Bishop bans Communion for abortion-rights supporters

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Roman Catholic bishop of Springfield has banned the Illinois General Assembly’s leaders from receiving Holy Communion at local churches because of their involvement in abortion legislation approved last week.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki issued a statement Thursday barring House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton from receiving the sacrament. He says any Catholic lawmaker who voted for statutory protection for abortion rights in Illinois is prohibited.

Madigan and Cullerton are both Chicago Democrats. Madigan issued a statement saying Paprocki informed him before action on the Reproductive Health Act that he would be denied communion. Madigan says “it is more important to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”

A Cullerton spokesman says he’s unaware of Cullerton ever attending church in Springfield.