Why do some Catholic bishops want to refuse the communion of Joe Biden?

The country’s Catholic bishops advanced conservative pressure in June to deny Communion to President Biden, the country’s second Catholi...

The country’s Catholic bishops advanced conservative pressure in June to deny Communion to President Biden, the country’s second Catholic president, who regularly attends mass and has has spent a life steeped in Christian rituals and practices.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops vote write new guidelines on the sacrament of the Eucharist, in a challenge to Mr. Biden for his support for abortion rights, which contradicts Church teaching. The new statement will address the sacrament broadly. But ultimately, it could be used as a theological justification for denying Communion to Mr. Biden and Catholic politicians like him who support abortion rights.

The vote was a dramatic show of force by an ascending conservative movement within Catholicism. Here is an overview of some fundamental questions at the heart of the litigation.

The Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, is part of the Catholic Mass. It is a sacrament, a ritual which, according to the church, channels divine grace, which is inspired by the Last Supper. Participants consume bread and wine, which Catholics say are literally transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ during Mass.

The sacrament is at the heart of Catholic life, and not everyone can participate in it. For example, a person who attends mass in a Catholic church, but who is not a Catholic, would not be allowed to receive Communion.

There are also other restrictions, even for Catholics. For example, a parishioner who committed what the church calls a “grave sin” but who did not confess would also be excluded.

The new guidelines to be drafted by the Bishops Doctrine Committee are expected to discuss the theology behind the sacrament and the discipline of the church on how the Eucharist is to be received and by whom.

The Catholic Church firmly opposes all forms of abortion.

On the day of Mr. Biden’s investiture, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, publicly highlighted this point. criticize the position of the new president.

“Abortion is a direct attack on life that also hurts the woman and undermines the family,” Archbishop Gomez said. “This is not just a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of brotherhood, solidarity and inclusion in the human community.”

The bishops’ conference does not really have the power to bar Mr. Biden from receiving Communion. This power is reserved for the local bishops, who have autonomy in their dioceses, or for the Pope. Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington already said he wouldn’t except the president. Bishop-elect William Koenig of Wilmington, Del., Mr Biden’s hometown, has remained largely silent on the matter.

The Catholic bishops’ decision to draft a public statement is in part a sign of conservative disapproval of Mr. Biden and other Catholic politicians who publicly defend beliefs that are not aligned with those of the church.

The Eucharist has a deep meaning for Catholics, above all because it is so central to spiritual life.

All the sacraments of the church, such as baptism and the anointing of the sick, are important, but Holy Communion is the “source and summit” of Christian life, connecting someone to God and to the church, explained Father Ryan T. Ruiz, Dean of the School of Theology and Director of Liturgy and Sacraments at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati.

The conflict over Mr. Biden and abortion highlights the political and cultural divisions within the church community. While the church is opposed to abortion, more than half of American Catholics support legal abortion; a similar percentage find it morally reprehensible.

Before the vote of the American bishops, the Vatican issued a warning against drafting a statement recommending that public figures like President Biden be denied Communion.

And after a private audience with Pope Francis on Friday, Biden told reporters the Pope called him a “good Catholic” and said he should continue to receive communion.

In response to reporters who asked if Francis had told him during their 75-minute meeting whether he should continue to receive Communion, Mr. Biden replied, “Yes.”

Asked to confirm Mr Biden’s remarks, Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesperson, said the Holy See limited his comments to a press release on the topics discussed at the meeting and added: “C ‘is a private conversation “.

No. Another example is the death penalty, which is legal in more than half of the states and at the federal level. In 2018, Pope Francis said the death penalty was wrong in any case. Mr Biden said during his 2020 campaign that he would work to eliminate the death penalty at the federal level and encourage states to follow suit.

Another example is same-sex marriage, which became legal across the country after the Supreme Court in 2015 overturned all state bans on same-sex marriage.

The bishops voted for a draft guideline on the Eucharist. The Bishops Committee on Doctrine will now come up with wording that can be amended and debated at the next bishops’ conference meeting in November, when there may be a formal vote.

Jason horowitz and Katie rogers contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Why do some Catholic bishops want to refuse the communion of Joe Biden?
Why do some Catholic bishops want to refuse the communion of Joe Biden?
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