The 28 percent of Democrats who oppose abortion have no place in the Democratic party, according to two of the party’s leading figures.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin echoed party chair Tom Perez Sunday in saying that there is no room in the party for dissent on the abortion issue.
“I am committed to women’s rights under the law, reproductive rights certainly, and our party is [committed],” Durbin said in an appearance on CNN. “We’ve made that part of our platform and position for a long, long time. I know within the ranks of the Democratic Party there are those who see that differently on a personal basis, but when it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal.”
Durbin has already come under fire from his bishop. From 2014:
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is “not permitted to receive Holy Communion” under the law of the Catholic Church, according to Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, who heads the diocese of Springfield, Ill., which is Durbin’s home city.
…The bishop, in a recent letter to an Illinois pro-life activist, said, “Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his Pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law. My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the Senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.”
The pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish at the time Durbin was told not to present himself for Communion was Rev. Kevin Vann, now the bishop for the diocese of Orange, Calif.
In a 2004 article, Rev. Vann said, “I respect Senator Durbin. I’ve known him for many years. I know he works hard in many fields. But his pro-choice position puts him really outside of communion or unity with the church’s teaching on life. And that’s why I would be reticent to give him Holy Communion.”
Canon 915 states:
Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.