Bishops sidestep debate over communion, abortion
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted 222-8, with three abstentions, on Wednesday to approve its first major statement on communion in 15 years. While the 30-page document does not specifically address communion for abortion supporters, it emphasizes a responsibility to protect the unborn. Some bishops have said President Joe Biden, a Catholic who attends Mass regularly, should not receive communion because his stance on abortion breaks with church doctrine. The document does not single out Biden or any other politician but provides leeway for individual bishops to direct their dioceses.
What does the document say? The statement reaffirmed a 2006 resolution that admonishes Catholics not to “knowingly or obstinately reject” the church’s doctrines in their personal or professional life. The document clarified that lay people with public authority have “a special responsibility to embody Church teaching.” The archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, said the president is welcome to receive the sacrament in his diocese. Biden said Pope Francis told him in a private meeting in Rome that he may continue to take communion, a claim the Vatican has not confirmed. His administration is currently fighting against a Texas law that protects unborn babies with a detectable heartbeat.
Dig deeper: Read Jamie Dean’s cover story in WORLD Magazine about Biden’s pro-abortion stance and rifts in the Roman Catholic Church.
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