Here's my last comment on the Catholic pols/abortion rights/Communion business - at least until this fall, I imagine.
As I said before, I was not convinced that some sort of "policy" was in order because I'm not for the USCCB setting "policy" for every bishop on matters like this. It doesn't fit into any historical model.
Just one point:
What I do wish, vainly, is that the US bishops could at least come out with a statement in which the problem was honestly acknowledged, all Catholics were urged to be catechized on the meaning of Eucharist and their relationship to it (an effort which is forthcoming, I understand), and in which bishops were encouraged to vigorously and courageously fulfill their duties as pastors and teachers, defending life and serving the most vulnerable.
As I said in a comment below, I think, my irritation lies in the fact that in this discussion, from the USCCB side, there is a failure to frankly acknowledge how Catholic abortion-rights advocates play this. We are not, repeat not talking about men and women whose hearts are torn between ideals and lesser evils and such, who agonize in the dark at night before the a crucifix lit only by a flickering candle.
We are talking about politicians who a)determine their stance according to what will curry them party favor (and this is not just a Democratic issue. In certain elements of the GOP - in the Northeast, particularly, pro-life Republicans are almost as rare as pro-life Dems) and votes.
b) are shamelessly, forthrightly and vigorously promoting, not some middle way but full-blown, radical abortion rights, who curry the support of NARAL and such, who speak at abortion rights events and fundraisers. People like Nancy Pelosi, who have voting records consistent with abortion rights groups 100% of the time. People like Pataki, Schwarzenegger and Giuliani.
Here's the issue. Most of the prominent Catholic politicians of both parties - in this country are supporters of abortion rights. Unashamed, unconflicted supporters of abortion rights, whose votes and support are crucial in maintaining protected legal abortion in this country.
An honest approach to the issue would acknoweldge this. In regret, dismay and even shame.
Nothing meaningful can happen until that simple, astonishing fact is confronted honestly.