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House Democrats rap Pope's stand against pro-abortion pols May 15, 2007

Eighteen Democratic members of the US House of Representatives have joined in criticizing Pope Benedict XVI for his statement that pro-abortion politicians should not receive Communion.

During a conversation with reporters on May 9, as he was flying to Brazil, the Holy Father had said that he fully supported the decision of some Mexican bishops to bar politicians from receiving the Eucharist after the lawmakers voted to legalize abortion in Mexico City. The Mexican bishops, the Pope said, had "simply announced to the public what is stipulated by the law of the Church."

But the Democratic legislators, led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, charged that the Pope's stand (and by implication the laws of the Church) "offend the very nature of the American experiment."

A move to exclude pro-abortion legislators from receiving Communion would be "a great disservice to the centuries of good work the Church has done," the 18 Congressmen argued.

"The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role and responsibility of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America," the 18 write; "it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution." The group did not specify which Constitutional freedom would be violated by the exercise of internal Church discipline.

The May 14 statement was signed by the following Democratic Congressmen:

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