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Then-Vice President and ardent abortion supporter Joe Biden and Pope Francis during the latter's visit to Washington, D.C. in September 2015.Evy Mages/Getty Images

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SAN FRANCISCO, California, February 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Catholic author George Weigel  pointed out that allowing Joseph Biden to receive Holy Communion diminishes the Catholic Church.

In an essay appearing in Catholic World Report on Wednesday, February 3, the distinguished biographer of St. Pope John Paul II recalled the saint’s teaching that the “Church draws her life from the Eucharist” and brought readers’ attention to the Latin American bishops’ 2007 insistence on “Eucharistic coherence.”

“… (A)ccording to those bishops (whose number included the man who would become pope six years later), the Church’s Eucharistic coherence required that holy communion not be distributed to those Catholics in politics and medical practice who were not in full communion with the Church because they were facilitating or participating in such grave moral evils as abortion and euthanasia,” Weigel wrote. 

The scandal of Catholic politicians who promote abortion receiving Holy Communion has become more obvious than ever in the United States since Biden, who was baptized in the Catholic Church and continues to identify as a Catholic, was inaugurated as president of the United States. 

“Less than 48 hours after Mr. Biden took the presidential oath of office, the White House issued a statement celebrating the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that summarily mandated today’s American abortion license – one of the most radical in the world,” Weigel recalled. 

“The White House statement also pledged that the administration would codify Roe’s abortion license in federal law,” he continued. 
“What is the challenge to Eucharistic coherence here?”

Weigel compared Roe v. Wade to the pro-slavery Dred Scott decision of 1857, pointing out that both violated “the bedrock Catholic social justice principle of the inalienable dignity of every human life” and both upheld the “biologically false and morally unsustainable” claim that the lives in question “were not really human.”

“It is impossible to be a coherent Catholic and to affirm the degradation of human dignity that underwrites Roe v. Wade,” the Witness to Hope author stated. 

“And incoherent Catholics receiving holy communion make for a Eucharistically incoherent and thus evangelically diminished Church.”

Weigel listed a number of reasons why this “incoherence” is allowed to go on, beginning with “inadequate catechesis” and not excluding the failures of bishops to challenge the people God has entrusted to them to a “deeper conversion in Christ.” He also pointed out that Catholic laypeople have failed to “fraternally correct inherent fellow Catholics.”

The author characterized the seemingly never-ending scandal of pro-abortion American politicians receiving the Eucharist as a “crisis.”

“The word ‘crisis’ is vastly overused today,” he admitted. 

“But if Eucharistic incoherence in a Church that 'draws her life from the Eucharist’ isn’t a crisis, what is?”

Catholics believe, with St. Paul of Tarsus, that whoever receives Holy Communion unworthily is “eating and drinking damnation to himself” (1 Cor. 11). Catholics who are in a state of serious or “mortal” sin are discouraged from receiving the Blessed Sacrament. The Catholic Church considers the direct killing of an unborn child so heinous that whoever commits or procures one, or encourages the killing in any way, is automatically excommunicated.

In the past, any Catholic who confessed to having procured an abortion had to receive absolution from a bishop. However, Pope Francis waived this requirement in 2016, leading some to believe erroneously that the Catholic Church had ceased to take the mortal sin as seriously as it has before. 

The Catholic Church has never held the direct killing of the unborn child to be anything but evil. A Christian catechism called the Didache, which may have been written as early as the first century AD, and certainly no later than the second, clearly forbids abortion and infanticide. It states  “ … (Y)ou shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born.”

For this reason, such pro-abortion “Catholic” groups as “Catholics for Choice” cannot be considered Catholic but rather anti-Catholic institutions intent on contradicting and somehow abolishing the perennially Catholic doctrine on the sanctity of innocent human life. 
The Catholic bishops of the United States have been divided on the question of whether or not to give Holy Communion to such high-profile and powerful Catholics as Biden. In December, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., who, as Biden’s bishop, bears spiritually responsibility for him, announced that he would not deny him Holy Communion. However,  Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver has indicated, in effect, that he will not permit Biden “to eat and drink damnation” to himself in the Colorado diocese. 

Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, and Archbishop Gerhard Müller have likewise expressed opposition to the pro-abortion Biden being permitted to receive the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. In an interview last September, Burke was clear that Catholics who say they are “devout” and yet promote abortion are false witnesses to the faith. 

“If someone says, ‘I’m a devout Catholic,’ and at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it’s acceptable for Catholic to be in favor of abortion,” Burke told Thomas McKenna of Catholic Faith and Family. 

“And, of course, it’s absolutely not acceptable. Never has been. Never will be.”

Burke also expressed concern for Biden’s eternal good. He indicated that he would tell the politician “not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation and his own soul.”