The Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, Ill. reaffirmed a ban preventing Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) from receiving holy communion within the diocese following the senator's vote against a bill to ban late-term abortions.
Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki made the announcement last week that Durbin was not permitted to receive communion inside the diocese, which is where Durbin lives, until he repents his sin, Aleteia reports.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Children's Act, which failed to pass the Senate in January, would have banned abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization.
"Because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constitutes ‘obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,’ the determination continues that Sen. Durbin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion until he repents of this sin," Paprocki said. "This provision is intended not to punish, but to bring about a change of heart."
Paprocki further explained the nature of Durbin's sin.
"In our 2004 Statement on Catholics in Political Life, the USCCB said, ‘Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good,'" Parprocki's statement read.
The bishop added that he prays Durbin will change his stance on abortion.
"Sen. Durbin was once pro-life. I sincerely pray that he will repent and return to being pro-life," Paprocki's statement concluded.
Paprocki has confirmed in the past that Durbin was not to receive communion. It emerged in 2014 that Durbin had been told by his pastor that he was not to receive communion because of his support of pro-abortion laws.
Reception of communion, a sacrament in the Catholic Church, has been a contentious issue for years pertaining to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Many more conservative Catholics have advocated such politicians be banned from receiving communion until they publicly change their stance on abortion, and Durbin is not the only politician to be banned.
Former Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, banned then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry from receiving communion in his archdiocese. Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D., R.I.) has also been banned from receiving communion in his home diocese.