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California Rep. Ted LieuTed Lieu's Flickr page

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-abortion Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu of California attacked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Friday over its vote to draft a statement that could lead the Church denying Holy Communion to politicians who claim to be Catholic while supporting the legal right to have preborn children killed.

The bishops voted 168-55 last week to draft a document “On the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church,” which among other issues will address “Eucharistic consistency,” referring to the need for Catholics to receive Communion only in a state of grace.

It is unclear whether the document will ultimately lead to changes on who can or cannot receive the Eucharist, but “Catholic” Democrats and their allies have already expressed outrage at the possibility of being held to their church’s longstanding teachings.

Lieu, who represents California’s 33rd congressional district, was among the most vocal. In a series of tweets, he “dared” bishops to deny him Communion, reduced Church teaching on abortion to a “political opinion,” and claimed the USCCB are hypocrites for not considering whether to deny Communion to politicians who support the death penalty. 

In fact, since the first century, an “unchanegable” teaching of Catholic doctrine on human life has recognized abortion as a “moral evil,” complicity in which “constitutes a grave offense” carrying the “canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.” 

Capital punishment, by contrast, has been deemed “inadmissable” only by Pope Francis, who changed the Catechism in 2017, a break from longstanding teaching that the death penalty may be opposed on prudential grounds but is not an intrinsic evil forbidden by reason or revelation.

Further, the controversy over pro-abortion politicians receiving Communion has never been based on concern over Catholics with moral failings in their pasts, but is about Catholics who intentionally reject the values of their purported faith while claiming to remain in good standing.

The American Thinker’s Monica Showalter responded that Lieu “seems to think he ‘owns’ the Body of Christ, which is what Catholics believe communion is, as some sort of entitlement, something the bishops ‘owe’ him. To Lieu, communion is what everything is, to a materialist at least, some sort of commodity, some consumer durable he’s entitled to, and he’s yelling that they aren’t giving it to him.”

Former Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput argues that it “give[s] scandal” for pro-abortion politicians to receive Communion by “creating the impression that the moral laws of the Church are optional … Reception of Communion is not a right but a gift and privilege; and on the subject of ‘rights,’ the believing community has a priority right to the integrity of its belief and practice.”

Despite these longstanding principles, Communion for many pro-abortion politicians, such as President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been allowed to continue in the United States. Most prominently, D.C. Archbishop Cardinal Wilton Gregory said he wouldn’t refuse Communion to Biden.

When asked Friday about the possibility of the Church denying him Communion, Biden said simply that it’s “a private matter and I don’t think that’s going to happen.”