U.S. Catholic bishops may decide when they meet in June to toughen their stances on Catholic politicians who public support abortion – politicians like President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine will be drafting a document that will reaffirm their position on abortion, and how to clarify their stance on how to handle Catholic politicians in open defiance of the Church teaching on abortion, according to The Associated Press.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, who is the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has publicly and repeatedly denounced Biden for supporting abortion, going as far to say the president “should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic.”
“Because President Biden is Catholic, it presents a unique problem for us,” Naumann told AP. “It can create confusion. … How can he say he’s a devout Catholic and he’s doing these things that are contrary to the church’s teachings?”
Naumann said the document, which the committee is preparing at the request of USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, will clarify the official position of the USCCB that any Catholic politician who supports legalized abortion should not take or receive Communion. It must recieve a two-thirds majority vote from the bishop for it to be approved.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco expressed support for the proposed USCCB statement, telling the AP “there’s a growing sense of urgency” surrounding the issue. “Abortion is not just one among many important issues. … It’s a direct attack on human life.”
“They need to understand the scandal that is caused when they say they are faithfully Catholic and yet oppose the church on such a basic concept,” he said.
However Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego has a different view on this issue, saying in February, “I do 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 weaponization of the Eucharist… to pummel them into submission.”
Former Cardinal Archbishop of St Louis Raymond Burke has pushed for the possibility of the Church’s ultimate sanction. He says that politicians who “publicly and obstinately” support abortion are “apostates” who not only should be barred from receiving Communion but also deserve excommunication.
“In accordance with existing USCCB policy, it would still leave decisions on withholding Communion up to individual bishops,” the AP reported. “In Biden’s case, the top prelates of the jurisdictions where he frequently worships – Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware, and Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. – have made it clear that they welcome Biden to recieve Communion at churches they oversee.”
A Catholic priest in South Carolina refused Holy Communion to Joe Biden because of his pro-abortion views.
“The Rev. Robert Morey said Monday that the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate attended Mass at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence and was refused the sacrament because any ‘public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching,'” according to USA Today.
“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to Former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey said. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other, and the Church. Our actions should reflect that.”
As “a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care, and I must do so even in the most difficult situations. I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers,” Morey added at the time.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dismissed concerns raised by USCCB regarding Biden’s pro-abortion policies.
EWTN reporter Owen Jensen asked Psaki to clarify the White House’s response to the recent rebuke from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops towards President Joe Biden for his decision to reverse former President Donald Trump’s ban on using aborted babies for taxpayer funded research
The bishops described the president’s decision as “deeply offensive to millions of Americans,” who object to their tax dollars being “used for research that collaborates with an industry built on the taking of innocent lives.”
“Look, I think the White House respectfully disagrees,” Psaki replied. “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>”