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U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican.Twitter

(LifeSiteNews) — Catholic Action for Faith and Family (CAFF) recently announced a “nationwide, laity-led campaign” to ensure each cleric in the United States receives a copy of Cardinal Raymond Burke’s new book about distributing the Holy Eucharist titled “Deny Holy Communion?”

“Deny Holy Communion?” is a concise, powerful look at the Catholic Church’s teaching on worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist,” the group began in its recent press release. “In the 65-page book, Cardinal Burke presents the Church’s pastoral response to widespread confusion regarding worthy reception of the Eucharist.”

“Catholic public figures, such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden, have made headlines and stirred controversy by receiving Holy Communion despite publicly advocating for abortion rights and other issues at odds with Catholic teaching,” the group continued. “The ensuing confusion and scandal are another reason why CAFF’s campaign is all the more crucial for educating Catholic clergy and laity.”

Speaking on the importance of the campaign, CAFF Thomas McKenna explained:

Now, more than ever, it’s time for the laity to rise up and support our bishops, priests, and deacons, in faithfully proclaiming the truths of our faith, particularly with respect to worthy reception of communion. The source and summit of our faith, the Holy Eucharist, must not be mocked by unrepentant public sinners advocating for gravely immoral policies like abortion and same-sex ‘marriage.’

The Church’s teaching on this is clear, consistent, and longstanding, going back to the words of St. Paul. We strongly support our bishops, priests, and deacons boldly proclaiming the truth and hope that more join them. Any retreat from this teaching and practice is a surrender to those seeking to divide the Church and water down its teachings.

The CAFF further explained that as part of its campaign, “every Catholic bishop, priest, and deacon in the United States will receive a courtesy copy of Cardinal Burke’s book, a letter from CAFF President Thomas McKenna explaining the campaign’s purpose, and a reply card on which recipients can provide feedback.”

While everyone on earth is called to become Catholic, and all those who are Catholic are compelled under pain of sin to attend Mass every Sunday, the Church has always held that those in public grave sin are to be denied the Holy Eucharist.

Those in private mortal sin are likewise to avoid reception of the Holy Eucharist, and most receive absolution via the Sacrament of Penance before approaching the altar for communion.

As mentioned by McKenna, the Church bases her doctrine on this matter large on the words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26:

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

This doctrine has also been reiterated throughout Church history, as Burke himself has previously pointed out, by St. John Chrysostom in Ecclesia de Eucharistia; St. Basil the Great in his “First Letter on the Canons;” St. Augustine in “Sermon 227;” St. Francis of Assisi in his “Exhortation to the Clergy;” Pope Gregory the Great in the Decree of Gratian; and in Pope Gregory IX’s Decretals, which cites teaching on this matter found in the Third Lateran Council of 1179.