Rhode Island parish priest puts out list of pro-abortion legislators, says they can't receive communion. Legislator named strikes out against him

I’m going to tip-toe lightly here.

While Jesus said that we have to be born of water and spirit to receive salvation, there is no formula for physically baptizing the unborn in the womb. Since it is impossible to perform a physical Trinitarian baptism on the unborn in the womb, the sacrament of baptism does not apply to the unborn for salvation of the their souls.

Jesus isn’t going to command a person to perform a physical requirement that physically can’t be done. The command applies to those who have been birthed, or who at least can have holy water poured over their head.

Imo it is sad that young people today - which includes both male and female - have had old mistakes foisted onto them…

And these mistakes were allowed - in our lifetime - by a self-centered generation that continues to vote with its head in the sand and the part that it’s thinking with in the air.

Just my opine, and

Thanks for listening.


And if that person’s judgement is utterly warped, a priest not stepping in when they are reasonably convinced that that person is not in a state of grace, and asking the individual:

Have you repented for your ways, and do you now commit to not pushing pro-choice policies in the future?

If not, then it is perfectly reasonable for them to conclude that the person, in fact, cannot be reasonably assumed to be in a state of grace, and (for the sake of both the would-be communicant, and also that of the Church as a whole) refuse them the Eucharist.

There is plenty of precedent for the pastor who refused Biden the Eucharist doing what he did. You don’t have much ground to stand on in opposition to it, frankly.

You’re grasping at straws, sir. What on Earth do you or I know about what conversations Mr. Biden and that pastor had or did not have?

We need to assume that the pastor knew what he was doing, and made a reasonable judgement.


The official position of the Church, from what I understand, is that we sincerely hold out great hope that these unborn children shall have salvation. Considering that they neither willed baptism themselves, and were otherwise not baptised, that’s more or less the most that we can say.

I could be wrong on that, but that is my understanding.

Right, which is why we sincerely hold out great hope that the obtain salvation, as our God is a merciful, loving God.

It is extremely reasonable to assumet that these children have obtained salvation.

Yeah. You’re right.
The unborn don’t have free-will yet to make such a decision. And they’re about as innocent as a human can be. If we look at Mama Mary, the Holy Spirit imposed God’s will for her Immaculate Conception and yet, God respected her choice to become Christ’s mom.

While I get the metaphysical necessity to have a pure new Ark of the Convenant to carry Christ during His incarnation journey, God did not wait for Mother Mary’s decision to be cleansed of original sin through baptism. So, we can trust that God wills heaven for the souls of the unborn and we do hope that His mercy is with them as He holds them in His Sacred Heart.


Judging a person’s state of grace is not now, and has never been, the question. This is one of the problems with Cardinal Dolan’s comments; it suggests this is an actual concern when it isn’t. What is a concern is what is publicly known: a prominent Catholic has outspokenly, and repeatedly, supported abortion. This constitutes obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin. Those are the criteria that satisfy canon 915 and not only justify the withholding of communion, but require it.

1 Like

Let’s look at Joe Biden’s supposed “obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin.” Has he performed an abortion? No. Has he advised anyone to get an abortion? No. Has he maintained that abortion is not a grave sin? No. What he has done is this: He has refused to use his position in the government to make abortion a crime. That is the extent of his “support” of abortion. Now if that qualifies as obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin, then this also qualifies: Many many Catholic legislators have obstinately refused to make homosexual behavior a crime. Moreover, many also participated in repealing laws that did make it a crime, and have not repented of their action. I would guess that 95% of Catholic legislators today would refuse to make homosexual behavior a crime, and none of them has even introduced a bill making it so. Yet homosexual behavior is a grave sin. A mortal sin when done with full knowledge and will. Of course these legislators are not worthy of being denied communion because of that. So Joe Biden does not “support” abortion in the way that would require that denial for him either.

That you find it necessary to massage Biden’s actions is the best indication that what he’s actually done, as opposed to the way you portray it, is a problem. Here is his position:

“Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and we must fight any and all attempts to overturn it. As president, I will codify Roe into law and ensure this choice remains between a woman and her doctor.”

