Cardinal Egan To Meet With Giuliani Over Reception of Communion

by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

(April 28, 2008) The Archdiocese of New York released a statement today by Edward Cardinal Egan saying that he will meet with former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani about his taking communion during the April 19 papal Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

“The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God,” the Cardinal said. “Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind.

“Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion. I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding.”

The former mayor and presidential candidate has said on many occasions that he personally hates abortion but supports a woman’s right to get one.

“Those (issues) are between me and my spiritual advisor, my confessor,” Giuliani has said. “I’m a Catholic and that’s the way I resolve those issues, personally and privately.”

However, even if he wasn’t pro-choice, Giuliani is still barred from taking communion because he never received an annulment of his second marriage to Donna Hanover before marrying his third wife, Judith. Divorced Catholics who remarry outside the Church are not permitted to receive the Eucharist until their marital status has been sanctioned by the Church through annulment and sacramental marriage.

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