I was just about to leave work when I came across an article posted on Yahoo! which was about a group of anti-abortion Catholics urging the United States Bishops to proclaim a policy to deny the sacrament of communion to those that vote for or otherwise support abortion. This position infuriates me. The group contends that some politicians are using the church to further their political careers, without being true Catholics. It seems to me more likely that anti-abortion groups are using the issue to advance their political agenda. I understand that the church unequivocally opposes abortion in any form. It also opposes capital punishment, and a host of other social injustices. While abortion is at the top of the hierarchy of sins for some ready to stand in judgment, child-neglect, abuse and poverty are the ultimate wrong-doings for others. From a spiritual standpoint, humanity cannot rank the degree of offense that certain sins cause to God. I am not defending the act of abortion from a spiritual standpoint. However, I am vehemently opposed to any church policy that would deny one of the churches basic sacraments to somebody that votes for any particular public policy. There are probably no politicians in history that have not violated God's law in one way or another throughout their careers. In fact, as humans, we are all sinners. We acknowledge this, and we pray for forgiveness. John Kerry is not having or performing an abortion. His votes for laws that are construed to favor the access to abortion for women do not necessarily condone the practice. If John Kerry voted to legalize murder, I would hold the same view. He would not be committing murder. Some of those that are ready to stand in judgment to deny Christ to politicians need to take a step back. If they honestly did this, they would see that there is potentially grave sin within many political decisions. One example: a vote or an order to go to war in which a politician knows that innocent people will die. The church officially opposed the invasion of Iraq, which many politicians supported. Should these politicians be prevented from holy communion because they voted for a policy that they knew would result in innocent casualties? There are many other examples, and that is just the problem. Everyone has different opinions on what is right, especially on what policies are correct. The church is there to guide us and teach us, but ultimately we have to make our own decisions. Jesus and the Holy Spirit would not condemn someone whom has sinned, but would continue to reach out to them, offering himself to them. Why would anyone else have the right to deny Jesus to someone?


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