Joe Biden does not “support” abortion in the way that would require that denial for him…

Whatever may or may not be true of homosexuality and those who practice it is irrelevant to the question of abortion. Either supporting abortion as a legislator suffices to justify canon 915, or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t then nothing would, including supporting slavery or torture. It really is difficult to understand how being in favor of killing the innocent can be passed off as no big deal.

1 Like

Your observations do not contradict my observations, and are not more relevant to Canon 915 than mine.

But it is relevant to the validity of your argument as a counterexample.

Has support for slavery or torture ever triggered Canon 915?

I didn’t say or imply that.

Either public support for actions which are gravely sinful satisfy the conditions of 915 or they don’t. Support for abortion does if anything could be considered to meet those criteria.

But [homosexuality] is relevant to the validity of your argument as a counterexample.

Homosexual actions, like contraception, are grave sins, but that alone does not mean they should be classified as crimes any more than one would suggest criminalizing absence from Sunday mass. This is not a new concept.

Now human law is framed for a number of human beings, the majority of whom are not perfect in virtue. Wherefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain; and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained: thus human law prohibits murder, theft and such like. (Aquinas ST II-II 11, 10, 1)

Those individuals who publicly manifest a homosexual lifestyle meet the criteria of 915. Politicians who promote gay “marriage” meet it. A politician who does not advocate criminalizing homosexual behavior does not. Is this arbitrary? To a degree perhaps, but, whatever else may be true, if supporting the destruction of the innocent does not trigger 915 then the law is without any meaning whatsoever.

But it’s done out of ignorance, which would fail to be a mortal sin.

What is done out of ignorance? Is there any rational argument that Biden is unaware of church teaching on abortion?

Being notified about Church teaching doesn’t mean he has full knowledge about the sin of supporting abortion.

Full knowledge is more than just being told about Church teaching, it means understanding the teaching as well.

Of course he could be guilty of willful ignorance, but that would be for him to acknowledge and confess.

But it’s one of those things only the individual can know

That depends on what you mean by “support.” If it means merely refusing to make it illegal, I doubt if that would qualify. I think 915 was intended for people who obstinately opposed a doctrine of the Church, such as the Immaculate Conception, or, in the case of abortion, publicly proclaimed that abortion was not a sin or not evil. None of that is present if someone merely refuses to make it illegal.

This principle just outlines why some vices should be forbidden and some might not. It does not specifically say that this particular vice must, under pain of excommunication, be outlawed.

Again, it depends on what you mean by “promote”. I would allow that Pete Buttigieg meets that criterion.

Again, using the word “support” in an ambiguous sense.

Do you believe that he is so ignorant of church teaching?


Again, there is no virtue in allowing an evil.

I suspect that the issue of limbo has stayed around in part due to the fact that many Catholics are not particularly well educated in theology; most were educated in religion, which has as its base theology, but which does not teach much theology. The Baltimore Catechism didn’t teach much theology, but it taught religion quite well; sadly all too many raised on it did not go much further than it. So as to how big the “part” above is, can be explored by speaking with fellow Catholics.

Limbo was a theological construct, never officially accepted by the Church but given as a reasonable explanation to the conundrum of “what happens to babies who die without being baptized?”

And part of the current answer is that God binds us with laws, but those laws do not bind God; and Jesus spoke often of mercy and of children.

1 Like

A “baptism of blood” refers to martyrdom. And martyrdom refers to intentionally facing death for the faith.

It was referenced in the first three centuries of the Church for those who chose to become Christian but were martyred before they could be baptized - they were catechumens.

As such, it ides not apply to babies being killed in the womb. it is a nice idea, but no correlation.

The definition you supply would also exclude the holy innocents.

Given that they had not reached the age of reason, so they could not make that decision, that may be correct. The people executed during the first 3 centuries were adults by and large, had made the decision to join the Church, but had not yet been baptized.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.