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WASHINGTON D.C., June 18, (LifeSiteNews) – Several U.S. cardinals and bishops have styled a proposed document on the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Eucharist and its administration to those in grave sin as “weaponization” and a political “tool,” with many stating that denying the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians would be losing sight of the Gospel.
The impassioned phrases were uttered by members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at the Spring General Assembly on June 17, in reference to the much-hyped potential document on the Eucharist and its role in the life of the Church. The draft outline and text have not been released to the public, but one subsection of the third part of the document would refer to what has been dubbed “Eucharistic consistency.”
The document itself has been since approved for drafting by a vote of 168 in favor, 55 opposed, with six abstentions.
Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, stated that the text was not intended to provide a “national policy” on “denying Catholics Holy Communion,” but rather to present the theological doctrine on the Eucharist bringing about a greater renewal and understanding of it in the Church.
The more conservative members seem to be advocating for the proposed document in order to provide a de facto national policy and to reiterate Church teaching on the prohibition of approaching Holy Communion when one is in a state of grave sin, such as when one promotes abortion, like Joe Biden.
It is surely with this in mind that numerous bishops have attacked the proposed document, with debates becoming almost heated across the computer screens on Thursday afternoon. The 55 bishops who voted against the document are not known, but from the heated exchanges taking place before the vote, certain influential figures stood out as being firmly opposed to the move.
Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima, Washington, was the first to protest against the document, aggrieved that the pro-life issue was seemingly prioritized over issues such as poverty. “To what extent is this discussion on Eucharistic consistency, really just making a point on abortion, to the exclusion of other important issues,” he questioned. “And to what extent would other important issues be considered a violation of Eucharistic coherence?”
Rhoades sought to allay Tyson’s fears, noting that “we weren’t focusing on just one issue.”
"No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24
In the lead-up to their meeting in mid-June, we call on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to exclude Joe Biden and other “Catholic” politicians (like, Nancy Pelosi) from Holy Communion over their public, obstinate, and scandalous promotion of abortion.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks the USCCB to act to stop the abuse of the reception of the Holy Eucharist by politicians who promote the murder of innocent pre-born babies.
We know that making a decision to exclude public figures from Holy Communion is not easy. But, sometimes, this is the only way to make them understand the error of their ways, and to preserve the Church from serious scandal.
Indeed, Canon Law (Canon 915) declares that those who persist in manifest, grave sin should not be admitted to Holy Communion.
Beyond that, at this point, public excommunication appears as the only suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of promoting abortion.
In doing so, we do not hold ourselves up as judges over Joe Biden's eternal soul, but we encourage the bishops to make known one of the consequences of public and obstinate support of abortion by our 'Catholic' politicians.
The fact is, in terms of the manifest, grave sin of abortion, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be before the election.
Therefore, it is cold comfort that the USCCB is only preparing to discuss this issue only now.
But even now, if the USCCB publicly excommunicate Biden for his pro-abortion stance (as well as other pro-abortion politicians), the Conference could reclaim some of the moral authority which they lost by their largely silent assent to Biden's candidacy.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition, now.
Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing orders and bills which facilitate the destruction of unborn human life.
- In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.
- Biden also signed (instead of vetoing) the COVID relief bill, which, for the first time in 44 years, contained funding for abortions in America, using taxpayer dollars.
- Biden said that he wouldn't defend Hyde, and he hasn't.
And, if he and the Democratic Party get their way, a lot more of the same regarding abortion is on the way.
Strong action must be taken lest anyone, especially young people, be confused by the scandal of a "Catholic" in Biden's position aggressively promoting abortion, enabling the killing of innocent human beings.
American rank-and-file Catholics don't want any more compromise and equivocation from the Bishops Conference on this "pre-eminent" life-and-death issue.
We want clear action, not twenty more years of dithering and "dialoguing."
50 million babies have been lost to abortion in the U.S. since Roe!
