The Bishop Emeritus of Fulda (Germany), Heinz Josef Algermissen, has criticised the Bishop of Springfield, Thomas Paprocki, for pledging to deny communion to pro-abortion lawmakers in the US state of Illinois.

Driving the news

Earlier this month Paprocki promised he would bar pro-abortion politicians from the Eucharist, saying that support for the interruption of pregnancy is “inconsistent with being a good Catholic, a faithful Catholic”.

“We have to be clear that you cannot be pro-abortion and be a Catholic in good standing”, said Paprocki. “And that’s what this [the ban on pro-abortion politicians] is really intended to do”.

Where it stands

“To put [a pro-abortion politician] in the pillory in the sense of a public tribunal is never a good method of pastoral care”, wrote Algermissen in a column in a local Catholic paper.

The German prelate suggested that Paprocki should have spoken to the Catholic politicians first to make sure they were fully aware of the Church’s position on the voluntary interruption of pregnancy.

For the record

“Enlightenment in favor of comprehensive life protection is far more effective a means of forming conscience than trying to use the sacrament of the Eucharist for sanctioning purposes”, declared Algermissen.

Algermissen was Bishop of Fulda for 17 years until Pope Francis accepted his age-related resignation in June 2018.