Bishop of Scranton Martino refuses communion for politicians who campaign in favor of abortion rights
BY CHARLES SCHILLINGER
Published: Monday, September 1, 2008 4:09 AM EDT
Scranton native Sen. Joe Biden would likely feel at home any day of the week in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Well, any day except possibly Sunday.
The Most Rev. Joseph F. Martino, bishop of Scranton, has strongly supported refusal of Holy Communion for politicians who campaign for or vote in favor of abortion rights.
When asked whether the Democratic vice presidential candidate would be refused Communion should he tour the region, the diocese held firm to its past statements.
“I will not tolerate any politician who claims to be a faithful Catholic who is not genuinely pro-life,” Bishop Martino said in a pastoral letter Sept. 15, 2005, and reiterated this week.
“No Catholic politician who supports the culture of death should approach Holy Communion,” Bishop Martino said. “I will be truly vigilant on this point.”
Bishop Martino has also pointed to the need to privately meet with Catholic politicians and instruct them on the church’s teachings, prior to refusing them Communion.
While willing to reiterate these points, the bishop declined to comment specifically on Biden or any other politician.
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