So, we will NOT accept any more lives lost as a result of dithering and "dialoguing." [**Please see "Notes" below about how it has been reported that some senior U.S. clerics are trying to prevent this discussion from even taking place.]
And, we will especially NOT accept one life lost to abortion by politicians who claim the Catholic Faith, but who promote grave evil. God forbid!
With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by not imposing public canonical penalties on a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.
The bishops are now at a crossroads and must choose either God or mammon.
We call on them to choose God and choose Life!
And we also continue to encourage those brave, true and good bishops who have done well to warn Amercian Catholics about the perils to the unborn and the Faith resulting from Biden's promotion of abortion!
SIGN and SHARE this petition, which asks the bishops of the United States to act in unison to exclude Joe Biden from Holy Communion for his scandalous promotion of abortion - the murder of the innocent.
After signing, please take a moment to CONTACT the offices of the USCCB to politely, but firmly, encourage the Conference to take the necessary steps to exclude from Holy Communion public officials who continue to show blatant disregard for innocent human life and the Church's teaching.
The USCCB's Office phone number is: 202.541.3000
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance
Biden administration has opened the way for ‘abortion by mail on a massive scale’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-administration-unleashed-by
‘Catholic’ Biden marks Roe v. Wade anniversary with pledge to make abortion available for ‘everyone’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-biden-marks-roe-v-wade-anniversary-with-pledge-to-make-abortion-available-for-everyone
BREAKING: DC archbishop affirms he will give Holy Communion to pro-abortion Joe Biden - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-dc-archbishop-affirms-he-will-give-holy-communion-to-pro-abortion-joe-biden
Vatican puts brakes on US bishops confronting problem of pro-abortion Biden receiving Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-puts-brakes-on-us-bishops-confronting-problem-of-pro-abortion-biden-receiving-holy-communion
Abp. Aquila backs call for pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ Joe Biden to be denied Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion
Cardinal Burke floats ‘excommunication’ for Biden over his ‘aggressive’ abortion promotion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-floats-excommunication-for-biden-over-his-aggressive-promotion-of-abortion
Biden’s HHS is lying about Title X to push abortion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/bidens-hhs-is-lying-about-title-x-to-push-abortion
List of US bishops for and against denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians like Biden, Pelosi - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/list-of-us-bishops-for-and-against-denying-communion-to-pro-abortion-politicians-like-biden-pelosi
Notes about USCCB's June Meeting:
For nearly twenty years, the US bishops have been dithering about whether or not to excommunicate pro-abortion politicians by formally withholding Holy Communion from them.
Their indecision on this gravely scandalous matter is a scandal in itself, but one of the biggest obstacles has been internal opposition from senior U.S. bishops.
And, although the faces have changed in the last 20 years, their morally-and-intellectually-challenged arguments against excommunication have not changed.
Liberal bishops of the USCCB say that excommunicating Biden (for example) would divide the Church, divide the bishops, and would politicize the reception of Holy Communion.
Indeed, in the name of “unity,” it is reported that some senior U.S. clerics, including Cardinal Blase Cupich (Chicago), Cardinal Wilton Gregory (Washington, DC) and Cardinal O’Malley (Boston), have been working overtime to prevent any substantial discussion of so-called “Eucharist coherence” (that is, what qualifies as worthy reception of Holy Communion).
It is also reported that at least 57 other American bishops allegedly joined these Cardinals in a recent letter to the Head of the Bishops Conference, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, to try to pressure him to drop the planned discussion at the full meeting of bishops in June.
And now, even the Vatican is getting involved, with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggesting that even more “dialogue” is needed.
These same clerics may mistakenly believe that any attempt to suppress the objective connection between a politician’s promotion of abortion and his unworthy reception of Holy Communion will fool anyone.
But, it will not.
Rank-and-file Catholics are not stupid and can smell compromise a mile away, and we’ve had enough.
With all due respect to the Cardinal, bishops, and the Vatican…those who fail to act diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by “dialoguing” with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging the bishops Conference to take action at their June meeting to exclude pro-abortion Joe Biden and other abortion-promoting “Catholic” politicians from Holy Communion.
