The Catholic bishops of the United States are meeting this Monday, Nov. 15, for an annual summit. They will debate, among other issues, whether or not Democratic President Joe Biden should continue to receive communion, considering that his political support for abortion contradicts the basic precepts of the church’s teachings.
In June 2021, a group of U.S. bishops approved drafting a document that would compel Catholic politicians and officials, including President Biden, to be consistent with their faith and executive, legislative, and judicial management positions.
The document in question is not addressed to Biden personally. Still, this office could take away the religious sacrament from both him and the officials who do not exercise their work in harmony with Christian principles. In this sense, the president’s position regarding the legalization of abortion would appear as one of the contradictions that the text proposes to cover.
According to Reuters, bishops intend to vote this week on the approval of this document that clarifies the definition of Holy Communion, one of the sacraments of the Catholic faith.
While Biden has repeatedly said that he personally opposes abortion, he has also said that he supports a woman’s right to choose and has consequently implemented several pro-choice proposals and regulations.
Biden has not only implemented pro-abortion industry regulations but has opposed any initiative that would in any way attempt to curb it. For example, just a month ago, Biden expressly asked the Supreme Court to block a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks.
The situation has caused a rift among Catholic authorities in the United States and worldwide, where well-known personalities and public officials present themselves as Catholics but promote abortion practices.
The bishops are divided over how explicitly the document should define the eligibility of prominent Catholics like Biden to receive communion because of political positions that contradict church teaching.
The most conservative have argued that the conference should rebuke politicians like Biden who support abortion rights against church teachings. In contrast, others have warned against using the Eucharist as a means to punish specific political positions.
Catholic Democrats have been pressuring Episcopal authorities to reverse their stance against President Biden.
60 Catholic Democrats signed a petition in June accusing U.S. bishops of instrumentalizing the sacrament of communion against Biden. As reported by the Daily Caller, most of the signers also promote the abortionist agenda.
For his part, Pope Francis, who has shown signs of collaboration with Biden, said afterward that “communion is not a prize for the perfect … Communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church,” Reuters reported. He also noted that bishops should exercise “compassion and tenderness” with Catholic political figures who support abortion.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, is the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities and one of the promoters of the initiative to excommunicate Biden. He warned that the president could create confusion among believers “How can he say he is a devout Catholic and he is doing these things that are contrary to the teachings of the Church?.”