How should bishops approach Catholic politicians who do not uphold Church teaching? And should these politicians receive Communion? These are some of the questions Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and his task force on Catholic politicians will try to answer this week during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ plenary meeting in Washington.
This issue has been an ongoing concern for the bishops and hotly debated in the press.Cardinal McCarrick is leading the task force, which will seek advice on this at meetings with Catholic Democrats and Republicans, who were recommended by their local bishops.
Other topics that the bishops will discuss at the plenary include: the financial and legal challenges resulting from clergy sex-abuse scandals; the current Vatican inspection of all U.S. seminaries; and the policy on admitting homosexuals in the seminaries and the priesthood.Last month, the Synod of Bishops in Rome said Catholic politicians have a responsibility to uphold Church teachings, but it did not set strict rules on whether they should be given Communion. It said bishops should exercise “firmness and prudence” in their local situations.