The following comes from a Feb. 2 story posted on the site of the Catholic News Agency.
Bishop Daly was auxiliary bishop of San Jose and president of Marin Catholic High School.
The bishop of Spokane said Friday that that politicians who publicly support abortion should not receive the Eucharist in his diocese.
“Politicians who reside in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, and who obstinately persevere in their public support for abortion, should not receive Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church,” Bishop Thomas Daly wrote in a Feb. 1 letter to his diocese.
“Efforts to expand access to abortion, allowing murder of children up to the moment of birth is evil. Children are a gift from God, no matter the circumstances of their conception. They not only have a right to life, but we as a society have a moral obligation to protect them from harm.”
“The Church’s commitment to the life of every human person from conception until death is firm. God alone is the author of life and for the civil government to sanction the willful murder of children is unacceptable. For a Catholic political leader to do so is scandalous,” Daly said.
The bishop’s letter came as abortion bills have been at issue in several state legislatures, and amid calls from some Catholics, and at least one bishop, for the imposition of canonical sanctions on New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed on Jan. 22 a bill that significantly expanded legal protection for abortion in his state. Daly did not shy away from that controversy.
“The champion of this abortion legislation is Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic and governor of New York. Governor Cuomo frequently cites his Catholic faith in support of legislation he favors. His public witness as a Catholic politician, coupled with his stalwart support of abortion, is unacceptable,” the bishop said.
Cuomo’s own bishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, has said that he does not intend to impose measures of ecclesiastical discipline on Cuomo, saying that while he opposes Cuomo’s public support for abortion, he does not believe imposing canonical or sacramental disciplinary measures will have effect on the governor.
Daly’s letter cited canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law, which says that Catholics “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
Daly did not mention the penalty of excommunication, a penalty Dolan said had been suggested by many Catholics for Cuomo.
At least one U.S. bishop has called for Cuomo’s excommunication. On. Jan. 31, Bishop Eduardo Nevares, auxiliary bishop of Phoenix, tweeted: “I am compelled to raise my voice in calling on Cardinal Dolan, and ALL CATHOLIC BISHOPS to EXCOMMUNICATE the ‘Catholic’ Governors and ALL other ‘Catholic’ Politicians who are promoting the most VILE, HIDEOUS and YES, DEMONIC practice of MURDERING the NEW BORN BABIES.”