The Vatican has thwarted the plan of the United States Bishops’ Conference to vote at its next General Assembly on a document on the issue of accepting communion for Catholic politicians who take a liberal stance on the issue of abortion. On Monday, the American Jesuit magazine America reported a letter from the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, to the president of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Jose H. American pastors are being urged to back off the debate. Ladaria stresses the necessary unity of the bishops if the conference is to draft a “national regulation regarding the entitlement of corporations”. At the same time, any decision in this area must “respect the rights of ordinary individuals in their eparchies and the privileges of the Holy See.”
Thus the letter is dated May 7 and is a response to a letter from Archbishop Gomez. At the end of March, he in turn told the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the Bishops of the United States were planning to prepare a joint pamphlet on “Communion Merit” at their next meeting at the beginning of June.
According to Adaria, every document on the reception of communion by Catholic politicians should be included in a larger context and deal with the issue of the general fitness of all believers. The President of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith further asserts that it would be “misleading” if such a declaration would create the impression that abortion and euthanasia alone are the only serious matters of Catholic moral and social dogma that require full accountability on the part of Catholics. “
Dialogue in two stages
In addition, Ladaria recalls the last visit of the bishops of the United States to the Vatican in 2019 and 2020. The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith advised US bishops to maintain a two-stage dialogue in the debate about recognition of communication. The first phase should take place within the framework of the bishops’ conference and its goal should be to agree on an educational position and ensure the unity of the Catholic Church in the United States. The second stage of the dialogue should be to seek dialogue with Catholic politicians who defend “abortion, euthanasia, or other moral evils.” Next, the Bishops’ Conference faces the “difficult” task of “determining the best way for the Church in the United States to testify to the serious moral responsibility of Catholic officials for the protection of human life at all stages.”
Since Joe Biden took office, the debate in the American Catholic Church has reached its climax over whether Catholic politicians who take a more liberal stance on abortion might get a company. Biden, a Catholic, personally opposes abortion, but is politically committed to the right to it. There is a disagreement among American bishops over whether Biden might be denied the Eucharist because of his position. (Times)
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