SPRINGFIELD - Springfield's bishop, the most Rev. Thomas J. Paprocki, recently issued a decision upholding the right of Blessed Sacrament parish to deny communion to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
Bishop Paprocki wrote in response to a prolifer's recent query that “Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.” He added: “My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.”
Monsignor Kevin Vann, who is the pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish, made what he said was a difficult decision, Catholic writer William Luebscher reported this week in the Quincy Journal.
"I've known [Sen. Durbin] for many years. I know he works hard in many fields. But his pro-choice position puts him really outside of communion or unity with the church's teaching on life," Monsignor Vann said, "And that's why I would be reticent to give him Holy Communion."
Instead of Holy Communion, the Monsignor said he would give the senator a blessing, common practice for people who attend Mass at a Catholic parish and wish to receive communion, but are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Durbin refused to comment on the pastor's decision but noted he would comply with it. Durbin has said in the past he does not attend Mass in Springfield often anymore because he wanted to avoid a "rather uncomfortable atmosphere”, but that he still occasionally attends services at Blessed Sacrament or at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield for events such as weddings or funerals.
The rest at Quincy Journal.com