This week, pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has doubled down on her support for radical abortion up-to-birth policies. She signed an executive order harboring fugitive abortionists who flee to New Mexico from extradition. She then met with Joe Biden and fellow Democrat governors to promote pushing the Biden regime to perform abortions at Veterans Affairs hospitals, Indian Health Service facilities, and military bases, calling such a plan an “effective vehicle.”
Also last week amid the pro-abortion extremism from the Governor, Piñon Post chief and Republican nominee for New Mexico House District 51, John Block, sent a letter to Archbishop John C. Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The letter requested that Lujan Grisham, who claims to be a Roman Catholic, be denied the sacrament of Holy Communion due to her abortion stance.
Block noted how the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) “affirmed and reaffirmed over the years, ‘The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority.’ I take the USCCB seriously when it states abortion is its preeminent priority, as I am sure you do as well.”
In 2021, the USCCB passed a teaching document by a vote of 222-8 reading, “It is the special responsibility of the diocesan bishop to work to remedy situations that involve public actions at variance with the visible communion of the Church and the moral law.”
With regard to the application of these principles to Catholics in political life, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to the U.S. bishops in 2004 explaining the approach to be taken:
Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to the U.S. bishops in 2004 what actions were to be taken against pro-abortion politicians regarding the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist:
“… when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist. When ‘these precautionary measures have not had their effect … ,’ and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, ‘the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.’”
Block wrote in the letter that Lujan Grisham’s support for abortion up-to-birth policies, including assisted suicide “are directly responsible for the killing of innocent children and terminal patients in New Mexico, which are contrary to Church teachings throughout the centuries. If the state will not bring justice for these innocent lives lost at the hands of Lujan Grisham and the Radical Democrats, it is at the very least the Church’s responsibility to hold them accountable within its power.”
He then asked for the Archbishop to deny the pro-abortion politician Communion, writing, “These actions should mirror, if not be more punitive, to those of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has denied pro-abortion U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the sacrament of Holy Communion in his diocese. Recently, my bishop, Peter Baldacchino of the Diocese of Las Cruces, denied pro-abortion state Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana) Communion after his vote for S.B. 10, so there is precedent in New Mexico for this important action.”
“Our faith is the only thing we have left. It is what has carried the Church through centuries of persecution and toil, and it is what will carry us through today. If the Church refuses to stand firm now on this bedrock principle to save the most vulnerable, then our faith is lost,” he concluded.
Wester, however, did not agree. In response, he wrote that he would not deny the rabidly pro-abortion politician Holy Communion, writing, “I will not deny the governor Holy Communion since I agree wholeheartedly with Cardinal-designate Robert W. McElroy’s article in America magazine in which he outlines three compelling reasons for not withholding Communion to Catholic pro-choice politicians.”
The reasons from the liberal cardinal-designate included those who seek to deny the Eucharist based on the grave sin of killing a child in the womb are “weaponizing” it. Another reason is that “we are all sinners,” and therefore, “Who of the faithful can claim such an ideal?” The last reason given is because of Pope Francis’ statement, “The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”
However, ingesting the Eucharist while living with unrepentant sin, will cause sickness and death. I Corinthians 11:27-30 reads:
“Whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.”
The Archbishop concluded in his letter, “These three points are only some of the many reasons that this question of withholding Holy Communion is quite complex. For example, it is not always easy to determine formal cooperation in evil, remote material cooperation or proximate material cooperation. In addition, intention is always an important factor in determining whether an action is sinful or not. A given politician may believe that by remaining in office he or she can do more to work toward ending abortion than by leaving office. Another might believe that by working to attenuate poverty, a huge driver of abortions, he or she could be effective in lessening the number of abortions in America.”
It appears Wester is attempting to justify Lujan Grisham’s support for abortion due to supposed policies she may be supporting to help end poverty and other issues.
However, the Rev. Fr. Larry Brito of St. Anne Parish in Santa Fe told the Santa Fe New Mexican regarding Lujan Grisham’s pro-abortion stance, “[S]he has already excommunicated herself by her extreme gross support and promotion of the murder of unborn children. I pray that she may have a change of heart and that she may receive the full graces of the Catholic Church. Salvation and lives are at stake.”
Despite other members of the clergy taking the killing of babies in the womb seriously by withholding Holy Communion from the likes of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and state Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana), there will be no recourse for Lujan Grisham’s grave promotion of abortion. Wester likely was one of the eight bishops who voted against a resolution attempting to remedy situations involving pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
Until now, New Mexicans have not gotten a clear answer in Archbishop Wester’s own words on this subject matter until Block’s letter.