“Because support for pro-abortion legislation is gravely sinful, such persons should not be admitted to Holy Communion.”
A policy in the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina requires priests to withhold the Eucharist from politicians and political candidates who support legal protection for abortion.
“Catholic public officials who consistently support abortion on demand are cooperating with evil in a public manner. By supporting pro-abortion legislation they participate in manifest grave sin, a condition which excludes them from admission to Holy Communion as long as they persist in the pro-abortion stance,” says a 2004 decree signed jointly by the bishops of Atlanta, Charleston, and Charlotte.
“We declare that Catholics serving in public life espousing positions contrary to the teaching of the Church on the sanctity and inviolability of human life, especially those running for or elected to public office, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in any Catholic church within our jurisdictions: the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Dioceses of Charleston and Charlotte.”
“We undertake this action to safeguard the sacred dignity of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, to reassure the faithful, and to save sinners,” the decree adds.
The decree, “Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion,” established policy for the Diocese of Charleston, where presidential candidate Joe Biden was denied the Eucharist on Sunday.
The 2004 Charleston policy says that “Catholics in political life have the responsibility to exemplify in their public service this teaching of the Church, and to work for the protection of all innocent life. There can be no contradiction between the values bestowed by Baptism and the Catholic Faith, and the public expression of those values.”
“A manifest lack of proper disposition for Holy Communion is found to be present in those who consistently support pro-abortion legislation. Because support for pro-abortion legislation is gravely sinful, such persons should not be admitted to Holy Communion,” the decree continues.