US bishops vote to create document that could deny Biden Communion

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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will move forward with an effort to deny Holy Communion to President Joe Biden.

The body voted 168-55, with six abstentions, at the conclusion of its three-day Spring General Assembly to pursue the creation of an educational document on the Catholic sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which could lead to pro-abortion rights politicians not being allowed to receive it.

“It’s not the bishops who have brought us to this point — it's some of our public officials. This is a Catholic president doing the most aggressive things we’ve ever seen on life at its most innocent," said Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann during the debate Thursday.

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The next step for the bishops will be to finalize the language of the document at their fall meeting in November.

Catholics believe the Eucharist is literally the body and blood of Jesus, and it is “the source and summit of Christian life,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Canon law prohibits reception of the Eucharist by those who deny Catholic teachings, such as the condemnation of abortion.

Since Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, took office, he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been attacked for their pushing for pro-abortion rights legislation while also identifying as Catholic.

A person's local bishop, in Biden’s case, Washington, D.C., Archbishop Wilton Gregory, has the final say in whether he can receive communion, but the language in the document will guide local bishops like Gregory in their decisions.

When Biden first won the 2020 election, Gregory planned not to deny Communion to the president.

“The choice before us at this moment is either we pursue a path of strengthening unity among ourselves or settle for creating a document that will not bring unity but may very well further damage it," Gregory said during Thursday’s debate.

Opponents of denying the Eucharist to the president noted the effort’s inconsistency.

“It would be misleading if such a statement were to give the impression that abortion and euthanasia alone constitute the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching,” wrote Vatican Cardinal Luis Ladaria in a letter in May.

Ladaria wrote his letter in response to Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, who led the effort to create the educational document.

The efforts by bishops like Gomez are political because there is no similar effort to deny the Eucharist to Catholics in favor of the death penalty, such as former Attorney General Bill Barr, opponents have argued. “The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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When the language of the document is finalized in the fall, it will pertain more to “Eucharistic consistency” more broadly, rather than to Biden individually, said Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades who serves as the chairman of the USCCB’s Doctrine Committee.

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Tags: News, Catholic, Catholic Church, Biden, Abortion, Death Penalty, Vatican, Prayer

Original Author: Charles Hilu

Original Location: US bishops vote to create document that could deny Biden Communion

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