Communion in Biden, backsliding of the American bishops

No national policy in the United States to deny communion to Catholic politicians who, like President Joe Biden, do not oppose abortion laws. After the tensions in the American Catholic world, caused by the decision of the bishops to approve a document on the “meaning of the Eucharist”, the episcopal conference has released a clarification text, which excludes any measure in this sense. “There will be no national policy on denying communion to politicians. The intention is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings and give the faithful greater awareness of how the Eucharist can transform our lives, draw us closer to our Creator and life he wants for us “, reads the text with questions and answers on the meaning of the text voted on by the American Catholic bishops on June 18. On that occasion, at the end of the spring bishops’ conference, 168 bishops had voted in favor of the drafting of guidelines on communion. Another 55 had voted against and six had abstained, at the end of a fiery online debate between those who asked to act “with courage” to defend the central values ​​of the faith, and those who warned against the risk of politicizing the Eucharist, transforming it ” in an instrument of a fierce partisan clash “. But now the text aims to ease the tensions, explaining that the guidelines will be addressed “to all Catholics” so that “they support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic morality and its social teaching”. denying communion to those Catholic politicians, especially Democrats, who do not oppose abortion laws, has long divided the American Catholic world. It was talked about when John Kerry was running for president, but the issue returned to the fore with the election of Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic who goes to mass and communicates every Sunday. A president, it must be remembered, to whom the Pope telephoned shortly after his election “to offer him his blessings and congratulations.” Last May, the Vatican warned American bishops that the definition of procedures for Catholic politicians was in danger of be divisive. In support of his exhortation, the Vatican also cited a 2002 document signed by Pope John Paul II and the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the future Pope Benedict XVI. prudent to avoid a fracture. Biden had always been confident about it. “It’s a private matter, I don’t think it will happen,” he told reporters when he was asked a few days ago if he would be denied communion. Moreover, Cardinal Wilton Gregory had intervened in the assembly of bishops assuring that the priests of his archdiocese of Washington DC would never deny Communion to Biden. “The choice before us – he said – is whether to follow the path of unity or go towards a document that will not lead to unity, rather it will damage it”.

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