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Washington Cardinal warns against denial of Eucharist

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington has told journalists that denying Communion to politicians is a "slippery slope".

He said that denying the Eucharist to politicians who take positions opposed to church teaching is inevitably followed by denying the Eucharist to Catholics who vote for those politicians.

On the denial of Communion, he said, "I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to ask my priests to do it."

He reiterated a point he made in his May 13 column in the Catholic Standard, Washington's archdiocesan newspaper, when he told the group, "We should have no confrontation at the altar" when it comes to the withholding of Communion from politicians who support legal abortion.

"I'm not going to have a fight with someone holding the sacred body and blood (of Christ) in my hand," Cardinal McCarrick said.

Some US bishops have been taken steps to deny the Eucharist to Catholic politicians whose political allegiance requires them to support abortion. At least four bishops have explicitly forbidden the distribution of communion to particular pro-choice Catholic politicians. 48 Catholic members of Congress signed a letter to the Cardinal McCarrick deploring any ban. One bishop - Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs - has gone further by stating that Catholics who vote for pro-choice politicians are themselves ineligible to take communion

Denial of Eucharist a 'slippery slope,' cardinal tells journalists (Catholic News Service 1/6/04)

Church's Freedom in U.S. Threatened, Says Cardinal George (Zenit 1/6/04)
Cardinal George denies Communion to Rainbow Sash gay activists (Catholic News Service 1/6/04)
Cardinal Stands by Decision on Holy Communion (Zenit 1/6/04)
Questions the Holy See Is Asking About the Eucharist (Zenit 1/6/04)
Steady as she goes (Online Catholics 2/6/04)

3 Jun 2004