US Catholic Bishops to Prepare Document That May Deny Biden Communion

Headline Roundup June 18th, 2021

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted Friday to draft a statement regarding the Eucharist after much debate surrounding whether President Joe Biden and other Catholic lawmakers who support abortion are eligible to receive communion. The conference voted 168 to 55, with six abstentions, to draft the statement over the summer and present for edits in November. CNN reported that the statement is expected to include a portion with an admonition to Catholic politicians who "disobey church teaching on abortion and other core doctrinal issues." When asked Thursday whether Biden is eligible to receive communion, the chairman of the USCCB doctrine committee said the committee must examine "Eucharistic consistency." Biden, the second Catholic president in U.S. history, voted against abortion rights bills for most of his career until he dropped his support for the 1977 Hyde Amendment in 2019 and pledged to codify Roe v. Wade during his 2020 presidential campaign. 

The story received wide coverage from outlets across the political spectrum. Some coverage from left-rated outlets highlighted quotes from Catholics who favor abortion rights, as well as data reporting that more than half of U.S. Catholics support abortion and think Biden should receive communion. Some coverage from right-rated outlets highlighted both sides of the debate Thursday from Catholic bishops and officials; most framed Biden's abortion stance in a negative light. 

From the Center
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U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved the drafting of a “teaching document” that many of them hope will rebuke Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, for receiving Communion despite their support for abortion rights.

The decision, vehemently opposed by a minority of bishops, came despite appeals from the Vatican for a more cautious and collegial approach to the divisive issue. And it raises questions of how closely the bishops will be able to cooperate with the Biden administration on issues such as immigration and racial injustice.

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From the Left
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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday proceeded with a plan that could deny communion to public figures who support abortion rights, setting up a potential public rebuke of President Joe Biden.

By a vote of 168 to 55, with six abstentions, the bishops went forward with plans for a report on the meaning of the Eucharist in the church. The vote is part of a longer process, and a rebuke of Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights is not assured. The report will be developed...

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From the Right
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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted overwhelmingly to draft a formal document on the meaning of the Eucharist after a contentious debate on whether President Biden and other politicians who support abortion policies are worthy of receiving Communion at Mass. 

More than 73% of the U.S. bishops casting ballots at a virtual conference this week supported tasking the USCCB's doctrine committee to draft language on maintaining consistency with the Eucharist. A section of the document is expected to include a specific admonition to Catholic politicians and other public figures who disobey church...

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