The Catholic bishops of the United States voted on Friday to draft a statement on the Eucharist (Holy Communion) and whether or not the sacrament should be denied to pro-abortion public figures including President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was approved by 73% of the bishops. The final text, expected in November, must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote.
An “attack on life”
“This is a Catholic president that is doing the most aggressive thing we have ever seen in terms of this attack on life,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City. He criticized Catholics like Biden who claim to be devout but openly oppose Church teaching.
The Catholic Church, including the Pope, unequivocally opposes abortion as a grave and mortal sin. Though major news outlets like The New York Times claim that Pope Francis is more concerned about the environment and less concerned about abortion than past popes, this is untrue. Pope Francis has spoken out loudly against abortion. When it comes to the Eucharist, the Pope has stated that it “is not the reward of saints, but the bread of sinners.”
However, non-Catholics and even non-practicing Catholics may easily mistake this comment as support for Biden and other pro-abortion public figures to receive the Eucharist. According to Catholic teaching, receiving the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin is itself a mortal sin. This means that every time President Biden or any other pro-abortion politician receives the Eucharist, he or she is sinning — unless that person has received the sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession prior to receiving the Eucharist.
Since President Biden and other pro-abortion politicians actively promote abortion in the U.S. and abroad every single day that they are in office, it isn’t hard to deduce that they are not actively confessing their participation in the grave sin of abortion. Therefore, they are not acting like remorseful sinners, but like men and women who see no issue with (and indeed, even extol) legalized abortion. Many bishops, as leaders in the Church, feel they can no longer allow this.
The concern, of course, is that the bishops’ upcoming statement could cause a rift in the Church, but that rift already exists.
Division among Catholics
Only about one-third of U.S. Catholics actually believe in the teaching of transubstantiation, which states that the bread and the wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ during Mass, though the bread and wine retain their appearance, taste, and texture. When surveyed, 28% of all Catholics were completely unaware of the Church’s teaching on transubstantiation, and likely many do not know that receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is itself a mortal sin.
Furthermore, while about 56% of U.S. Catholics say they support legalized abortion, 66% of Catholics who actually attend Mass on a regular basis do not support legalized abortion. Meanwhile, 55% of Catholic Republicans believe President Biden should be denied the Eucharist while 87% of Catholic Democrats do not.
Herein lies an enormous challenge faced by the bishops. Catholics appear to be largely uneducated on their own faith, and when Catholics in the public eye ignore Church teaching on abortion and the Eucharist, how can they expect other Catholics to follow the Church’s teaching?
Still, there are bishops who oppose denying the Eucharist to politicians who promote abortion. “Once we legitimate public policy-based Eucharistic exclusion as a regular part of our teaching office — and that is the road to which we are headed — we will invite all of the political animosities that so tragically divide our nation into the very heart of the Eucharistic celebration,” said Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego. “That sacrament which seeks to make us one will become for millions of Catholics a sign of division.”
Yet abortion is no mere “public policy,” nor is it simply “political.” It is the legalized killing of innocent human beings made in the image of God, and Church teaching on this as a mortal sin is clear. If Catholic lawmakers were advancing the cause of enslaving human beings under the law once more, would the bishops characterize it as a mere “political” issue?
Catholic House Democrats accuse Bishops of “weaponizing” the Eucharist
In response to the action of the bishops, 60 Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives issued a “Statement of Principles” with a message to the bishops claiming that “the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory.”
NEW: 60 Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives issued a "Statement of Principles" with a message to U.S. bishops that "the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory". pic.twitter.com/IeR3gSbzDJ
— Catherine Hadro (@CatSzeltner) June 18, 2021
“As legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives, we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being,” the letter reads. “We believe that government has moral purpose. We are committed to making real the basic principles that are at the heart of Catholic social teaching: helping the poor, disadvantaged, and the oppressed, protecting the least among us and ensuring that all Americans of every faith are given meaningful opportunities to share in the blessings of this great country.”
Yet, every day, pro-abortion Catholics in Congress work against the most innocent of human beings. Their idea of “helping the poor, disadvantaged, and the oppressed” is to offer them free abortions at the taxpayers’ expense. It should go without saying that killing the poor, disadvantaged, and oppressed is not “help.” Abortion supporters can only make this claim of “helping” by utterly ignoring the members of the human family whose lives are being ended by this so-called “help.” Killing the most vulnerable is not “protecting the least among us,” as they so blindly claim.
The letter also states, “We envision a world in which every child belongs to a loving family and agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life.” Yet this is impossible when actively promoting the destruction of human life through abortion. They aren’t ensuring that children at risk of abortion are placed into loving homes, but are instead condoning and supporting their violent deaths. Even if a child’s family is not “loving,” every child deserves his or her God-given right to life. It is not man’s place to assume that some children knit together in their mothers’ wombs by their Creator are better off aborted — dead — than potentially living lives that are difficult.
“In all of these issues, we seek the Church’s guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience,” state the Representatives. “In recognizing the Church’s role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas,” they write, incorrectly referring to abortion as a “political debate,” just as Bishop McElroy did. The killing of innocent human beings is a moral issue, and all human beings are inherently equal and deserving of life.
The letter continues with the legislators asserting their “right to live our own lives as Catholics,” failing to realize that they are using their lives to strip other humans of their own right to live. Put simply, pro-abortion Catholics don’t want to be denied the Eucharist, but they also don’t want to adhere to Catholic teaching.
“The Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory,” the letter states. “No elected officials have been threatened with being denied the Eucharist as they support and have supported policies contrary to the Church teachings, including supporting the death penalty [note: the death penalty is not directly opposed to Catholic teaching], separating migrant children from their parents, denying asylum to those seeking safety in the United States, limiting assistance for the hungry and food insecure, and denying rights and dignity to immigrants.”
None of these political issues carries the weight of abortion — which is the direct, intentional, and violent killing of innocent human beings. Migrant children are not being directly targeted for death, nor are any immigrants. The government is not sending money to a large organization whose intent is to kill people seeking asylum. To compare any of these issues with abortion means that these representatives do not grasp the depth of immorality and sin that is abortion. And if they are not grasping that they are participating in mortal sin, they may not understand why the bishops are having this discussion at all. It seems the pro-abortion Catholic politicians’ lack of awareness surrounding abortion, mortal sin, and the Eucharist has inspired the bishops to educate all Catholics on these matters.
What is clear is that the Biden-Harris administration is more actively participating in the moral evil of abortion than any other president and administration since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, even removing the long-standing Hyde Amendment from the proposed budget in an attempt to force taxpayers to directly fund the killing of human beings under the guise of “equity.”
It’s time for the Catholic Church to finally put an end to the erroneous belief that you can be a Catholic in good standing while promoting and funding abortion, forcing others to do the same, and thereby actively participating in the violent slaughtering of innocent children while leading their mothers into sin and a lifetime of pain.
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