After much speculation that pro-choice politicians would be denied Communion, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has clarified that no such ban will occur.
Several weeks ago, the USCCB approved a draft document on the Eucharist during its General Assembly from June 16-18.
At the time, the document was opposed by Catholic House Democrats, who saw it as a means to bar pro-choice Catholic politicians, such as President Joe Biden, from receiving Communion. As Christian Headlines previously reported, one House Democrat, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), even warned that the Catholic Church could lose its tax-exempt status for the document’s approval.
Last week, however, the USCCB published a question-and-answer document, which included a statement clarifying that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot,” The Christian Post reports.
“The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons,” the statement says. “It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate,” it added.
Additionally, the body of bishops asserted that “… bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Communion.”
The bishops further contended that “There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness of the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life [H]e wants for us.”
Despite refraining from banning pro-abortion politicians from participating in Holy Communion, the Q&A document implored all Catholics to support pro-life policies.
“Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teachings,” the document read.
When asked why the USCCB decided to clarify the meaning of the Eucharist at this time, the group explained that “For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful.”
For that reason, the bishops have launched a “multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project,” with the document on the Eucharist as the groundwork for the effort.
Photo courtesy: Robert Cheaib/Pixabay
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.