The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has voted to proceed with drafting a formal statement on the meaning of communion, which will include whether President Biden and other politicians should be denied the rite based on their stance on abortion.
The action item for the committee on doctrine to start a teaching document on the Holy Eucharist passed 168-55, with six bishops abstaining from the vote, the USCCB announced Friday.
The document will be up for debate, subject to amendments and voted on at the group’s next meeting in November.
When asked at a press conference on Thursday following the vote if Biden, who is only the second Catholic president, should be able to receive communion, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, said, “I can’t answer that question.”
“We will be looking at that whole issue of eucharistic consistency. … When you look at cannon law, that is a decision of his bishop,” he added.
Church law doesn’t allow for national policies, so even if, following the release of the teaching document, the USCCB votes to deny pro-abortion rights politicians communion, it would need approval from the Vatican, which is highly unlikely.
The USCCB has been criticized for possibly rushing the vote and crafting of the teaching document in order to have it finished ahead of the 2022 election.
“I don’t think it’s being rushed, I think this is kind of a typical length of time for a… (Read more)