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New Mexico Politics

Las Cruces lawmaker says politics led to denial of Communion

State Sen. Joseph Cervantes (left) and Communion.
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State Sen. Joseph Cervantes (left) and Communion.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — A New Mexico lawmaker from Las Cruces says he was denied Communion by his local Catholic priest because of his politics.

Democratic state Sen. Joseph Cervantes said that he has been treated differently by the church since voting to repeal a state law banning abortion under most circumstances.

Cervantes' statement came after he tweeted over the weekend about not getting Communion from Peter Baldacchino, bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces.

The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee, he said he "felt it necessary to address those who would politicize, and thereby belittle, the promises of the Eucharist.”

Cervantes said the outdated law, which would have jailed women for getting an abortion, was unconstitutional.

A spokesman for Baldacchino declined comment to media outlets. The diocese, however, put out a statement.

“The Diocese regrets that Senator Cervantes chose not to enter into dialogue with any diocesan official and felt that Twitter would be the most appropriate outlet to express his concerns,” the diocese wrote.

The controversy reflects an ongoing effort by some bishops in the U.S. to rebuke politicians who support abortion rights but continue to receive Communion.

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Associated Press

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