A pro-choice Democratic New Mexico state Senator is claiming that his bishop denied him Communion because of his political office.
In a tweet on Saturday, Sen. Joe Cervantes (D-NM) alleged he 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 run off. Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis." he continued.
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 run off. Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis.— Sen. Joe Cervantes (@SenJoeCervantes) July 17, 2021
According to The Daily Caller, Bishop Cervantes was apparently referring to Bishop Peter Baldacchino of Las Cruces.
In his tweet, Cervantes, who is pro-abortion, did not specify why he was denied Communion.
On Monday, Christopher Velasquez, director of communications for the Diocese of Las Cruces, told Catholic News Agency that the diocese privately warned Cervantes against taking Communion because of his support for a pro-abortion bill.
"It did not happen on the spur of the moment," Velasquez said regarding the denial of Communion.
"In terms of the diocese, we regret the decision of Senator Cervantes to politicize this issue," he added.
Earlier this year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed Senate Bill 10, which repealed a 1969 law that criminalized abortions.
The law has not been enforced since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roe V. Wade, which legalized abortion across the nation. Supporters of SB 10, however, warned that the law could go back into effect if Roe were to be overturned.
Velasquez asserted that Cervantes' denial of taking Communion had "nothing to do with his office or politics," but on his support for SB 10 and "what it entails."
The question of whether pro-abortion Catholic Democratic politicians, such as President Joe Biden, should be allowed to partake in Holy Communion has been an issue of contention within the Catholic church as of late.
Last month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved to draft a document on the Eucharist during their general assembly meeting. Many believed the USCCB would decide to deny Communion to politicians who endorse abortion.
At the time, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) warned that the church could lose its tax-exempt status if the document included such a measure.
"If they're going to politically weaponize religion by 'rebuking' Democrats who support women's reproductive choice, then a 'rebuke' of their tax-exempt status may be in order," Rep. Jared Huffman tweeted last month.
If they're going to politically weaponize religion by "rebuking" Democrats who support women's reproductive choice, then a "rebuke" of their tax-exempt status may be in order. https://t.co/P6TGVCOMYp— Rep. Jared Huffman (@JaredHuffman) June 18, 2021
The USSCB, however, later clarified that the document will not bar pro-choice politicians from Communion despite calling for all Catholics to endorse pro-life policies.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.