Catholic Congress Members Warn Against Bishop Intervention

May 20, 2004

Source: The Washington Post

On May 20, 2004 The Washington Post reported, "Forty-eight Roman Catholic members of Congress have warned in a letter to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington that U.S. bishops will revive anti-Catholic bigotry and severely harm the church if they deny Communion to politicians who support abortion rights. The letter's signers, all Democrats, include at least three House members with strong antiabortion voting records. 'For many years Catholics were denied public office by voters who feared that they would take direction from the Pope,' they wrote. '. . . While that type of paranoid anti-Catholicism seems to be a thing of the past, attempts by Church leaders today to influence votes by the threat of withholding a sacrament will revive latent anti-Catholic prejudice, which so many of us have worked so hard to overcome.' The three-page letter, dated May 10, was sent to McCarrick because he heads a task force of U.S. bishops that is considering whether, and how, the church should take action against Catholic politicians whose public positions are at odds with Catholic doctrine."