On the eve of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' special assembly in Denver, The Denver Post submitted to Archbishop Chaput by email a list of questions pertaining to the matter of communion. Here is his response.
Archbishop Chaput explained to the Denver Post that 1) those who "publicly oppose or reject Catholic teaching remove themselves from unity with the Church and should not receive Communion"; 2) "Any Catholic who actively promotes legalized abortion cooperates, in a formal way, with abortion itself, [thereby constituting] "a grave matter"; 3) as a Bishop, he wouldn't rule out denying communion to individuals who by their actions are guilty of ""extraordinary cases of public scandal." . . .
(You've got to admire the Archbishop for his charity and patience in dealing with the press -- how many times can a bishop reiterate his basic position -- being that of the Church -- on the matter of communion?)
With regards to the bishop's assembly in Denver, Chaput expressed the wish that a collective statement on the communion issue be a fruit of the gathering.
Finally, in response to the inquiry whether he was concerned about "appearing partisan" due to his emphasis on "certain issues over others", the Archbishop responded:
No. That's almost always code language for telling the Church to be quiet about abortion. There are many, many people of both major parties, Republicans and Democrats, who work for the Church in Colorado. The Church is never partisan. Here in Denver, both of my senior legislative advisers are active Democrats. More than 80 percent of our state lobbying efforts and the vast majority of our Church's financial and personnel resources go to social issues that have nothing to do with abortion. But that doesn't change the fact that abortion is the central social issue of this moment in our national history - not the only issue, but the foundational issue; the pivotal issue. For Catholics to ignore it or downplay it or "contextualize" it would be an act of cowardice.
Well said. Please pray for Archbishop Chaput, and his fellow bishops in their assembly, that they may have the courage to present a clear, unified message on this present scandal.
Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch
Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.