In June, Catholic bishops in the U.S. may decide to demand President Joe Biden and other pro-abortion politicians stop taking Communion.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee will be drafting a new document to clarify its position on how to appropriately address professing Catholic politicians who defy official Church teaching on abortion, according to the Associated Press.
Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann told the outlet Biden “presents a unique problem” for Catholics in that he claims to be devout but supports abortion and its expansion.
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“It can create confusion,” Naumann said. “How can he say he’s a devout Catholic, and he’s doing these things that are contrary to the Church’s teaching?”
The official Catholic teaching from the Vatican states human life “must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception” and “from the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right to every innocent being of life.”
While this issue has certainly been raised before, it is of renewed importance to many Catholics as Biden is only the second Catholic president in the country’s history and the first to very clearly espouse pro-abortion views.
Naumann described Biden’s public view of abortion as “a grave moral evil.” In February, the archbishop told Catholic World Report that Biden “should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic.”
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told the AP there is a “growing sense of urgency” on the matter, explaining, “Abortion is not just one among many important issues.”
“It is a direct attack on human life,” he said.
If approved, Naumann explained, the document would clarify that Biden and politicians with similar views should not present themselves for Communion.
The proposal must receive a two-thirds majority vote among the USCCB’s members in order to be approved.
There are some within the USCCB who disagree with the proposal.
San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy said he does not “see how depriving the president or other political leaders of the Eucharist based on their public policy stance can be interpreted in our society as anything other than a weaponized ion of the Eucharist … to pummel them into submission.”
As it stands right now, individual bishops are free to grant or deny Biden — or any other person — Communion. In October 2019, when he was still running for the Democratic presidential nomination, a Catholic priest in South Carolina denied Communion to Biden because of his pro-abortion views.
“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other, and the Church,” Father Robert Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church explained at the time. “Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”
This week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed back against the USCCB for its condemnation of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, who announced in April the Biden administration would be doing away with former President Donald Trump’s ban on the use of aborted fetal tissue for medical research.
.@PressSec is asked about the ban being lifted on researchers using fetal tissue from elective abortions:
"It's important to invest in science." pic.twitter.com/zNczR2qEJL
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 27, 2021
Naumann said the “bodies of children killed by abortion deserve the same respect as that of any other person,” adding the government “has no right to treat innocent abortion victims as a commodity that can be scavenged for body parts to be used in research.”
“I think the White House respectfully disagrees,” said Psaki. “We believe that it’s important to invest in science and look for opportunities to cure diseases and that’s what I think this is hopeful to do.”
Have you have had an abortion, are contemplating ending your pregnancy, or would like pregnancy-related resources, please click here.