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About Bishop Paprocki's decree barring certain pro-abortion legislators from receiving communion

Bishop Paprocki’s recent decree barring certain pro-abortion legislators from receiving communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has prompted an overwhelmingly positive response from the faithful of our own diocese and from around the country.  The action has also prompted questions and concerns, and many of the faithful are faced with the challenge of addressing these matters with concerned family members and friends.  Below are responses to several common concerns and questions.

This decree “weaponizes” communion. No one should be denied Communion.

It is incorrect and dangerous to assume that no one should be denied Communion.  For millennia, dating back at least as far as St. Paul, himself, the Church has taught that a person in a state of grave sin should not receive Communion. In 1 Corinthians, St. Paul writes “Whoever eats unworthily of the bread and drinks from the Lord’s cup makes himself guilty of profaning the body and of the blood of the Lord.” When a person in a state of mortal sin receives communion, they compound the gravity of their sin by “profaning the body and blood of the Lord.”  Preventing such a person from doing so is, in and of itself, a pastoral act. Further, the action itself is intended to be a call to conversion, a reminder of the gravity of his or her actions, and a prompt for them to repent and return to communion.  It is never the intent that this state is permanent.