under what circumstances. It says that “those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

Canon 915 explains that “[a] person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition (i.e., sorrow based on sincere remorse at having offended God, rather than mere fear of eternal punishment) which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

Thus, pro-abortion Catholic politicians are barred from Holy Communion.

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