***Photo Credit: Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Tyson was joined in his opposition by Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky Bishop William Medley of Owensboro, Kentucky, and Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Below are some of the arguments of the key opponents to the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist and the proposed Eucharistic document.
Cardinal Cupich warns against the ‘trap’ of proclaiming Catholic teaching on Eucharist
Perhaps unsurprisingly given his record on such issues, Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich launched a carefully worded, deeply rooted criticism of the proposal. He addressed what he described as the “ambiguity” of the document’s “content and context.”
He referred to the May letter sent by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), warning USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez away from drawing up drawing up a policy on giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians who call themselves Catholic. He noted how Ladaria responded to Gomez’s comments on the USCCB plans to draft a document on the worthiness of Catholic politicians who support moral evils such as abortion yet present themselves for Holy Communion.
Cupich criticized the mixed messages in the conference itself, with some bishops saying the document was more for the instruction of the laity, and others seeing the document as an opportunity to “take a position” on pro-abortion Catholic politicians. “You also do note in the actual outline specific categories of Catholics, which I think that Cardinal Ladaria indicates in his letter should not be addressed.”
“So my question to you is, would you be willing to delete from our outline and your consideration, that you’re going to focus on a set category of Catholics, but you’re going to talk about how all of us need to examine our own conscience and as we say in the Mass, ‘I am not worthy,’” Cupich said.
“As all of this is being debated back and forth, there is an expectation out there, because of what some bishops are arguing for, that we deny Communion to the president, to Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and to other people that are being named,” continued Cupich. “I don’t know how we get around that if we pass this document.”
In addition to this, Cupich made an appeal to the welcoming nature of parishes, placing such a Eucharistic document as a potential obstacle to the “regular practice of the faith,” and mentioning how Chicago clergy were trying to reconnect with their congregation after COVID restrictions. “But not a few of the pastors here in Chicago are puzzled to hear that bishops are wanting to talk about excluding people at a time when the real challenge before them is welcoming people back to the regular practice of the faith and rebuilding their communities,” he said.
His support for the document was offered on a condition based on Cardinal Ladaria’s letter and the principle of “dialogue:” “If you remove the section on consistency by which you name individuals, then maybe I would take another look at it.”
Not only that, but Cupich accused his fellow bishops who supported the document of wanting to “make statements, to do something about politicians who hold positions that are contrary to our teaching, and let’s not fall into that trap.” Cardinal Cupich did not elaborate further on why a move by Catholic bishops to correct Catholic laity over non-Catholic views would be a “trap.” Instead, he urged, once more, for “time” to be taken in order for “unity” to be achieved.
Bishop McElroy: Bishops risk losing sight of Gospel with potential Eucharist ban
Such a lack of unity was one of the complaints made by Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, who referenced the “national problem” about the question of “exclusion from the Eucharist.” The division in the conference was not one of doctrine, but merely of the manner in which to teach the faith, claimed McElroy.
But the danger of the Eucharistic document was that it contained “the groundwork for a fundamental shift in the conception of how bishops should present our faith in public discussion.” Such a shift would make the “denial of the Eucharist a significant element of our teaching office in contemporary society,” leading to “real and destructive consequences.”
McElroy predicted that the Eucharist would “inevitably become a tool in the vicious partisan turmoil that roils our nation.”
“It will be impossible to prevent the weaponization of the Eucharist in partisan battles, even if every one of us in the conference wants to do so. Once we legitimate public policy based Eucharistic exclusion as a regular part of our teaching office, and that is the road to which we are headed, we will invite all the political animosities that so tragically divide our nation into the very heart of the Eucharistic celebration.”
Attacking what he described as the “limitation to abortion” of the Church’s moral purview, McElroy claimed the proposal could “fatally undermine the ability of the Church in the U.S., to witness to Her ability to the integrity of Catholic social teaching, including the Church’s condemnation of racism, poverty, and environmental destruction.”
