PHOENIX, Az. — The bishop of Phoenix this week supported a recent letter from the archbishop of San Francisco stating that Catholics cooperating with abortion should not present themselves for Communion.
“Woe to us bishops if we do not speak clearly about the grave evil of abortion, and the consequences of any Catholic who participates in the act or publicly supports it by word or action,” Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix said in a May 6 statement.
He responded to a May 1 letter by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco on “the Human Dignity of the Unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in Public Life.” Bishop Olmsted called it “a powerful defense of the Church’s teaching on the dignity of all human life.”
Referring to bishops who do not clearly denounce the evil of abortion and of Catholics supporting it, Bishop Olmsted condemned “a false patience and pastoral concern that, year after year, stays silent or speaks in abstractions while the slaughter continues with the full endorsement of Catholic politicians under our spiritual care as bishops.”
The bishop warned that reluctance to speak out in such cases is a pastoral failure, rather than a charitable politeness.
“Such ‘patience’ is false because it is bereft of love and truth, and thus unmasks rather a deadly apathy towards one who professes the Catholic faith but whose public embrace of abortion puts his or her eternal soul at risk of damnation, and risks dragging untold numbers into hell by their example,” he said.
Archbishop Cordileone wrote in a May 1 pastoral letter that any Catholic cooperating with the evil of abortion should refrain from receiving the Eucharist. In his letter, he included a section on Catholic public officials who advocate for abortion.
“You are in a position to do something concrete and decisive to stop the killing,” Archbishop Cordileone wrote, addressing those politicians. “Please stop the killing.”
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