Two More Catholic Bishops Want Decision on Denying Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 28, 2021   |   1:04PM   |   Washington, DC

A growing number of Catholic leaders are urging the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops not to delay plans to create a new document with guidance about Communion and politicians who openly advocate for the killing of unborn babies.

Catholic News Agency reports two more bishops, Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, and Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, gave their “full support” of plans to move forward with the document this week.

“Some of my brother bishops have asked to delay the process, but this would be a failure of our pastoral responsibility and a failure of collegiality,” Sample said in a May 25 statement. “It would also be contrary to the guidance recently provided by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

Sample said he supports USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez’s plans to take action on the matter at the bishops’ June meeting.

The bishops plan to vote on whether to create 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 reports.

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The plans have been met with push-back from some bishops, including Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago who recently asked Gomez to delay action on the matter.

However, others, including Sample and Conley, said the USCCB leaders should move forward with the document.

“It seems to me that to thwart this process would be to shirk our responsibility as shepherds,” Conley said in a May 26 statement.

He pointed to a recent poll that found 70 percent of Catholics do not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, according to CNA.

“Now is not the time to suspend discussion among the U.S. bishops on the question of Eucharistic coherence at our upcoming June meeting,” Conley continued. “We do not need less discussion but rather more discussion on the mystery, beauty and gift of the Holy Eucharist.”

Many Catholic priests and bishops in the U.S. recognize that something must be done because politicians like President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are creating “scandal” for the church through their open and persistent advocacy for the killing of unborn babies.

The bishops’ Doctrine Committee, which would craft the new document, recently said the need for guidance is clear because of the “lack of understanding among many Catholics about the nature and meaning of the Eucharist.”

Earlier this month, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco 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 spring, 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.