According to the Washington Examiner, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted on the creation of a document with regard to Holy Communion that could lead to politicians like President Joe Biden being excluded from receiving the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist if they profess views that go against the church, especially concerning the topic of abortion.
The 168-55 vote during the group’s Spring General Assembly to create a document that educates Catholics on the Holy Eucharist, described more commonly as Communion.
“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,” Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann said during last week’s debate, according to Fox News.
Catholics believe that the bread and wine of Communion is literally the body and blood of Jesus and that it is “the source and summit of Christian life.” Canon law says the Eucharist is not to be given to those who deny Catholic teachings, such as taking pro-abortion stances.
Will Biden be denied Communion?
The document created by the conference will be finalized in November during its next gathering. If adopted, it is expected to include language about “Eucharistic consistency,” which could lead to local bishops denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians like Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and so many others.
The final decision on denying a church member Communion is left up to the local bishop, but the document would give them guidance to follow and use to defend such decisions.
However, the existence of the document may not impact whether Biden is given Communion, as Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. indicated that he believes it’s more “unifying” to allow Biden to receive Communion, rather than create controversy by denying him.
“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.
Only time will tell
While it’s possible that Biden could hypothetically be denied Communion as a result of the new document’s adoption, if local bishops have any say, Biden will likely be spared from the consequences of his anti-Catholic positions and policies regarding topics such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
In most cases, local bishops have been seemingly hesitant to deny Communion to powerful Catholics who tend to veer from original Catholic teachings. Gregory is not alone, and, admittedly, it would take extreme courage to hold the powerful to account in what would clearly be a controversial, newsworthy move.
Even with the adoption of a document instructing bishops that it’s acceptable to deny Communion in those instances, many believe that the status quo will continue.
In the end, God will be the one who holds the powerful — like Biden and Pelosi — accountable, and He certainly isn’t concerned with the political ramifications that seem to scare many Catholic bishops.