All of this is concocted.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Catholics are not supposed to present themselves for communion in a state of mortal sin.
2. Publicly supporting legalized slavery, puts one in a state of mortal sin.
3. If you publicly support slavery you shouldn’t present yourself for communion.
Pretty simple, right? Now, just switch out slavery and insert abortion.
The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson writes:
You don’t have to take my word for it. Back in 2004, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, wrote a memo entitled, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles.” The letter was prompted by the presidential candidacy of then-Sen. John Kerry, a Catholic like Biden who insisted that his ongoing, unrepentant support for abortion shouldn’t bar him from taking communion.
To clear things up, Ratzinger sent a letter to the now-disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, at the time the head of a task force of U.S. bishops studying the question, and Bishop Wilton Gregory, then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Ratzinger wrote:
Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
When these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible, and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.
As if anticipating the objections of people like Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post, that bishops who want to deny Biden the Eucharist have not taken the same stance against Catholic politicians who support the death penalty, Ratzinger wrote that “not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia… There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”
So, in short, all of this is already solved. Bishops have every right (even a responsibility) to warn Catholic politicians about the danger they’re putting their souls in with their support of killing the unborn.
But the media and Democrats are pretending that this is some kind of right wing hijacking of the USCCB. That is obviously insane. But it serves the narrative that the only opposition the left has are wild eyed radical insurrectionists. Demonizing the Catholic Church is almost always Plan A in the Democrats playbook.
U.S. House of Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), and Brendan Boyle (PA-02) led nearly 60 Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives in releasing a statement of principles, which essentially attempts to make equal the killing of the unborn with increasing education funding and healthcare.
So yeah, if you’re a Democrat you can be for killing children as long as you’re for educating them if they survive? Yeah, that makes sense.
“If they’re going to politically weaponize religion by ‘rebuking’ Democrats who support women’s reproductive choice, then a ‘rebuke’ of their tax-exempt status may be in order,” wrote Rep. Jared Huffman, a Democrat from California. (I mean, where else, right?)
Let’s be honest, if there’s something stupid to be said it will likely be said by a California congressperson first. And that’s not just because Nancy Pelosi is from there.
So, in short, I don’t truly understand why the bishops are going through with making a statement about something that is already obvious. They’re hemming and hawing about deciding whether they have a responsibility to refuse Communion to pro-abortion politicians which they clearly do. Or maybe I do understand. It’s all about cowardice.
Either they want strength in numbers before making a stand or they want it to fail. You choose.
But the media and Democrats (redundancy alert!!!) are attempting to vilify the Church. That is what I expect from them. I wish I expected otherwise from the bishops.
June 22, 2021 at 3:01 pm
Having recently read Rod Bennet’s excellent book on the council of Nicaea, The Apostasy that Wasn’t, I am struck by the difference between the courageous bishops of that time, many of whom arrived at the council bearing wounds and scars of the last great Roman persecution and many of our timid bishops today who seem to cower at the thought of being criticized by people who don’t like them anyway.
I grow tired of hearing about how it’s complicated or nuanced or not that simple. The only reason to oppose abortion is because it snuffs out an innocent life. Allowing anyone to proclaim themselves deeply Catholic or faithful daughters/sons of the church who support killing babies is unconscionable. Unity is worthless if you don’t stand for something!
June 22, 2021 at 9:39 pm
Great post. Yes, it’s all about cowardice, no doubt, when it comes to the bishops. You could throw in laziness too. It would sure be nice if Archbishop Perez–who doesn’t seem to take a stand on anything– denied Brendan Boyle communion.
June 23, 2021 at 12:07 am
I think that the most likely (or at least most charitable) reason is to have some sort of strength in numbers, although a more cynical take would be that it also provides cover for when they have to say or do things that are going to be incredibly unpopular; one can reference the USCCB statement (which no one reads) and then retreat into a “don’t shoot the messenger” posture. I’ll repress my cynical side and presume it’s for strength in numbers, which, while not strictly necessary for the actual implementation of the church’s teaching here, certainly can be helpful, especially for steeling the resolve of the one who has to do it.
However, I think the bishops wanting to push for some sort of statement on “eucharistic coherence” made a tactical error by putting off the actual document until November. Surely they had a decent notion that the vote would be in their favor. They should already have had the (intentionally brief, unambiguous and to the point- lol, yeah right….) statement ready, and once the vote went through they could have distributed it, given the rest of the day to allow the bishops to go over it, and then the next day had a couple hours for debate, changes, etc., and then a vote to adopt. It would be risky in potentially torpedoing the whole thing by means of a down vote, but it could have perhaps (for once) taken the dissenters by surprise and piggybacked on the momentum of the previous vote. Instead now there will be 4+ months of time for pressures from various groups to be brought to bear (as is already happening) upon those who are know or suspected to be weak and able to be intimidated, which will probably result in the same result as a bold move that didn’t pay off.
I suspect that some statement will come about in November, but I’ll be (pleasantly) surprised if it doesn’t have enough caveats, asterisks and ambiguities of accompaniment to drive a bus through. Time for lots of prayer.
June 24, 2021 at 10:15 am
“Publicly supporting legalized slavery, puts one in a state of mortal sin.” Does that include publicly supporting a military draft? After all, a draftee is basically a slave. He has to do what he is told, regardless of his consent, and even his life is an asset that may be sacrificed by those who have authority over him.
Sorry, but slavery is not the worst or most obvious mortal sin, except as seen through the lens of the Zeitgeist. That’s not to say it is good, any more than polygamy is good, but neither is condemned in Scripture, whereas murder actually is. It might be noted that a slave can be freed much more easily than a murder victim can be restored to life.
Maybe your example should be usury instead. Oh, wait; they Zeitgeist says that usury is no longer a sin. (Capitalism is not the same as having private property; capitalism is about making loans that most or all of the doctors and fathers of the Church would have called usury.)
June 24, 2021 at 1:19 pm
That is actually my point.
June 24, 2021 at 11:06 am
It used to be asked, “How does the Church make a bishop?” And the answer was, “First, you select a priest, then you remove his spine…”
Woe be to those bishops who are obedient to Caesar, rather than Christ!