At the risk of splitting the US Catholic Church, the bishops are targeting a Catholic president who defends abortion rights.
A divided conference of Roman Catholic bishops in the United States announced on Friday that they would develop a Holy Communion statement that could encourage Catholic politicians, including President Biden, to support abortion rights,
The Sacred Sacrament of the Roman Catholic Faith, 168-55 The decision to compile a teaching document on the Eucharist came after two hours of deliberations at a virtual meeting of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference on June 17, in which bishops weighed in on the merits of reaffirming church teachings.
This week’s debate showed some of the cultural and political divisions that have rocked the church over the past few years. Over the past two decades, the membership of the US Catholic Church has dropped by almost 20%, according to a Gallup poll published in March. sexual violence the scandals involved predatory priests The members were more and more divided on social issues.
Biden is a lifelong pious Roman Catholic who supports the ability of women in the United States to terminate unwanted pregnancies, and he now leads the Democratic Party in the United States. However, many Catholics in the United States oppose abortion, believing that the fetus has a religious right to life.
The bishops in favor of drafting the document insisted that it would not call on behalf of any individual politician, but the topic of Biden’s social views was repeatedly discussed during the discussion. Biden, the second Catholic to hold the presidency of the United States, has alarmed many bishops by supporting same-sex marriages The abortion rights, the views they say, contradict the church doctrine.
During a White House event on Friday, Biden declined to answer a reporter’s question about the bishops’ decision. “It’s a private matter, I do not think it will happen,” Biden said.
Some of the bishops in favor of drafting the document argued that they were obliged to clarify the teachings of the church for all Catholics, given the inconsistency of the beliefs and actions of government officials like Biden.
“Almost every day I speak to Catholics who are confused by the fact that we have a president who professes pious Catholicism and is still pushing for a radical abortion agenda in our history,” said Madison, Wisconsin. Bishop Donald Highing assisted in drafting the document.
Opponents said they feared that after the document was written, further sectarian divisions within the church could be sown, and that bishops would need more time to discuss the issue before moving on.
A Vatican official, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, wrote the conference in May, warning of a debate over politicians’ views on abortion views, saying it could be a “source of controversy,” the Catholic News reported.
San Diego Bishop Robert McElro opposed the drafting of the document, saying the move contradicted the bishops’ goal of uniting Catholics through the sacrament.
“The liturgy will inevitably become an instrument in the vicious party mess that shakes our nation. “It will be impossible to prevent the arming of the Liturgy in guerrilla warfare,” he said.
The results of the 2020 presidential election showed that the Catholic vote was almost divided between Biden and “former Republican President Donald Trump.”
Pope Francis congratulated Biden in a phone call after his election, even when some Catholic bishops refused to accept Biden as president because of his support for abortion rights.
The Conference Doctrine Committee is now expected to work on the draft before a meeting in November, when the bishops will review the amended draft.
In 2004, the conference issued a proclamation that individual bishops may decide to deny communication to Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion rights.