He went so far as to suggest that if the USCCB endorsed prohibiting pro-abortion politicians from receiving Holy Communion, then it would be adopting a “tacit partisan alignment that undermines its independence and the prophetic commitment vital to the proclamation of the Gospel.”
This was echoed by Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who warned against developing a “major teaching document on the Eucharist, which will inevitably be seen as partisan.”
Cardinal Gregory’s long experience and a ‘weakened’ conference
Highlighting his “nearly 38 years” in the USCCB, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., declared that the current times were unique in that the “unity” of the conference had been “tested” recently, which even affected the “strength of our voice in advancing the mission of Christ has been seriously weakened.”
The manner in which to effect the unity which he desires, (along with many others opposing the document), Gregory described as being “serene dialogue” that was necessary before addressing other “critical matters,” such as the Eucharist.
The conference needed to take considerable time to have such dialogue before doing anything else, Gregory demanded authoritatively. Without this “unity,” the Eucharistic document could be “damaged,” predicted the cardinal.
Gregory already affirmed last fall that he would not deny giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion President Joe Biden, saying that instead of such actions he would seek a “conversational relationship” and “dialogue” with Biden.
Archbishop Etienne: What would Jesus do?
Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne took a similar line, although with a slight twist, largely avoiding the concerns over lack of unity, and instead calling upon the actions of Christ to defend his decision to oppose the document. Describing the Eucharistic document as “enmeshed in a conversation about politics,” Archbishop Etienne hinted at avoiding any Eucharistic ban as not being worthy of Christ.
“Jesus came into the world to save, not condemn,” he stated. “This document … is enmeshed in a way … that makes it difficult to keep the Eucharist as it’s intended by the Lord Himself.” As such, and based on his consideration on what Christ calls bishops to do with regard to preserving and teaching the faith, Etienne declared his decision to oppose the Eucharistic document, in case it would prohibit Communion for pro-abortion supporters.
Cardinal Tobin: ‘Eucharistic consistency’ does not ‘witness’ to the Gospel
Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, was one of the last of the heavyweights to oppose the document, weighing in with a strong condemnation of the document: “The inclusion of the topic of Eucharistic consistency … constitutes a profound challenge to that unity.”
“Any effort by this conference to move in support of the categorical exclusion of Catholic political leaders from the Eucharist, based on their public policy positions, will thrust the bishops of our nation into the very heart of the toxic partisan strife, which has distorted our own political culture and fruitful meaningful dialogue,” he decreed.
“Such a pathway will be profoundly alienating for immense numbers of the faithful and will drive a wedge between the Church and the wider section of American society as a whole.”
Tobin appealed to the heavy influence of the Holy See over the conference, mentioning that the Holy See had raised “serious questions about the nature and speed” of the proposed document.
Should a pathway of Eucharistic consistency be developed, which would prohibit pro-abortion politicians from receiving Holy Communion, Tobin stated that it would be “out of step with the wider Church, and does not reflect the imperative to witness effectively to the entire breadth of Catholic social teachings and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Not one to downplay his opinion, Tobin issued a stark warning: Voting for the document would “produce a document, not unity,” while voting against it would permit “dialogue” and unity.
“Our very identity as an Episcopal conference calls us to vote no,” declared Tobin.
A common theme of opposition to doctrine
Somewhat surprisingly, the opposition to the document was bound by a common theme of appealing to “unity” that would supposedly be damaged by any “policy” of banning the Eucharist for those who are in grave sin, for instance due to supporting abortion.
Such a decision by the bishops is interesting ,given the teaching of the Catholic Church, which instructs that abortion is always wrong and a grave sin because it kills an innocent human being, thus violating the Church’s prohibition on murder, and that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2270-2272; CCC 2357).
According to Canon 915 of the Catholic Code of Canon Law, those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
The “unity” desired by those opposing the Eucharistic document would seem to be based on something other than the teachings of the Catholic Church.