US Bishop Aquila Warns Catholic Pro-Abortion Politicians They “Risk the Possibility of Hell”

FARGO, ND, May 7, 2004 ( – The scandal of U.S. Catholic pro-abortion politicians defying Catholic teaching and receiving Communion despite their grave sin of supporting abortion has caused several bishops to speak out forcefully on the issue. The latest is Fargo Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Bishop of the diocese of Fargo in North Dakota.

In a four-page homily delivered Sunday and posted on the diocesan website, Bishop Aquila said, “In the light of the last few days and all of the media coverage regarding John Kerry’s unambiguous support of abortion rights, his personal opposition to abortion, and his insistence on the separation of his Catholic faith from his professional life, I, as a successor of the apostles, cannot remain silent. I, as an apostle, must speak with the apostles and obey God rather than man and present to you the teaching of the Church on the proper relationship between our faith and professional life.”

Addressing all Catholics and especially “‘pro-choice’ Catholics,” and “‘Catholics for a free choice,'” the bishop said, “Jesus Christ has warned clearly within the Gospel that hell is a reality and that we are free to choose it. Catholics who separate their faith life from their professional and social activities are putting the salvation of their souls in jeopardy. They risk the possibility of hell”

“The grave error that has come about, the grave error that the Father of Lies has planted in the hearts of many is the lie of thinking that we can have one foot with God and one foot with the world. . . . We must always put the law of God above the law of man, especially as it concerns the dignity of the human person and the life of the unborn,” said the Bishop.

On the point of reception of Communion, Bishop Aquila said: “In regard to the question of sanctions for Catholics who are ‘pro-choice’, who say that they are personally opposed to abortion but whose words and actions speak otherwise in their support of abortion rights, I would share with them the words from St. Justin Martyr in today’s Office of Readings. This was in 165 A.D. They shared the same problems we do today. ‘No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.'”