The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will hold their annual meeting from Wednesday to Friday this week, and one of the items on the agenda is a discussion on whether or not to ban pro-abortion and pro-LGBT politicians from receiving Holy Communion.

This would include President Joe Biden, who is the nation’s second Catholic president. Should the Bishops decide on favor of a ban, they would then ask the Committee on Doctrine to draw up a teaching document on Communion.

Any such ban enforced by the Catholic Church would not only effect Biden, but other Catholic politicians, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Arizona Senator Mark Kelly.

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Not The First Time This Has Been Considered

Whether or not to refuse communion to pro-abortion politicians has been a point of contention even among Catholic Bishops.

Some are OK with Biden and others receiving communion, which is central to Catholicism.

Back in 2004, the USCCB issued a statement that said that individual bishops could deny Catholic politicians communion based on their pro-abortion beliefs. 

However, Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington Delaware, and Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington D.C., the two churches Joe Biden frequents the most, have both said that the president can receive communion in their churches.

According to the Catechism of the Church, it is taught that abortion is “gravely contrary to the moral law,” and that same-sex marriage is antithetical to Christianity.

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What Do American Catholics Think?

American Catholics are, for the most part, on the same page when it comes to denying pro-abortion politicians Communion.

In a report from the Daily Caller, a recent poll showed that 74% of church-going Catholics believe that Catholic politicians should not receive communion if they counter the church’s teachings on abortion and other issues.

The same poll showed that 83% of those polled believe that those elected officials cause “confusion and disunity.” They also said those who call themselves Catholic but advocate for views that are contrary to the church are “hypocritical.”

While Joe Biden calls himself “devout” and attends Mass weekly, Bill Dempsey, Chairman of Sycamore Trust, a University of Notre Dame alumni group that seeks to preserve the university’s Catholic traditions, says that Biden’s views and actions on some of the issues in question are, “a matter of scandal” for the Church.

The debate itself is a point of contention.

Vatican official Cardinal Luis Ladaria asked for “caution” on the debate, saying it could become “a source of discord.”

Bishop Robert McElvoy of San Diego fears it will divide Catholics further politically between those who supported Biden and those who supported Trump. He said, “The Eucharist is being weaponized and deployed as a tool in political warfare,”

But on the other end of the spectrum, Cardinal Raymond Burke would go one step further, and suggested that the church label those politicians who advocate for views that go against church teachings as apostates, which would deny them the sacraments entirely.


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