Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs told a reporter in a recent interview that pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden cannot receive Communion in his diocese.
According to the New American, Bishop Sheridan addressed the subject during an interview with the Gazette-Telegraph of Colorado Springs. The reporter referenced a statement made by the bishop in 2007 in which he expressed his belief that that any Catholic politician who advocates for abortion may not receive Communion.
“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,” Sheridan said.
“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.”
When asked whether his position had changed at all since he made that statement, the bishop assured the reporter that it had not.
“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,” Sheridan said.
The subject came up after the vice presidential debate last week when Biden confessed that while he believed life began at conception, it would be wrong for him to impose those views on others. As a result, Biden has voted in favor of a variety of bills promoting abortion rights, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research during the course of his long career in politics.
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.
Sheridan also noted that Catholic politicians who support the Obama administration’s mandate that forces Catholic employers to provide free contraceptives to employees also fall under the rule of Canon 915.
The reporter then asked: “If Vice President Joe Biden, who is Catholic, were to swing through Colorado Springs on a campaign tour and attend your Mass, would you deny him Communion?”
Replied Sheridan, “He should know, and I would do everything I could do to make sure that he knows, he ought not to be receiving Communion.”
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