The American archbishops will develop a text on the meaning of communion, the central sacrament of Catholicism, which could be refused to political personnel favorable to the right to abortion, like President Joe Biden.
The Conference of American Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted Thursday by a large majority (168 votes for, 55 against) the proposal to draft a text on
the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.
The Eucharist or communion is an essential rite of the Catholic faith during which the faithful receive the Host, symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
But the debates were heated, with the Vatican in May urging US church authorities to be cautious about possible measures concerning
the situation of Catholic officials in favor of the legalization of abortion, euthanasia or other moral prejudices, according to the American Catholic agency CNS.
It's private and I don't think it will happen, replied Friday Joe Biden, questioned about this text and its scope.
The question of abortion is very divisive within the Catholic hierarchy and American society, very religious. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, two in three American Catholics believed in March that the Democratic president should receive communion despite his position on voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion).
The text debated in November
The issue must now be discussed in the dioceses, and the text will be debated at the next bishops' conference in November.
Representatives ofUSCCBdenied that the action was directed against political representatives deviating from Catholic doctrine.
The document will examine
beliefs about the Eucharist, how to live a Eucharistic lifeBishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, told a press conference on Thursday.
We are not excluding anyone from the Church.
Joe Biden, a descendant of Irish Catholics, frequently discusses his faith in public and attends mass almost every Sunday, in Washington or at a small church in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware.
He overturned the decision of his predecessor Donald Trump to deprive organizations campaigning for the right to abortion of public funds and he appointed homosexual and transgender people to the government.
Joe Biden has already been refused communion because of his positions in 2019, in an American church. He then recalled having received it from the Pope himself.