Letters to the Editor: If you deny Communion to Catholics who support abortion rights, what other 'grave sins' are next?

A priest distributes Holy Communion during a service at the Freiburg Cathedral in Freiburg, Germany Sunday, May 10, 2020. After the relaxation of conditions in the context of the Corona pandemic, church services may take place again, under fixed hygiene conditions. (Philipp von Ditfurth/dpa via AP)
A priest distributes Communion at the Freiburg Cathedral in Freiburg, Germany, in 2020. (Philipp von Ditfurth / Associated Press)

To the editor: A Catholic letter writer asserts: "A politician enabling abortion commits a grave sin." Maybe, but it doesn't seem that clear to me. I am not a Catholic, let alone a scholar, but the effects of a politician's votes seem too removed from the sin.

The letter writer is supported by a July 2004 memorandum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion." However, later in 2004, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops declared in part, "Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action." The issue might not be cut and dried.

My main uncertainty is how far the letter writer applies this obligation. Does a politician commit a grave sin by enabling capital punishment? Depriving the poor of sustenance and care? Rejecting immigrants? Oppressing transgender people? (Probably not those last two.)

Jay C. Smith, Bakersfield


To the editor: To the letter writer who wrote in support of Catholicism, "I am sick and tired of being lectured by people ignorant of my faith and what my religion teaches on how I should practice it," I would like to say this: I am sick and tired of people of any faith thinking that their religion should dictate how I and all Americans should live.

We do not (yet) live in a theocracy, so please, keep your faith to yourself.

Jill Gluck, West Hollywood

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.