A top Vatican official allegedly said that pro-abortion Catholic President Joe Biden should not be denied communion during an interview with Axios Journalist Mike Allen last October 3.
The Christian Headlines reported that Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development Prefect Cardinal Peter Turkson raised during the interview that the Eucharist should not be denied to Catholics for their support of abortion.
Turkson, during the interview, explained that denying the Eucharist to someone would be a form of "judgment" on the person and doing so would be weaponizing the Sacrament.
"The Eucharist should not in any way become a weapon. If you say somebody cannot receive Communion, you are basically doing a judgment that you are in a state of sin," Turkson remarked.
Allen asked him if the same instance should be applied to Biden to which the cardinal replied with a "no." Turkson elaborated during the interview that a priest may deny Communion during "extreme cases" such as if the person is a known murderer.
Turkson, who is a member of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is said to be close to Pope Francis. Turkson was appointed by the Pope last April to head the Vatican COVID-19 Commission since it is directly placed under the dicastery he heads.
Turkson actually echoes the statements Pope Francis gave while on board the flight from Slovakia last month in a press conference. One of the reporters, named O'Connell, raised the issue on the Eucharist in the United States and the bishops who were rumored to have the intention of denying Communion from high profile Catholic public officials that openly support abortion laws. O'Connel then asked the Pope about it and his "advise" to the bishops on it.
The Pontiff replied that he never refused the Sacrament to anyone since he has always regarded the Eucharist as a gift from God. He went on to narrate an incident he asked a group of old people who wants Communion and those who raised hands he gave it to, only to find out afterwards that one of them was a Jew.
"I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone; I don't know if anyone has come in these conditions! This even as a priest. I have never been conscious of having a person like the one you describe in front of me, that is true," Pope Francis responded, referring to the politicians.
"Communion is not a prize for the perfect--think of Jansenism--Communion is a gift, a present, it is the presence of Jesus in the Church and in the community. Then, those who are not in the community cannot take Communion, like this Jewish lady, but the Lord wanted to reward her without my knowledge. Out of the community--ex-communicated--because they are not baptized or have drifted away," he explained.
Pope Francis then underscored the reality that abortion is murder but also reminded the need not to be "political" about it. He pointed out that he is not going to be gentle when he speaks about abortion being "homicide."
"The second problem, that of abortion: it's more than a problem, it's homicide, whoever has an abortion, kills. No mincing words. Take any book on embryology for medical students. The third week after conception, all the organs are already there, even the DNA... it is a human life, this human life must be respected, this principle is so clear!" Pope Francis said.
After stressing the Science of human life and the reality of abortion against it, Pope Francis then addressed the issue on Communion in line with abortion. He elaborated that a person who is in sin-the theological Catholic meaning being a state wherein a person is cutoff from God and the rest of the members of the community-cannot receive Communion since he is not worthy of it. The Pontiff raised that the remedy is for pastors not to condemn the person but to bring the person back to the community through mercy.
"Now we go to that person who is not in the community, who cannot receive Communion. And this is not a punishment, he is outside. But the problem is not theological, it is pastoral, how we bishops manage this principle pastorally. What must the pastor do? Be a pastor, don't go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated. Pastors with God's style, which is closeness, compassion, and tenderness," Pope Francis stressed.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Turkson reiterated the Pope's directive on pastoral accompaniment of sinners through mercy, citing the Bible verse in John 8:7 regarding judging others and on the reality that everyone is a sinner. He disclosed that he actually prays for the person he gives Communion to and called on others to do the same.
"Ours is not to declare public sinners; our is to pray for conversion of sinners," Turkson stressed.
"My biggest moment of intercession is at the distribution of communion. Can any of us be so sinless: full of Grace, as to be worthy of the presence of the Lord at communion? Yet we receive the Lord in the Eucharist because we trust in his mercy! Let's pray & wish same for sinners!" he ended.