The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has created a task force to decide whether Catholic politicians, who advocate positions “in direct contradiction” to Church teaching, should receive Communion.
The announcement came in a written statement by USCCB president Bishop Wilton D. Gregory April 23, the same day the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship released an instruction document on the norms for celebrating the Eucharist.
In response to a reporter at the Vatican, Francis Cardinal Arinze, prefect of the congregation, said it is the responsibility of the U.S. bishops to determine whether Catholic politicians, who advocate positions opposed to the Church, should receive Communion.
Bishop Gregory stated that “each diocesan bishop has the right and duty to address such issues of serious pastoral concern as he judges best in his local church, in accord with pastoral and canonical norms.”
However, the “establishment of this task force is a clear sign of the seriousness with which we take these issues and continue to consider how best to interpret and apply the norms of the Church in their regard.”
The USCCB did not name task-force members, nor did it indicate when a decision can be expected.