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Tipsheet

The USCCB Will Not Name Biden As They Draft Document on Holy Communion at National Conference: Report

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

As the debate surrounding Catholic pro-abortion politicians receiving Holy Communion continues, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will reportedly not name any pro-abortion politicians as they draft a “teaching document” on the sacrament – and who is worthy of receiving it – during their national conference this week.

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As we’ve covered, the USCCB Fall General Assembly occurs this week in Baltimore, Maryland, where the bishops will convene to draft a statement clarifying who is eligible to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. And, according to a draft reviewed by the Associated Press, the documentation does not mention any pro-abortion Catholic politician, such as President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by name and only mentions abortion once.

“Lay people who exercise some form of public authority have a special responsibility to embody Church teaching,” the draft reportedly states.

One member of the doctrine committee, Bishop Michael Olson, who is from Fort Worth, Texas, told the Associated Press that he and his colleagues decided “the document should avoid any trace of partisan politics.” But, Olson acknowledges that Biden’s abortion stance has “upped the scale of scandal.”

“He’s gone on record as saying abortion is a fundamental right while presenting himself as an exemplary Catholic,” he told the Associated Press. “The issue of public confusion is really at stake here.”

Last month, after Biden’s visit with Pope Francis, he told reporters that the pontiff said that “he was happy I’m a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion” and that abortion did not come up during their 90-minute meeting.

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Last week, Pelosi’s archbishop in San Francisco, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, said in an interview with America Magazine that he “tend[s] to believe that the Pope didn’t say that, or at least exactly that,” and that “[m]any people in a position of leadership have had that experience that I’ve had, where often I say one thing and people hear something else. People tend to hear what they want to hear.”

Cordileone told the Associated Press that he’s “not expecting the proposed document to single out Biden, but he wants it to send a firm message regarding Catholics in public life and their stance on abortion.”

In May, Cordileone made his stance on the issue clear in a piece called “Before I Formed You in the Womb I Knew You,” where he asserted that pro-abortion politicians must stop receiving communion.

“If you find that you are unwilling or unable to abandon your advocacy for abortion, you should not come forward to receive Holy Communion,” he wrote. “To publicly affirm the Catholic faith while at the same time publicly rejecting one of its most fundamental teachings is simply dishonest.”

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However, Biden’s parish, Holy Trinity Catholic Church , in Washington, D.C., said in a statement in May that they “will not deny the Eucharist to persons presenting themselves to receive it.” 

“As Pope Francis recently reaffirmed, communion should be viewed ‘not as a prize for the perfect, but as a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’” the statement reads. “None of us, whether we stand in the pews or behind the altar, is worthy to receive it. The great gift of the Holy Eucharist is too sacred to be made a political issue.”

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