.- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet in Denver today to begin its semi-annual retreat, during which a task force, created to address questions about politicians and the Eucharist, is expected to present a report. The debate about whether Catholic politicians, who support legislation that is counter to Catholic Church teaching, should receive the sacrament of the Eucharist has made headlines for several months.
Though the response has been varied, the issue has received significant attention from several bishops, who have written and spoken about the significance of receiving the Eucharist and the state in which a Catholic should be to receive it.
Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo is one such bishop. As early as April, the bishop said that Catholics, who are personally opposed to abortion, but whose public words and actions demonstrate otherwise, should refrain from receiving Holy Communion.
Catholics, who wish to receive Communion, must understand that they must be without serious sin and in agreement with the teachings of the Church, he said.
The Associated Press reported that Bishop Aquila believes there is a lack of understanding about what it means to be Catholic. He said bishops have not taught about the implications of receiving Communion clearly.
Many other bishops have urged pro-abortion Catholic politicians to abstain voluntarily from taking Communion.
In May, a Colorado bishop told parishioners not to take Communion if they vote for politicians who support legislation that is counter to Church teachings.
Other bishops have said they would not deny Communion to pro-choice politicians.