Bishop Paprocki to Deny Senator Durbin from Receiving Communion Over Abortion Vote


Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois has issued an order that bars Senator Dick Durbin from receiving Holy Communion for his pro-abortion vote.

Senator Dick Durbin voted against a bill that would have prohibited all abortion procedures occurring twenty weeks after conception, entitled the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” Citing Canon Law, Bishop Thomas said Senator Durbin would be prohibited from the sacrament until “he repents of this sin.”

In a statement, Bishop Thomas addressed the fourteen Catholic senators who voted against the bill, saying

“Fourteen Catholic senators voted against the bill that would have prohibited abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization, including Durbin, whose residence is in the Diocese of Springfield.”

After addressing the senators, he cited the Canon Law which gave him the authority to bar Senator Durbin from taking part in the sacred rite, and issued the final order.

“Canon Law states that those ‘who obstinately persist in mani­fest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.’ Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes ‘obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,’ the determination continues that Senator Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin.”

In the past, Senator Durbin was pro-life voter, but changed his view in the late 1980s. Bishop Paprocki hopes the order will help him see the truth and change his perspective.

“This provision is intended not to punish, but to bring about a change of heart. Sen. Durbin was once pro-life. I sincerely pray that he will repent and return to being pro-life.”

In 2004, Senator Durbin was denied from receiving Holy Communion by then-Monsignor Kevin Vann of Blessed Sacrament Church in Springfield because of Durbin’s stance that abortion should be legal.



  1. This is the first time that I can remember that a politician was barred from receiving the Holy Eucharist for their stance on abortion. I commend Bishop Paprocki for his ruling.