Bishop: Abortion-supporting stance should bar lawmakers from Eucharist

La Paz, Bolivia, Aug 22, 2013 / 03:40 pm (CNA).- The adjunct secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Bolivia, Archbishop José Fuentes, said that government officials who support abortion should not receive Holy Communion.

Such individuals, he said, are not acting consistent with their faith and with the teachings of the Gospel and the Church.

In July of this year, four government ministers announced their support for the legalization of abortion in Bolivia.

In an interview with the newspaper Pagina 7, Bishop Fuentes was asked about these ministers. He responded that “they can act in conscience, but they should not approach during communion to receive the Body of Christ.”

“The person who aborts or who encourages another to abort, as well as health care workers who participate in an abortion and lawmakers, commit a sin before God, because they make themselves the owners of life, and the only owner of life for us is God,” he said.

“For a Catholic, for a believer, that is something that is not at our disposal, and therefore if as a legislator, a judge or whatever, I support an abortion law, I am separating myself from the Church, I cannot receive Communion unless I show my repentance,” Bishop Fuentes continued, emphasizing the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for those who have had an abortion.

He stressed that the Church’s position is not based on a desire to punish wrongdoers, but rather an effort to reach out to them in mercy to help them accept Catholic teaching.

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