Thursday, May 13, 2004

Archbishop John Vlazny - Portland, OR.

PORTLAND -- Archbishop John G. Vlazny says all Catholics -- not just Sen. John Kerry -- should avoid taking Holy Communion if they publicly disagree with church teachings. Vlazny, leader of almost 300,000 Roman Catholics in western Oregon, weighed in on the issue as reporters note that Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, receives Communion even though he believes women should have the right to choose an abortion. . . . Vlazny decided to go on record last week, in his regular column in The Catholic Sentinel. In an interview with The Oregonian, he said he's had letters asking him to speak out on who should and should not take Communion and whether Catholics may vote for an abortion-rights candidate. His comments do not have the weight of the pope or of the U.S. bishops behind them, he says. "Catholics who publicly disagree with serious church teaching on such matters as abortion or same-sex marriage should refrain from receiving Holy Communion," he wrote in his May 6 column. The phrase "publicly disagree" means just that he said, not speaking privately to family or friends. "Catholics who are not in communion with the Church (for example, divorced and remarried Catholics who have not received annulments from previous Catholic marriages) must similarly refrain from receiving the Eucharist," he wrote. "All Catholics in the state of mortal sin who are unrepentant also should refrain from the reception of the Eucharist." Source: "Archbishop says some should refrain from Communion", Associated Press. New Statesmen Journal

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