Bishop Robert McManus of the diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts said in an October 6 talk that it is "intellectually and morally indefensible" for a politician to claim to have personal objections to abortion while promoting and enabling it publicly.
He says, "Some politicians misuse the concept that all life issues are connected and pick just what they want. But if life is not protected, none of the other human rights can be enjoyed."
He continues, "It is intellectually and morally indefensible for a politician to say, 'I'm personally opposed to abortion,' and then support it. If one of my seminarians presented that as a moral argument, I'd flunk him."
He notes that "Catholics repeatedly vote for such politicians."
McManus addresses the idea that people are obliged to follow their conscience, especially with regard to voting. He asserts that a Catholic must "have a well-formed conscience" and "must understand Church teaching about faith and morals." He adds, "But now there are at least two generations of Catholics who are under-catechized."
He comments that only 25 percent of Catholics attend Mass every Sunday — "a huge pastoral crisis, an immense pastoral crisis."
These people are not present to hear on a regular basis, and also what I think is fundamental to the Catholic moral life that it is impossible to live the Catholic moral life without the sacraments. And so if Catholics have repeatedly, habitually, over and over again refrain from celebration of the sacraments, especially the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, it's completely understandable why they find the demands of the moral life of the Catholic community very very difficult.
Pope Francis and several other bishops have maintained that politicians who support abortion but call themselves Catholic cannot be allowed to receive Holy Communion.
The Holy Father wrote to the bishops of Argentina, "[People] cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged."
American Catholic politicians like Vice President Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Andrew Cuomo and Tim Kaine maintain they are Catholic while promoting laws and policies advocating abortion, contraception and homosexuality.