The Corner

A Note to My Side

of this argument: I think one reason that the idea of denying communion to pro-abortion politicians has been misunderstood by many people is that some of the people who are for it have failed to sound some of the right rhetorical notes. Conservative Catholics who have long urged the bishops to take this step should not be gleeful at its being taken; they should be saddened that it is necessary. We should avoid any suggestion that the denial of communion is a punishment, since there is no retributive element (and a large charitable element) to it. And we should make it clear that the church is not casting people out but inviting them more fully in. We must pray that those denied communion will restore themselves to full communion with the church, as unlikely a prospect as that now seems.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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