VATICAN, June 17, 2004 (CWNews.com/LifeSiteNews.com) - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has weighed into the debate within the American hierarchy, saying that public figures who openly dissent from Church teachings should not receive Communion. In an official letter to the US bishops, which has not been made public, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith writes that Catholics who are "living in grave sin" or who "reject the doctrine of the Church," should abstain from the Eucharist.
Cardinal Ratzinger's letter was prompted by the sharp differences among American bishops on the question. These differences have been discussed at length by US bishops and Vatican officials in recent weeks, as the American bishops made their ad limina visits to Rome. The existence of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter was first reported by the Italian daily La Reppublica, and subsequently confirmed by informed sources at the Vatican.
The thrust of Cardinal Ratzinger's message was at odds with reports from a few American bishops, who had returned from their visits to Rome saying that Vatican officials had discouraged any effort to withhold the Eucharist from public figures who oppose Church teachings on issues such as abortion and same-sex unions.
SOURCE: "Cardinal Ratzinger Joins U.S. Bishops Debate On Withholding Eucharist from Pro-Abort Politicians". LifeSiteNews.com.
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