The following item from veteran Sacramento pro-life activist Albin Rhomberg came to CalCatholic in an email this afternoon.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dear Friends,

It is now known that several of the United States’ most prominent Catholic political leaders who publicly defy the Catholic Church’s teaching that abortion is an “abominable crime” will lead or be in the official US Presidential and Congressional Delegations to the Installation Mass for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

Will these prominently identified Catholic leaders, including Vice-President Joe Biden, Democratic Party Congressional leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Representative Loretta Sanchez and several others, defiantly present themselves to receive Holy Communion at the Papal Mass in full sight of the world media?

The Catholic Church’s Canon 915 states: “Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

In addition, in 2007, Pope Francis, who was then Cardinal Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, presented a joint statement by Latin American church leaders, the 2007 Aparecida Document, which states: “We should commit ourselves to ‘Eucharistic coherence,’ that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortions, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”

These statements are unequivocal and Pope Francis has made other public statements of his strong opposition to the crime of abortion as part of a “Culture of Death.”

Will Biden, Pelosi, Sanchez, and others in the U.S. Presidential and Congressional delegations who publicly defy Church teaching that abortion is an “abominable crime” try to confront and embarrass Pope Francis and the Catholic Church at the Papal Mass by presenting themselves to receive Communion?

Will they be advised or admonished in advance that they (and others like them) should not present themselves to receive Communion?

If they do present themselves for Communion, will they be denied Communion?

Will they receive a blessing but not Communion?

President Obama designated Vice President Biden to head the Presidential Delegation with three members: Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives and Representative from San Francisco; Susana Martinez, Republican Governor of New Mexico; and Dr. John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University.

All four are identified as Catholic.

The bipartisan Congressional Delegation of three Republicans and six Democrats will be led by New Jersey Representative Chris Smith.

All nine Representatives are identified as Catholic.

The three Republicans are Chris Smith, Chair of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, of New Jersey; Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska; and Sean Duffy, Wisconsin.

The six Democrats are Dan Lipinski, Co-Chair of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, of Illinois; Loretta Sanchez and Anna Eshoo, of California; Ruben Hinojosa, Texas; Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut; and Jim Langevin, Rhode Island.

Nancy Pelosi,  Loretta Sanchez, Anna Eshoo, Ruben Hinojosa, and Rosa DeLauro, all have 100% ratings by Planned Parenthood, the premiere political advocate and promoter of abortion.  (Jim Langevin, Rhode Island, has a mixed position on abortion.)

Republican Representatives Chris Smith, Jeff Fortenberry, and Sean Duffy all have 0% Planned Parenthood ratings.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is pro-life.

Vice-President Joe Biden has a long record of political support for abortion as a Democratic US Senator from Delaware. Biden has already been admonished by Catholic bishops not to receive Communion. In 2012, Biden announced that he supports “same-sex marriage.” The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are gravely sinful and opposes “same-sex” marriage.

Jesuit Georgetown University president John J. DeGioia is assumed to be pro-life, although pro-life advocates were dismayed at his statement that pro-abortion activist law student Sandra Fluke, who campaigned to require that Georgetown provide contraceptives to all students and that abortion and contraceptives be included in Obamacare, “…provided a model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people.”

Many were also dismayed by Georgetown University hosting appearances by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Barack Obama.

Pro-life activists in the US, particularly in Delaware, California, Texas and Connecticut, will be closely watching whether Biden, Pelosi, Sanchez, Eshoo, Hinojosa, and DeLauro present themselves to receive Communion at the Installation Mass for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica.

It is notable that Sebelius, the president’s point-person in his attack on the religious freedom of the Catholic Church in the US and a very high-profile Catholic who has defied Church teaching that abortion is an “abominable crime,” was not designated by President Obama as a member of the Presidential Delegation to the Installation Mass for Pope Francis.

In August 2007, Secretary Sebelius, while governor of Kansas, was admonished by Kansas City, Kansas, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann to refrain from receiving Communion because of her defiant actions in favor of abortion.

Albin Rhomberg

Tel:  916-427-1671