“For that kind of action [denial of Communion] to make sense to a lot of people, we need to reclaim this sense of what it means to receive [Communion],” Cordileone said, citing a lack of belief in the Real Presence of the Eucharist among Catholics.
Leading U.S. bishops have noted Biden’s problematic stances on serious moral issues such as abortion, gender ideology, and marriage. USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez created a working group in November to advise the conference on dealing with a Catholic president who held both good and bad policy positions.
One of the recommendations of the bishops’ working group was a teaching document on “Eucharistic coherence.” The term has previously been used by bishops to emphasize the integrity of a Christian’s life, that in order to receive the Eucharist a Catholic must obey the Commandments and assent to the teachings of the Church.
Archbishop Gomez issued a Jan. 20 statement on Biden’s inauguration that highlighted his areas of agreement with the conference, but also pointed out that he has “pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender.”
As a candidate for president, Biden defended his record on abortion and supported both taxpayer-funded abortion and abortion coverage on a public option health plan.
As president, Biden repealed the Mexico City Policy, allowing U.S. global health assistance to fund international pro-abortion groups. He has also instructed his health secretary, Xavier Becerra, to begin reversing a rule that blocked taxpayer funding of domestic pro-abortion groups under the Title X program.
Biden also signed a COVID relief bill into law that did not include pro-life funding protections; pro-life leaders warned that billions of dollars in health care funding under the bill could be available for abortion providers or abortion coverage.
He has also pledged to sign the Equality Act, which the bishops have warned would codify transgender ideology in law and force many religious groups and people to support the ideology in violation of their consciences.
Among issues of abortion, homosexuality, the death penalty, and immigration, abortion received the most support among Catholics on the Pew question of denying Communion to a public official who contradicted the Church’s teachings.
While 29% of Catholics said an official contradicting the Church’s teaching on abortion should be denied Communion, only 19% said that an official “disagreeing” with the Church on homosexuality should be denied Communion, and 18% answered the same on the matter of the death penalty. Only 9% of Catholics said an official should be denied Communion for disagreeing with the Church’s position on immigration.
Elsewhere in the poll, 64% of Catholics said they thought President Biden was either “very” or “somewhat” religious.
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