The American Catholic bishops have approved a formal document “on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church” which could prevent Joe Biden and other Catholic politicians in favor of the right to abortion to do the Communion. The document was approved with an overwhelming majority (168 yes and 55 no) by the US Bishops’ Conference, the Usccb. Six bishops abstained. The president of the United States he has declared that it is a “private matter“And expressed” doubts “that the announcement could be approved. Then he suspended the judgment: “I will comment on Monday, when I have seen the document,” he said. Biden is a practicing Catholic and every Sunday he goes to mass and participates in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
The reaction of a group of 60 American Catholic Democratic Deputies, driven by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, who asked the US bishops not to use communion “as apolitical weapon“. In their statement “of principle”, the Catholic demos quoted Pope francesco, when at the Angelus on 6 June he said that “the Eucharist is not the reward of the saints but the bread of sinners”. A concept reaffirmed by the Vatican in a letter sent to the president of the Usccb, the conservative Josè Gomez, on the eve of the annual meeting which began on Wednesday in virtual form.
During the election campaign, the American bishops had hinted at their support for Donald Trump. On the day of the inauguration, Gomez had complimented Biden but criticized his positions on abortion. Now the conservative wing of the US Church, with the go-ahead for the document on “Eucharistic coherence”, has targeted the suitability for communion of all those who hold public office and support legislation in favor of termination of pregnancy, euthanasia , same-sex unions.
Among those opposed to the document, the cardinal Blaise Cupich of Chicago, close to Pope Francis, who denounced the “ambiguity” of the affair, asking for time to investigate the question. The last time the bishops voted on communion for politicians dates back to 2004, when they almost unanimously established that the decision must be left to individual bishops. In any case, the final verdict will be from the Vatican.
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