Springfield, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, a long-time target of Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, has reaffirmed his support for the Reproductive Health Act. Bishop Paprocki “has decreed that state legislative leaders may not be admitted to Holy Communion within his diocese, because of their work to pass the state Reproductive Health Act,” the Catholic News Agency reports.
Speaker Madigan knew of the bishop’s warning at least two years ago. Paprocki’s decree also names Illinois Senate President John Cullerton.
In response to the bishop’s June 2 decree, Speaker Madigan released the following statement, “The Reproductive Health Act is a recognition that women across Illinois deserve access to health care without intrusion from government. I was notified by Bishop Paprocki that if I permitted the House of Representatives to debate and pass the Reproductive Health Act, I would no longer be allowed to accept the sacrament of communion. After much deliberation and reflection, I made the decision to allow debate and a vote on the legislation. I believe it is more important to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, including women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. With women’s rights under attack in an increasing number of states across the country, Illinois is now a leader in making sure women are protected and their rights are upheld.”