A top cardinal warned U.S. Catholic bishops to be cautious before moving ahead with a plan to rebuke President Joe Biden for publicly receiving communion despite his abortion agenda.
The Associated Press reported in late April that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will hold a national meeting in June where the bishops will decide whether to tell the president, and other high profile Catholic politicians, not to receive Communion at mass if they continue to publicly advocate for abortion.
Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, downplayed the need for such a policy in a May 7 letter to USCCB president Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles viewed by the the Catholic News Service.
Any new policy “requires that dialogue occurs in two stages: first among the bishops themselves, and then between bishops and Catholic pro-choice politicians within their jurisdictions,” Ladaria wrote, the publication reported.
The cardinal pushed the bishops not to move forward with any decision on this matter without unanimous support, warning that it could become “a source of discord rather than unity within the episcopate and the larger church in the United States.”
Ladaria also said that it would be “misleading” to indicate that abortion and euthanasia are “the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest level of accountability on the part of Catholics.”
The cardinal also said that discussion of the matter “would best be framed within the broad context of worthiness for the reception of holy Communion on the part of all the faithful, rather than only one category of Catholics, reflecting their obligation to conform their lives to the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ as they prepare to receive the sacrament.”
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“Every effort should be made to dialogue with other episcopal conferences as this policy is formulated in order both to learn from one another and to preserve unity in the universal church,” Ladaria said.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone recently warned pro-abortion Catholic public figures not to receive communion at mass if they find that they “are unwilling or unable to abandon” their “advocacy for abortion” in a lengthy document titled “Before I Formed You In The Womb, I Knew You.”
“If you find that you are unwilling or unable to abandon your advocacy for abortion, you should not come forward to receive Holy Communion,” the archbishop told Catholic public figures. “To publicly affirm the Catholic faith while at the same time publicly rejecting one of its most fundamental teachings is simply dishonest.”
Pastors have a responsibility to Catholic public figures to “call them to conversion and to warn them that if they do not amend their lives they must answer before the tribunal of God for the innocent blood that has been shed,” Cordileone said.
The archbishop said that this correction begins with “private conversations between the erring Catholic and his or her parish priest or bishop,” but noted that the “sad truth” is that these private conversations often make no change, “thus leaving it easy for the individual to continue participating fully in the life of the Church” and causing scandal to other Catholics.
“Because we are dealing with public figures and public examples of cooperation in moral evil, this correction can also take the public form of exclusion from the reception of Holy Communion,” Cordileone wrote. “When other avenues are exhausted, the only recourse a pastor has left is the public medicine of temporary exclusion from the Lord’s Table.”
This is a bitter medicine, but the gravity of the evil of abortion can sometimes warrant it,” he said.
LifeNews Note: Mary Margaret Olohan writes for Daily Caller. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience.