The Bishop of Sen. Robert CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyThe US needs to lead again on disability rights No one wins with pro-abortion litmus test New ObamaCare enrollment period faces Trump headwinds MORE's (D-Penn.) Catholic diocese has warned the Senator that he is risking his right to accept communion by condoning abortion.

Casey, in fact, is pro-life. But Bishop Joseph Martino of the Scranton Diocese is upset that the Senator voted to confirm Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusJerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Mark Halperin inks book deal 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care MORE as Secretary of HHS. Sebelius vetoed a number of pro-life bills while Governor of Kansas and accepted campaign contribtions from a late-term abortion provider.

"If necessary, future determinations will be made regarding whether Sen. Casey is worthy to receive Holy Communion," the Diocese announced in a statement. "However, at this point Bishop Martino believes it is incumbent upon Sen. Casey to reflect on his actions and ask himself if he should receive the sacrament."

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Casey isn't the only Catholic politician to risk his standing in the church. When John Kerry ran for President in 2004, several church leaders warned him against taking communion. Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston told Kerry he ''shouldn't dare come to communion.'' (Kerry ended up accepting communion at a "nontraditional church" in Beacon Hill.)

And Nancy Pelosi caused a stir in 2008 when she suggested the question of when life began was a controversial, unsettled matter within the church. In response, the archbishop of San Francisco invited Pelosi to discuss whether or not she should continue accepting communion.

But Martino's warning to Casey is particularly stark, especially since Casey is more conservative than most Democrats on abortion issues. Martino, however, said he feels a "pastoral responsibility to instruct the senator about these serious moral issues." (Emphasis added.)

In a statement, Casey defended his vote on Sebelius.

"Although I disagree with her on some issues, including a number of the decisions she has made on abortion, I believe my vote in favor of her confirmation was correct," he said, adding that it woud be irresponsible to leave the HHS post vacant during the swine flu crisis.