Chaput: US bishops divided on withholding Communion

Archbishop Charles Chaput

Archbishop Charles Chaput

April 25, 2011

Archbishop Charles Chaput gave a frank response when asked why there is so much disunity among Catholics on the question of Catholics in political life standing clearly with the Church on major moral issues such as abortion.

"The reason . . . is that there is no unity among the bishops about it," said the Denver archbishop, who was asked the question after an April 8 talk at the University of Notre Dame.

"There is unity among the bishops about abortion always being wrong, and that you can't be a Catholic and be in favour of abortion — the bishops all agree to that — but there's just an inability among the bishops together to speak clearly on this matter and even to say that if you're Catholic and you're pro-choice, you can't receive holy Communion," Chaput said.

He said he is not in favour of refusing Communion without giving private notice ahead of time to the person.

He emphasized, however, that Catholics who support keeping abortion legal should be told that they will not be given Communion, and not to present themselves to receive.