Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin asked the Vatican on Monday to remind Catholic politicians that they must not advocate for the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
The Providence Journal reports Tobin, who leads the Diocese of Providence, responded to a recent letter from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to the U.S. bishops. The letter, written by Cardinal Luis F. Ladaria, S.J., weighed in on the controversy about whether pro-abortion Catholic politicians like President Joe Biden should be denied Communion.
Tobin acknowledged that Ladaria’s letter offered guidance to the U.S. bishops, who plan to discuss the issue at their June meeting. However, he suggested the Vatican could be stronger in its admonishment of Catholic politicians who support abortion.
“While the [Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith] letter on the U.S. Bishops study of the reception of Holy Communion offers some guidance, it would also be helpful if the CDF would again remind Catholic politicians that it is morally inadmissible for any Catholic leader to support, promote and fund abortions,” Tobin responded on Twitter.
In June, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to vote on a document from their Committee on Doctrine “with the aim of clarifying the church’s stance” on pro-abortion politicians and Communion, the Associated Press reported earlier this month.
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However, Ladaria’s letter may prompt the bishops to delay these plans.
The letter encouraged the bishops to have a dialogue with pro-abortion politicians first before issuing their document. According to America Magazine:
In the letter from Cardinal Ladaria, a copy of which was seen by America, he recalls that the issue of a U.S. [Conference of Catholic Bishops] document on Catholic pro-choice politicians and worthiness for reception of Communion, had been raised during the 2019-20 ad limina visits of the U.S. bishops to Pope Francis. He said the C.D.F. had then “advised that dialogue among the bishops be undertaken to preserve the unity of the episcopal conference in the face of disagreements over this controversial topic.”
After doing that, it said the bishops should conduct a similar dialogue with the Catholic politicians “within their jurisdiction who adopt a pro-choice position regarding abortion legislation, euthanasia, or other moral evils, as a means of understanding the nature of their positions and their comprehension of Catholic teaching.”
Nothing in the letter urged the bishops to dialogue with pro-life groups, pro-life elected officials or pro-life Catholic groups. It also watered down Catholic teaching that abortion and the mass killing of unborn babies is the most important political issue for Catholics:
Significantly, in a comment that challenges the U.S.C.C.B. position that abortion is “the pre-eminent” moral issue, Cardinal Ladaria told the conference’s president that “it would be misleading if such a statement were to give the impression that abortion and euthanasia alone constitute the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest accountability on the part of Catholics.”
But many Catholic priests, bishops and lay people recognize that something must be done because politicians like Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are creating “scandal” for the church through their open and persistent advocacy for the killing of unborn babies.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone recently published a pastoral letter arguing that denying Communion may be “the only recourse a pastor has left” if pro-abortion politicians refuse to listen to reason and obstinately persist in their sin.
“I tremble that if I do not forthrightly challenge Catholics under my pastoral care who advocate for abortion, both they and I will have to answer to God for innocent blood,” Cordileone wrote.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, agreed that Catholic politicians who advocate for abortions are “creating scandal by encouraging others to do evil.”
And, in a column earlier this month, the Rev. Thomas Weinandy, a Capuchin Franciscan and member of the Vatican International Theological Commission, said pro-abortion Catholic politicians “are using – and so abusing – the Eucharist for seemingly political purposes – to present themselves as ‘devout’ Catholics,” according to the Catholic News Agency.
“What should most concern the Church is that such Catholic politicians do not simply hold many things that are in opposition to the Catholic faith, but they also actively attack, through the laws they propose and enact, the Catholic Church, the very church to which they claim devotion,” he wrote.
President Joe Biden professes to be a devout Catholic and frequently attends Mass. However, he openly defies church teachings about the sanctity of human life and family. After just 100 days in office, he already surpassed President Barack Obama as the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history by ending safety regulations that protect mothers and unborn babies from abortion and forcing taxpayers to fund the billion-dollar abortion industry.