Novak points out that Archbishop Wuerl and Cardinal Egan invited trouble by inviting the pro-aborts to the Pope's Masses. He also says the pro-aborts' reception of Communion "...reflected disobedience to Benedict by the archbishops of New York and Washington."
Novak adds this:
"Vatican sources say the pope has not retreated from his long-held position that pro-choice politicians should be deprived of Communion, but the decisions in Washington and New York were not his. The effect was to dull the pope's messages of faith, obligation and compassion. In his Yankee Stadium homily, he talked of 'authority' and 'obedience' -- acknowledging that 'these are not easy words to speak nowadays.' They surely are not[,] for four former presidential candidates and two princes of the church, representing Catholics who defy their faith's doctrine on abortion.
"Benedict's position was unequivocal when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Asked in 2004 whether Kerry, as the Democratic presidential nominee, should be allowed to take Communion, he replied, "The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.'"
"Ratzinger's demeanor necessarily has changed with his elevation from doctrinal enforcer to global pastor, but he has not altered his position. When the pope arrived in Brazil a year ago, he declared: 'The killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going into Communion in the body of Christ.'"