The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to vote this week on a teaching document that likely will tell Catholics who live in a state of “mortal sin” to refrain from receiving Communion.
This would include Joe Biden, who claims to be a devout Catholic but is working to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions both in the United States and across the world.
Reuters reports a draft of the document published last week at The Pillar does not mention Biden or any other politicians’ names, but it does emphasize that public figures who profess to be Catholic have a greater responsibility to live out their faith.
“Lay people who exercise some form of public authority have a special responsibility to embody Church teaching,” the draft states, according to Fox News.
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It also tells Catholics who live in a state of “mortal sin” not to participate in Communion unless they repent, Reuters reports. According to the AP, the draft mentions abortion once. The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is a mortal sin because it kills an innocent unborn baby who is created in the image of God.
The bishops plan to vote on the document, “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church,” during their conference starting Monday in Baltimore. In June, they tasked their Committee on Doctrine, chaired by Bishop Kevin Rhoades, to create the document.
Here’s more from Fox News:
Bishop Michael Olson, a member of the doctrine committee, said he and his colleagues agreed that the document should be free of politics. Personally, though, Olson said he believes Biden’s stance on abortion is contributing to the public’s confusion about Catholicism, the AP reported.
Though Biden claims to be Catholic, he is advancing the most radical pro-abortion agenda of any U.S. president in history, including plans to force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions all across the world.
Many Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders have expressed concerns that Biden’s radical abortion advocacy is misleading Catholics and creating scandal for the faith. They have said the church must do something to make it clear that Catholics cannot support abortion and must repent before participating in Communion.
Earlier this month, in an interview with the National Catholic Register, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, said the draft document makes it clear that Catholics who “knowingly and obstinately” reject the church’s teachings on issues like abortion should refrain from Communion.
Paprocki said the document quotes a 2006 statement from the USCCB explaining that “if a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to reject the defined doctrines of the Church, or knowingly and obstinately to repudiate her definitive teaching on moral issues … he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church.”
When the bishops meet, Paprocki told the Register that he plans to propose an amendment to include a quote from Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) urging government leaders to protect children from “abominable crime” of abortion.
The 2007 quote states: “We hope that legislators, heads of government, and health professionals, conscious of the dignity of human life and of the rootedness of the family in our peoples, will defend and protect it from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia. … We must adhere to ‘Eucharistic coherence,’ that is, be conscious that they cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged.”
Paprocki said the bishops likely will approve a number of amendments to the document before it is finalized.
Though some have accused the church of politicizing the matter, the bishops made it clear that the issue is about faith and their concern for people’s souls, and they are not targeting any political party or politician. Pro-abortion politicians in both parties have been denied Communion.
Some priests and bishops, however, have said they will not refuse Communion to Biden or any other pro-abortion politician, including Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., and the priests at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown, which Biden attends while in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this month, Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Afterward, the president said the pope told him he was a “good Catholic” and he should “keep receiving Communion”; however, the Vatican has not confirmed those remarks.
Biden openly defies church teachings about the sanctity of human life. After just 100 days in office, he surpassed President Barack Obama as the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history, including allowing mail-order abortions and trying to force taxpayers to fund abortions.
His administration also is fighting to overturn a pro-life Texas law that has saved thousands of unborn babies from abortion in the past two months. And it dropped a lawsuit defending a pro-life nurse from Vermont who was forced to participate in an abortion.