July 26, 2021

U.S. Catholic Bishops Consider Depriving Joe Biden of Communion

The pope’s messages and the Vatican’s warnings will not have been enough. The American bishops decided, on Friday June 18, by a large majority, to collectively question the advisability of giving Communion to Catholics who are supporters of the right to abortion, at the risk of further politicizing one of the most popular subjects of society. more cleaving.

The document the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will vote on in November will not target anyone in particular. But the main target of this new clerical offensive is clear. Joe Biden, second Catholic president in American history after John F. Kennedy, elected just sixty years ago, has been in the crosshairs of the Catholic Church for years. Indeed, despite a deeply publicly displayed faith and personal opposition to abortion, the Democrat has spoken out over the years in defense of this right.

Since his arrival at the White House, Joe Biden has revoked, like his Democratic predecessors, a measure on the contrary respected by all Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan, which prohibits the American state from funding foreign NGOs defending the right to abortion. In line with a campaign pledge, his budget proposal also does not include the Hyde Amendment, which limits rape, incest, or life-threatening cases from the use of federal funds to fund abortions. through the Medicaid public health insurance system, aimed at the poorest Americans.

The “priority” of the fight against abortion

Heretical positions for the conservative fringe of the American episcopate. The latter, powerful within the Conference of Bishops, has made the fight against abortion one of its “Highest priorities”, in accordance with the official teaching of the Catholic Church, which unambiguously condemns the use of voluntary termination of pregnancy. Asked about the possibility of being denied access to the Eucharist, one of the most important sacraments in the spiritual life of Catholics, Mr. Biden preferred to procrastinate: “This is a private matter and I think it will not happen”, he said on Friday at the White House.

For those supporters of a literal and uncompromising reading of doctrine, including the current president of the USCCB, José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, the charge is not new. But, with a Catholic installed in the White House, the controversy took on a tone that was as political as it was theological.

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