(ReliableNews.org) – In 2019, during the presidential primary campaign, a South Carolina priest denied Joe Biden communion. The incident set off a firestorm over whether Catholic priests can deny communion to politicians based on their political views. Now, a priest in New Mexico has denied another Democrat access to the Eucharist because of his vote on a recent bill.
State Sen. Joe Cervantes said he was denied communion because of his vote to repeal a 1969 state law that criminalized abortions.
I was denied communion last night by the Catholic bishop here in Las Cruces and based on my political office. My new parish priest has indicated he will do the same after the last was run off. Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis.
— Sen. Joe Cervantes (@SenJoeCervantes) July 17, 2021
Christopher Velasquez, the director of communications for the Diocese of Las Cruces, responded to the allegation saying it’s “unfortunate that a pastoral issue with a member of the local Church” was made public. He went on to explain the pastor tried to warn him in advance that he wasn’t going to receive communion if he supported the repeal.
In June, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) faced a tough decision about whether to vote to allow priests to deny holy communion to politicians who support abortion. Ultimately, after the Vatican made it clear the Pope did not support using communion as a political weapon, the USCCB did not vote on the subject. It’s likely the controversy surrounding this topic will continue until the Catholic Church puts a rule in writing.
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