A New Mexico state senator says he was denied communion at his church in Las Cruces because of his support for abortion, despite U.S. Catholic bishops recently deciding not to withhold Eucharist from pro-choice politicians.
"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 runoff," Sen. Joe Cervantes (D-NM) tweeted Saturday.
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
Christopher Velasquez, director of communications for the Diocese of Las Cruces, told Catholic News Agency (CNA) it was "unfortunate that a pastoral issue with a member of the local church be publicized."
"In terms of the diocese, we regret the decision of Senator Cervantes to politicize this issue," he continued.
Velasquez pointed out that Cervantes' pastor and Bishop Peter Baldacchino attempted to contact the senator privately over his support for a pro-abortion bill that was passed earlier this year.
"Bishop Baldacchino did not receive a response from the senator," Velasquez said. "He (Cervantes) was contacted multiple times prior, letting him know that if he voted for Senate Bill 10, he should not present himself for communion."
Ultimately, the bishop's decision to deny communion was based on Cervantes' voting record.
Cervantes voted in favor of Senate Bill 10 which was passed during the last legislative session, repealing an abortion restriction in New Mexico.
Meanwhile, some are wondering if other politicians in New Mexico who support abortion will also be denied communion.
Spokesperson Leslie Radigan said the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is not banning political officeholders or legislators from receiving communion.
"Archbishop Wester is not in favor of denying Catholic politicians Communion based on how they vote in the legislature," Radigan said.
CBN News previously reported that controversy over the matter grew with President Biden's support for abortion and whether America's second Catholic president should be allowed to receive communion since his actions violate the pro-life, biblical teachings of the Catholic church.
In the 1980s, Biden voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to allow states to overturn Roe v. Wade. Then in the '90s, he voted against federal funds for abortion at least 50 times.
But Biden has completely reversed his views on many life issues and has even revoked several pro-life executive orders by former President Donald Trump.