Second US Senator says he has been denied Communion for 17-years because he backs abortion
A second American Senator has admitted he has been banned from Communion because of he backs abortion.
He is Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, the powerful chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This comes a week after President Biden said that Pope Francis told him he was a “good Catholic” and should “keep receiving Communion.”
Durbin claims his pro-abortion voting record has barred him for 17 years from receiving Holy Communion back home in the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois.
In 2004, Durbin’s pastor, then-Father Kevin Vann (now Bishop of Orange, California) advised him not to present himself for Communion because of his position on abortion.
The diocese’s past and present episcopal shepherds endorsed that pastoral guidance.
Durbin expresses frustration with “the way the bishops seem to be using the Eucharist for political purposes.”
He also acknowledges that many lay Catholics, including his own friends, embrace Church discipline barring pro-abortion politicians from Communion.
“As the Church has consistently taught,” reads the draft of the U.S. bishops’ document on Eucharistic coherence that will be debated at their upcoming meeting, “a person who receives Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin not only does not receive the grace of the sacrament, he or she commits the sin of sacrilege by failing to show the reverence due to the Body and Blood of Christ.”
But the senator views this teaching as optional.
He repeatedly suggests that the bishops are merely playing politics when they raise concerns about politicians like him receiving Communion.
Durbin says he has found a “new faith home” in a Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“Three out of four Catholic bishops voted in June to consider a document on the Eucharist, which makes me concerned that three-quarters of the U.S. bishops think this should be the official policy of the Catholic Church in America,” said Durbin.
“I was told by many to wait,” he continued, “because the Pope had his last word on the subject coming, and as you mentioned a few weeks ago he said as much. But it is uncomfortable. I am careful when I go to a church that I have never been to before for any kind of occasion. You just don’t quite know what kind of reaction you’re going to get from local clergy.”
Looking ahead to the U.S. bishops’ annual assembly in Baltimore, Durbin said he hoped that Church leaders would revise their views on women in the Church, which he says is “at the root of some of the difficulties the bishops have, particularly when it comes to issues such as choice.”