New Mexico State Senator Joseph Cervantes claimed on Twitter that he was denied the sacrament of holy communion during a Catholic celebratory mass at the Carmelite Monastery last Friday.
The senator accused Las Cruces Bishop, Peter Baldacchino of discrimination, because of the political office Cervantes holds, not due to his support of abortion, classified as a grave sin by the Catholic church.
Senator Cervantes tweet, “I was denied communion last night by the Catholic bishop here in Las Cruces and based on my political office. My new parish priest has indicated he will do the same after the last was runoff. Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis.”
The Diocese of Las Cruces responded by stating that it was “unfortunate that a pastoral issue with a member of the local church be publicized.” But Baldacchino withheld the sacrament due to Cervantes publicly supporting a pro-abortion bill in the State Senate.
According to the Catholic News Agency, the disciplinary action was only needed after Cervantes and his bishop had private conversations where the senator was repeatedly asked to refrain from taking communion as long as he intended to vote for Senate Bill 10, which repealed a 1969 state law criminalizing abortions.
Not only did he support the bill, but he also co-sponsored it.
The director of communications for the Diocese of Las Cruces, Christopher Velasquez, said, “It did not happen on the spur of the moment,” speaking of the bishop’s actions.
“In terms of the diocese, we regret the decision of Senator Cervantes to politicize this issue, Bishop Baldacchino did not receive a response from the senator,” Velasquez said of the bishop’s attempts to rebuke him privately. “He [Cervantes] was contacted multiple times prior, letting him know that if he voted for Senate Bill 10, he should not present himself for communion.”
The Catholic church will face increasing pressure to ignore the clear teachings of the Code of Canon law that state those who, “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
President Biden has claimed to be a devout Catholic while at the same time supporting abortion, the sexual revolution, and other sinful activities. This led to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to overwhelmingly vote to rebuke the president and other politicians who hold to anti-Christian policies.
The only rebuke outside of ex-communication is the denial of communion and this is creating the current flashpoint.
While the Catholic Church should have taken a much harder line on this and other issues before now, their resolve will be tested by legacy media and democrats who see these issues as political instead of moral.
Protestant Christians are facing a similar challenge. Will Christians take a stand against the open sin of politicians who promote it and endorse it? It is time for the church to be hot or cold, not lukewarm. Church leaders need to take the hard stance on issues that seem political when, in reality, they are the foundation of our faith.