Bishop Denies Communion To Sen. Durbin For Voting Against Pro-Life Bill

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

A Catholic bishop announced that Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is denied access to Holy Communion because of his pro-abortion stance in defiance of Church teaching.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki published a public statement expressing solidarity with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bishop Kevin Vann, and Archbishop George Lucas in their rebuke of the Senate and their decision to deny Durbin access to holy communion as a Catholic for allying himself with pro-abortion agendas.

Paprocki’s public rebuke of and denial of communion to Durbin came in reaction to Durbin’s vote against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would criminalize abortions 20 weeks after conception when medical experts say the unborn child can begin to feel pain. (RELATED: Senate Fails To Pass The 20-Week Abortion Ban)

“I agree completely with His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, who called the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act ‘appalling,'” Paprocki’s statement read.

Paprocki lamented that 14 Catholic senators, including Durbin, voted against the bill and helped ensure that it did not pass. Dolan lambasted the senate for their failure to pass the bill in January, calling the bill “common-sense legislation” in light of the the brutal dismemberment required for abortions 20 weeks after conception. Dolan also noted that the U.S. is one of only seven countries, including North Korea, that allow doctors to perform abortions 20 weeks after conception.

“Because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes ‘obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,’ the determination continues that Sen. Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin,” Paprocki added in his statement, quoting the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law as justification for the decision.

Paprocki clarified that the decision to deny communion to Durbin was not intended to be vengeful or as a punishment, but rather to inspire Durbin to repent and come back into line with the teaching of the church to which he professes to belong.

“Sen. Durbin was once pro-life,” Paprocki wrote. “I sincerely pray that he will repent and return to being pro-life.”

Durbin did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment by the time of publication.

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