An American bishop has said that Catholic politicians who vote to support abortion or euthanasia may no longer receive Communion in the La Crosse Diocese of Wisconsin until they publicly renounce their positions on those issues. Archbishop Bishop Raymond Burke cited Vatican doctrine, canon law and teachings by the US bishops in his announcement telling diocesan priests to withhold communion from such lawmakers until they ''publicly renounce'' their support of abortion rights. Pope John Paul II appointed Burke, 55, archbishop of St Louis in December. Burke signed the decree in November when he still had the authority to do so, but it was not made public until last Thursday. Archbishop Burke will be installed in St Louis on January 26 - raising concerns among opponents that he may issue the same decree there. The Vatican and US bishops have urged Catholic legislators to consider their faith when they vote, and a task force of bishops is weighing whether to recommend sanctions for Catholic politicians who support policies contrary to church teachings. In November, Burke wrote letters to at least three Catholic lawmakers, telling them they risked being excluded from Communion by continuing to vote for measures he termed anti-life, including abortion and euthanasia.
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