The founder of the anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue, led small demonstrations yesterday outside the downtown Pittsburgh office of Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey and outside St. Paul Cathedral. Randall Terry, who has split with Operation Rescue, demanded that Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik to bar Casey and other Catholic politicians from receiving Communion if they vote for health care legislation unless the bill prohibits any public funds for abortion. The bishop rejected Terry's demands.
"Health care reform must be centered on saving lives, not destroying them...Questions regarding the reception of Communion by anyone in the Catholic Church is a matter of faith that does not belong in the public square.
The Church has traditionally taught that every Catholic has the serious moral responsibility to examine his or her conscience before receiving Communion or not.
At the same time, the Church also has the responsibility to protect the sacredness of the Eucharist from any abuse, inclusive of politicizing Communion.
If a time came where I must engage any individual for any reason in regard to reception of the Eucharist, that would be solely between myself as Pastor and that person as a member of my flock. This would certainly not be an issue to be debated publicly."
The Senate resumes debate on health care legislation today.