THE SYNOD: Levada's Modest Proposal
The Vatican's top doctrinal watchdog, American Archbishop William Levada, has urged a meeting of the world's bishops to discuss whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should receive Communion, saying the issue had divided many of the faithful in the United States.Whatever happens, Levada's suggestions carry weight these days, and we know where he is on the issue. We'll see what goes.
Levada, the senior American at the Vatican who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asked to hear the experiences of other church leaders during the synod of bishops, the Oct. 2-23 meeting to discuss major issues facing the church.
"This issue has caused some divisions among the people in the church during the last election," Levada said Monday, according to the Rev. John Bartunek, who briefed reporters on Tuesday on developments of the closed-door meetings.
During the 2004 presidential campaign, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said he would deny the Eucharist to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a Catholic who supports abortion rights. Other church leaders weighed in on the topic, including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, who said he wasn't comfortable denying the Eucharist.