The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will create guidelines on communion, which could lead to U.S. politicians who support abortion rights being denied the sacrament, most prominently the president of the United States.
Joe Biden, who claims to be a practicing Catholic, dismissed the bishops’ action. “That’s a private matter and I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Biden told reporters Friday at the White House.
Biden is whistling past the graveyard. The vote to create a new communion policy was 168-55 and the bishops agreed to study the matter and hold a final vote, perhaps as early as their meeting in November.
Pope Francis has weighed in on the matter, telling the U.S. bishops that communion “is not the reward of saints, but the bread of sinners.” Sixty House Democrats, also claiming to be Catholic, released a “statement of principles” in which they compared their support for abortion rights to some of the policies supported by the bishops that they claim are contrary to Catholic teachings.
“The Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory,” they said, urging the bishops to follow Pope Francis’s guidance.
“No elected officials have been threatened with being denied the Eucharist as they support and have supported policies contrary to the Church teachings,” they added, “including supporting the death penalty, separating migrant children from their parents, denying asylum to those seeking safety in the United States, limiting assistance for the hungry and food insecure, and denying rights and dignity to immigrants.”
Have any bishops supported separating kids from their parents at the border or denying asylum to anyone? In fact, the bishops condemned that policy in no uncertain terms. The Democrats are setting up a dishonest strawman to defend themselves.
As for their other talking points, the Catholic church does not involve itself in the day-to-day matters of the government. They render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and what is God’s to God.
Abortion is different — even more different than support for the death penalty. No one is accusing a live fetus of having committed horrific murders. And there has been a recognition in western societies for a thousand years that the death penalty can be a just punishment. Nevertheless, most bishops have condemned executions, as well as Trump’s border policies.
Rep. Ted Lieu expanded on the Democrats’ theme by calling the bishop’s “hypocrites.”
Lieu, who is also Catholic, called the bishops “nakedly partisan” and “hypocrites” over the move, drawing a comparison to another prominent Catholic in politics that has pushed agendas that run counter to the Catholic Church’s teachings.
“Dear @USCCB: I’m Catholic and you are hypocrites. You did not tell Bill Barr, a Catholic, not to take communion when he expanded killing human beings with the death penalty. You are being nakedly partisan and you should be ashamed. Another reason you are losing membership,” Lieu said in a tweet.
Mr. Lieu apparently can’t tell the difference between someone who committed gruesome acts of murder judged guilty by a jury of his peers, gone through decades of appeals, and received the death penalty, and a live fetus who is guiltless.