Another Catholic priest is voicing his concern to his parishioners about Barack Obama and his pro-life position on abortion.
Reverend Joseph Illo of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Modesto, California, sent a letter to his 15,000 parishioners, in a letter dated November 21, 2008. He also reviewed the concern during a homily. Per McClatchy.
“If you are one of the 54 percent of Catholics who voted for a pro-abortion candidate, you were clear on his position and you knew the gravity of the question, I urge you to go to confession before receiving communion. Don’t risk losing your state of grace by receiving sacrilegiously.”
Obama “promised Planned Parenthood that the first thing he would do upon taking office is to sign the so-called ‘Freedom of Choice Act,’ which would grant unlimited access to abortion in all 50 states up until the moment of live birth.”
“Many Catholics voted for such pro-abortion candidates thinking that their good positions on other issues, such as the war or health care, outweighed their deplorable stand on abortion.”
“In Catholic teaching, you have to go to confession when you have committed a mortal sin,” he said. “Now, what is a mortal sin? It’s somewhat complex. No one can say, ‘You committed a mortal sin.’ I can only say, ‘It’s a grave matter.’ It’s my job to look after my parishioners.
“I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails and phone calls. It’s about 12-to-1 in favor of what I said. One person has left the parish. But I got all of these other positive things.”
Although his followers seem to be supportive, a the bishop of Stockton, the Most Rev. Stephen Blaire disagrees.
Blaire said Catholics who carefully weighed many issues and settled on a candidate, such as Obama, who was supportive of abortion rights, were not in need of confession. He said confession would be necessary “only if someone voted for a pro-abortion or pro-choice candidate — if that’s the reason you voted for them.”
Now while splitting hairs can buy time to clarify confusion, a revisit of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.
See EWTN’s Father Stephen F. Torraco in 2002, in “A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters,” why voting for the pro-life candidate is a mortal sin.
And see exactly what Fr. Newman said.
“Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”
Bizzy Blog reviewed this previously. So in summary, people have a right to make up their own minds; the church teaching on abortion, that it “is gravely contrary to the moral law,” stands unchanged.