Biden, Pope Francis may meet in Rome ahead of US bishops’ debate on Communion for pro-abortion politicians
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June 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) –President Joe Biden will make his first international trip to Europe for a number of political liaisons starting June 10, according to the White House, and Vatican sources hinted that he may stop in Rome to meet with Pope Francis on June 15.
The meeting would come just one day before American bishops are set to debate the censure of openly pro-abortion politicians like Biden who claim to be Catholic, including the possibility of being denied Holy Communion.
Biden will travel to Europe to attend a host of summits with world leaders throughout June, beginning with the G7 summit on Britain’s picturesque Cornish coast alongside six of the wealthiest nation’s leaders to discuss climate change and coronavirus-related issues. Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a call to his fellow G7 members ahead of the summit to “vaccinate the entire world against coronavirus by the end of 2022,” according to a June 6 press release.
After the summit closes June 13, Biden will make his way to Brussels on June 14 to attend the NATO summit before heading to Geneva on June 16 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, CNA reported. Before meeting Putin, it is expected that Biden will stop in Rome to be hosted by Pope Francis on June 15. A meeting is not confirmed at this time or have any details been released about what might be discussed.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will meet from June 16 to 18 in their biannual General Assembly, held virtually for only the second time in its history.
Part of the discussion at the assembly will focus on the approval of a document on “Eucharistic coherence,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, who also serves as the president of the USCCB, confirmed in a May 22 letter.
The letter outlines the scope of the proposed teaching document as “how best to help people to understand the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist as the center of their Christian lives,” Gomez wrote.
More specifically, the document proposes to address the worthiness of receiving Holy Communion for Catholics in public office. Such politicians, if they openly dissent from Catholic teaching in a grave matter like abortion would face strict ecclesiastical penalties, including exclusion from the reception of Holy Communion, in line with the Catholic Code of Canon Law.
The approval of the document during the assembly would prompt the USCCB’s doctrine committee to develop a formal text. “From there, the Conference’s usual process of consultation, modification, and amendment will take place as the document is presented for consideration at a future Plenary Assembly,” Gomez’s May 22 letter laid out.
Canon 915 states that Catholics who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.” According to a 2004 memo issued to the U.S. bishops by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who is now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a Catholic politician who is “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” manifests “formal cooperation” with grave sin and must be “denied” the Eucharist.
Gomez explained in his letter that “In light of recent surveys, it is clear that there is a lack of understanding among many Catholics about the nature and meaning of the Eucharist. This teaching document will address the fundamental doctrines concerning the Eucharist that the Church, as a whole, needs to retrieve and revive.”
A section addressing Eucharistic reception, titled “Eucharistic consistency,” will purportedly tackle “the nature of eucharistic communion and the problem of serious sin.” The May 22 letter to the bishops noted that “a person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself (1 Cor 11:28-29).”
Opposing any debate on the exclusion of Catholics like Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving the Eucharist are Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., and 65 other prelates within the American hierarchy who have attempted to stall proceedings, going so far as to sign a letter urging their brother bishops to disregard any notion of publicly correcting anti-life, anti-family Catholic politicians.
Gomez, however, has insisted that the proposal receives a full discussion, as originally planned.