Catholic MPs reject bishop’s Communion ban call over marriage vote

Several Catholic MPs in England have disagreed with a bishop who said politicians who voted for same-sex marriage should be denied Communion.

The Bishop of Portsmouth, Bishop Philip Egan, said denial of Communion is an act of mercy.

This is with the hope that individuals can be brought back into full communion with the Church.

MPs told The Tablet that ordinary Catholics would be appalled at such a position.

Bishop Egan told LifeSiteNews that when Catholics vote in favour of same-sex marriage, they shouldn’t be receiving Communion.

Of politicians in his own diocese who backed same-sex marriage, he said: “I personally would be in favour of saying that somebody should not be receiving Communion.”

However, he added that he would “have to act really with the other members of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales”.

He called for his confreres to debate the issue.

A spokesman for the England and Wales bishops’ conference said there were “no plans” for the bishops to discuss the proposal at their next meeting.

Forty-seven out of at least 82 Catholic MPs last year voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriage.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was passed in the United Kingdom House of Commons by 400 votes to 175.

Conservative Party MP Conor Burns, whose seat is in Bishop Egan’s diocese, called the bishop’s comments a tragedy.

Mr Burns said Bishop Egan “appears not to have noticed that we have a new gentle shepherd preaching a Christ-like message of inclusivity, love tolerance and forgiveness”.

“I look to the guidance of the Holy Father Pope Francis,” said Mr Burns.

Labour’s Siobhain McDonagh and Stephen Pound, as well as the Conservative’s Bill Cash made similar comments to The Tablet.

No Catholic MP contacted by The Tablet backed the Bishop’s comments

Bishop Egan told LifeSiteNews that “nobody is forced to be Catholic”.

“We’re called by Christ and he’s chosen us, it’s a free choice. We live under the word of God. It’s not my truth, it’s God’s truth,” he said.



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