A Democratic New Mexico state senator who supports abortion claimed his Catholic bishop refused to give him the Eucharist over the weekend because of his political office.
“I was denied communion last night by the Catholic bishop here in Las Cruces and based on my political office,” Democratic state Sen. Joe Cervantes tweeted Saturday. “My new parish priest has indicated he will do the same after the last was run off. Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis.”
I was denied communion last night by the Catholic bishop here in Las Cruces and based on my political office. My new parish priest has indicated he will do the same after the last was run off. Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis.
— Sen. Joe Cervantes (@SenJoeCervantes) July 17, 2021
The Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) noted that Cervantes was apparently referring to Las Cruces Bishop Peter Baldacchino, who did not respond to the outlet’s request for comment.
“The state senator did not specify why the bishop reportedly denied him communion, but his announcement comes amid discussion of whether bishops will deny President Joe Biden communion over his pro-abortion policies,” DCNF noted, adding, “Cervantes himself is pro-abortion and has said that he ‘fully’ supports ‘choice.'”
“There should be no laws which outlaw the private decisions regarding pregnancy,” Cervantes told the Albuquerque Journal.
Bishops and priests disciplining pro-abortion Catholic politicians by denying them the sacrament of Communion has become a flashpoint issue since President Joe Biden was inaugurated. In June, the USCCB voted overwhelmingly in favor of drafting a document that could lead to a rebuke of publicly pro-abortion Catholic politicians. According to the Code of Canon Law, those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
In response, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) accused the USCCB of politically weaponizing religion and floated the idea of punitively taxing the Catholic Church. “If they’re going to politically weaponize religion by ‘rebuking’ Democrats who support women’s reproductive choice, then a ‘rebuke’ of their tax-exempt status may be in order,” Huffman tweeted.
Huffman’s threat prompted rebuke from some of his congressional colleagues. As The Daily Wire reported:
Sens. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO) by criticizing Huffman in exclusive statements to The Daily Wire.
“Who is Jared Huffman and — more importantly — who does he think he is?” Sasse told The Daily Wire. “In America, the federal government gets to say squat about how Jews celebrate Passover, how Muslims celebrate Ramadan, or how Christians celebrate Communion. Power-hungry politicians can’t weaponize tax-exempt status to enforce theology. This is none of the government’s business.”
“It’s up to President Biden to reconcile his political beliefs with his faith as a Catholic,” Blackburn said. “That is between him and the Catholic Church. But it is beyond inappropriate for members of Congress to use their position in government to punish the Church for a sincere belief in the sanctity of life.”