Document Type



Lynch, Dermot, "Render Less Unto Caesar?: Denying Communion to Catholic Judges" (2010). Student Prize Papers. Paper 54.


A conservative group of Catholic bishops who seek to deny communion to those who support abortion rights has thus far only targeted pro-choice Catholic public officials and the Catholic voters who have supported them electorally. Yet the movement could as easily act against Catholic judges, including at least three prominent Catholics on the Supreme Court. Yet judges should not be denied communion for the same reason that the sacrament should not be denied to voters or legislators, namely because the standard that the communion denial movement uses in applying this grave sanction is deeply problematic as it invites arbitrary enforcement and excessive meddling in state affairs by unelected ecclesiastical actors.

Date of Authorship for this Version