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Illinois bishop backs priest who refused Communion to pro-abortion lawmaker

April 04, 2014

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, has given his support to a priest who refused to administer Communion to Senator Dick Durbin.

After a priest of the Springfield archdiocese withheld the Eucharist from the Illinois lawmaker, who supports legal abortion, Bishop Paprocki wrote to a local pro-life activist to say that he supported the priest’s decision. The bishop’s letter, which was obtained by journalist Matt Abbott, read in part:

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 theCode of Canon Law. 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 in Illinois.


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  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 05, 2014 9:13 AM ET USA

    Memo the bishops of USCCB: This is how you implement Church law when counseling fails. In the immortal words of Dan Rather ... "Courage, courage!"

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Apr. 04, 2014 10:20 PM ET USA

    This should be the norm for handling the nominal Catholics. Instead, we have to congratulate Bishop Paprocki for a display of courage unusual for the episcopacy!

  • Posted by: abc - Apr. 04, 2014 5:43 PM ET USA

    I agree, it is really sad that this should be newsworthy.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Apr. 04, 2014 4:02 PM ET USA

    Bravo to Bishop Paprocki and the brave and loyal priest in question! This is what should be the norm, but so bad are the times we live in, that just reading about their fortitude almost brought tears -- of gladness -- to my eyes. Any bishops out there who are reading this: Follow the example of Bishop Paprocki. Just give us some leadership for a change!