ROME — The bishop of Tyler, Texas, has praised a brother bishop for refusing to give Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion legislation.
In a tweet Monday, Bishop Joseph Strickland came out in support of Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, WA, in reaction to an article chronicling Bishop Daly’s hardline stance against pro-abortion politicians.
The article was titled: “Catholic Bishop Will Deny Pro-Abortion Politicians Communion Until They Repent of ‘Evil.’”
“Thank you bishop Daly for standing strong,” Bishop Strickland wrote. “Our society needs to wake up to the reality that when unborn & completely innocent children are not safe from their own mothers, life has no value and the tragic violence we see is simply a consequence of our disregard for life.”
“Efforts to expand access to abortion, allowing murder of children up to the moment of birth is evil,” Daly is quoted as saying earlier this year. “Children are a gift from God, no matter the circumstances of their conception. They not only have a right to life, but we as a society have a moral obligation to protect them from harm.”
“Politicians who reside in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, and who obstinately persevere in their public support for abortion, should not receive Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church,” he wrote.
“The Church’s commitment to the life of every human person from conception until death is firm. God alone is the author of life and for the civil government to sanction the willful murder of children is unacceptable. For a Catholic political leader to do so is scandalous,” the bishop stated.
At last spring’s annual meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore, Bishop Strickland urged his brother bishops to be valiant in calling Catholic politicians to account.
“I would ask us all the question of how we can call our politicians that claim to be Catholic, that want to be part of the Catholic community, to faithful citizenship, because until we bring them into the truth and living it with all the challenges that we face, I think many of the faithful don’t really see a consistent message,” he said.
Bishop Strickland later explained his position to the National Catholic Register, underscoring the importance of non-negotiable life issues.
“What I really tried to say as I intervened and talked about the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death — those are the grave issues, as far as I’m concerned. That’s what we need to focus on,” he said.