Gettelfinger said that though Catholic voters had the responsibility of voting in accordance with Catholic principles, reception of communion was up to the conscience of the individual. However, politicians or other public figures who publicly supported abortion, and criticized the teachings of the Church would be refused. The bishop added that no one in his diocese would be refused under those conditions. "I know of no one who would be so brash in this community. No one," he said in an interview with Philip Elliott, the Faith and Values Reporter at The Evansville Courier & Press.
He called on Catholic politicians to guard their integrity. "At the risk of losing your jobs, I insist that you be driven by personal integrity. ... Be true at the risk of defeat."
Source: Evansville Bishop Would Refuse Communion to Public Dissenters from Catholic Teachings. Sept. 15, 2004.
- Evansville bishop would deny Communion to abortion-rights backers Fort Wayne Channel 15 News. Sept. 17, 2004.
- Diocese of Evansville official website.