Why Pope Francis probably isn't worried about U.S. bishops' vote on Communion guidance

Pope Francis.
Pope Francis. ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

Despite opposition from the Vatican, which has cautioned Catholic leaders against politicizing the Eucharist, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday voted 168-55 to advance draft guidance that could call into question whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, including President Biden, are eligible to receive Communion.

Pope Francis has remained silent about the vote so far, which Vatican officials told The New York Times is a sign he's not concerned that the final version of the guidance will actually pass. Under church law, the Times reports, the final document would require either unanimous support, or two-thirds support and Vatican approval. Both of those possibilities seem unlikely, even if a majority of bishops back the document. "It's not going to get to that point," one senior Vatican official said. "It's inconceivable." Paolo Rodari, a Vatican reporter at Italy's La Repubblica, said he doesn't "think they are worried at Casa Marta," referring to the papal residence.

The more likely scenario is that the final document will strongly assert "the importance of the Eucharist" while reflecting "the pope's concerns" about calling for denying Communion to "Biden and other influential political and cultural figures who support abortion rights," the Times reports. Read more at The New York Times.

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