Why Catholic Bishops Are Right About Joe Biden and Communion


Since the American Catholic bishops announced their decision to publish a teaching document on the reception of Holy Communion, news and social media sites have been teeming with outrage.

The backlash is the product of the belief that the teachings of the church must adapt to avoid being controversial in modern times.

The plethora of uninformed reactions is disturbing, alluding to the larger problem of uninformed Catholics. When 69% of American Catholics do not believe in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and 59% support abortion, it is not surprising that they are irritated by the age-old teachings of the church on good reception. of the Son of God.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Made headlines with his Tweeter, “Instead of denying God to Catholic human beings who do not agree with your political views, you should invite everyone to God’s table. The love of God is not a quid pro quo transaction. Do you remember Agape? It is no wonder that the number of Catholic members is declining rapidly.

Wajahat Ali, columnist for the Daily Beast, tweeted in the same way, “The American Catholic Church is doing everything possible to get people to leave the Church. Interesting marketing strategy.

The tweets demonstrate a misconception that the new teaching document was a vicious ploy to discriminate against political enemies in the communion line, and that the Catholic Church should sell itself to the whims of the time. These ideas couldn’t be further from the truth.

Good reception of the Son of God

Church clarification stems from a desire to prevent recipients of Communion from endangering their immortal souls. President Joe Biden’s frequent references to his Catholicism have shed light on his public portrayal of the faith, making him a central example of this issue.

Biden scandalized and confused many worshipers by continuing to receive Holy Communion while supporting abortion, which the church considers a grave sin.

Recognizing the need to clarify this question, the bishops fulfilled their pastoral role by proposing an educational document on the pre-existing doctrine concerning Holy Communion. Doctrine would remind Catholics that they must be in a state of grace to be spiritually prepared to meet our Lord in the sacrament of Holy Communion.

According to the teachings of the church, those who do not receive Communion in a state of grace commit a mortal sin, which is eternally condemnable if not confessed in the sacrament of penance before death.

In this context, priests render service to Catholics like Biden when they refuse to give them Communion, as they ensure that these people do not commit the additional serious sin of sacrilege.

It shouldn’t be shocking or inflammatory. Yet the outrage that followed the bishops’ declaration was deafening.

The bishops supporting the document were seen as ultra-conservative passive, as if their political ideologies had something to do with their defense of Church doctrine.

Phrases like “abortion litmus test” grabbed the headlines, suggesting that political views on abortion motivated the statement rather than Catholic teaching that it is a serious sin.

Attacks on so-called “traditional” Catholicism are not new to the American political landscape, where Catholics who follow the teachings of their faith are increasingly seen as incompatible with public life.

John F. Kennedy was confronted with anti-Catholic bigotry in the 1960 presidential election. His famous speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association ultimately changed the course of his campaign when he emphasized his role as a American rather than his Catholic identity and the importance of separating Church and State.

Katrina Trinko:American Catholics need a crash course in Church teaching on communion. Biden gave an opening.

However, not all Catholics are quick to choose politics over the tenets of their faith, and many are persecuted for this.

The process of appointing Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett exposed the anti-Catholic bias that permeates American society. Barrett was examined and discriminated against on the basis of the belief that her allegiance to the Catholic faith would be mutually exclusive with her duty as a judge. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Commented during Barrett’s confirmation hearing: “Dogma lives loudly in you, and it is concerning.”

What is more concerning than Barrett’s right to follow the promises of his baptism is the pernicious attempt to rename Catholicism according to the times.

Chameleon Catholics despise tradition

Feinstein, Lieu and others reinforce this idea that to be Catholic in the modern world we have to adapt. We have to make the church awake and attractive, so that it is a more comfortable organization to be a part of.

Dear @USCCB“, Lieu tweeted,” I am Catholic and I support: – Contraception – A woman’s right to choose – Infertility treatment – The right of people to divorce – The right to same-sex marriage. Next time I go to church, I challenge you to deny me Communion.

As social issues such as these reign supreme in cultural wars, Catholics are required to board the train or to step aside altogether.

Lieu’s tweet leaves no doubt about his allegiance and raises the question of why he remains in a faith with which he fundamentally disagrees on almost every issue. Yet Lieu not only retains the title of Catholic, but like many others, he seeks to change the church so that it corresponds to his way of life and to the ideas of the time.

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Forgotten by Lieu and others are the Catholics of centuries past. The early Christian martyrs suffered barbaric deaths rather than bow to false gods or false religions.

Do modern Catholics remember Saint Thomas More, who renounced the Chancellery of England because of his refusal to tolerate the divorce and remarriage of King Henry VIII? Do they remember when More, a hero of conscience, went to his death because he refused to recognize Henry VIII as head of the Catholic Church in England?

Boyda and Wheatley:Was my vote a sin? Bad question: churches should unite and not divide the faithful.

What would the church be like today without individuals courageous enough to stand up for their faith despite the rejection of their time?

They understood Christ’s words: “If the world hates you, know that it hated me before you did. … Because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, that’s why the world hates you. “

They recognized the selflessness and suffering required of all Catholics who aspire to perfection in Christ. Even if they failed because of human weakness, the power of the sacraments would heal their sin and put them back on the right track.

More importantly, they knew enough to see above the whims of their generations, and that worshiping a golden calf may please multitudes for days, but God’s righteousness is everlasting.

They knew that faith should not be modeled on unstable times. Why not us ?

Theresa Olohan is an Opinion member of the USA Today Editorial Board. Follow her on Twitter: @olohan_theresa


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