8 months, 2 weeks ago William M. Leubscher
llinois' pro-abortion U.S. Senator, Dick Durbin, will no longer be allowed to receive Holy Communion atBlessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield. The parish is located in our capitol city, and Senator Durbin has a home there and attends mass there when he's downstate. (Durbin also has a condominium in Chicago and attends mass at Old St. Patrick's when he's in the city, but his hometown and primary residence are downstate).
Monsignor Kevin Vann is the pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish, and made what he said was a difficult decision. In explaining his reasons to deny communion to Senator Durbin, he noted: "I've known [Sen. Durbin] for many years. I know he works hard in many fields. But his pro-choice position puts him really outside of communion or unity with the church's teaching on life. And that's why I would be reticent to give him Holy Communion."
In other words, Senator Durbin is clearly in defiance of Catholic beliefs when he promotes government support for abortion on demand. Monsignor Vann noted that if Durbin attends Mass in Springfield and approached the altar to receive Holy Communion, he would instead give the senator a blessing. This is common practice for people who attend Mass at a Catholic parish and wish to receive communion, but are not in full communion with the Catholic Church (It typically includes non-Catholic spouses and Catholics in second marriages that are not blessed by the church).
For his part, Durbin refused to comment on the pastor's decision but noted he would comply with it. Durbin has said in the past he does not attend Mass in Springfield often anymore because he wanted to avoid a "rather uncomfortable atmosphere”, but that he still occasionally attends services at Blessed Sacrament or at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield for events such as weddings or funerals.
Now, Springfield's bishop, the most Rev. Thomas J. Paprocki, has issued a decision upholding the right of Blessed Sacrament parish to deny communion to Sen. Durbin. Bishop Paprocki stated his reasons via email, writing “Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.” He added: “My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield inIllinois.” Elsewhere, U.S. Cardinal Raymond J. Burke has explained the reasons for denying communion to pro-abortion politicians, saying it is not meant to “punish” them but to encourage them to reflect on their actions and realize that they are not in a state of grace when they openly defy key Catholic values. “The exclusion of those who persist in manifest and grave sin, after having been duly admonished, from receiving Holy Communion is not a question of a punishment but of a discipline which respects the objective state of a person in the Church” said Cardinal Burke.
In Durbin's case, this absolutely seems to be justified. Sen. Durbin is only in defiance of Catholic teachings on abortion, but a whole host of other major issues, ranging from a male-only priesthood to euthanasia, tosame sex “marriage”. Worse, Sen. Durbin used to be a pro-life politician when he was first elected to the U.S. House in 1982. He was considered a “moderate” Democrat for many years until he became a U.S. Senator in 1996, and has since veered to the extreme fringes on social issues. He now supports taxpayer funded abortion in any and all circumstances. Durbin's excuse for his changing views on abortion are that he visited a home for abused teens in Quincy, and discovered many of them had become pregnant through rape or incest. However, Durbin hasn't merely voted to allow abortion in those rare cases, but now fully supports abortion for any reason, even voting against a ban on partial-birth abortions that occur in the third trimester of pregnancy.