Bishop Conley too voiced his “full support” for Archbishop Gomez and his plan.
“It seems to me that to thwart this process would be to shirk our responsibility as shepherds,” he said. Cardinal Ladaria’s counsel, he thought, “in no way precludes a serene and honest discussion on the part of the U.S. bishops on the topic of Eucharistic coherence.”
“Ultimately, it is a question of unity and love in the Body of Christ,” Bishop Conley continued. “The Eucharist is a sign of unity, and it calls all of us to live lives that are integrated; lives where our faith and our actions are consistent and coherent. The Eucharist is also a sign of love, the mission of love we share with Jesus for the salvation of the world.”
Archbishop Sample’s and Bishop Conley’s statements follow comments from other bishops.
In a May 25 statement provided to CNA, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told CNA he was “deeply grieved” by what he said was “the rising public acrimony among bishops and the adoption of behind-closed-doors maneuvers to interfere with the accepted, normal, agreed-upon procedures of the USCCB.”
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler voiced support for Archbishop Cordileone on Twitter, saying May 26: “Thank you Archbishop Cordileone... I am with you... let us be pastors.”
Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver commented on Tuesday that the problem of Eucharistic coherence is primarily “a question of love, a question of charity toward our neighbor", citing St. Paul’s warning that it is a danger to a Christian’s soul to receive the Eucharist unworthily.
Archbishop Aquila said that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's instructions to the bishops call for dialogue – which is the plan for the action item of the spring meeting.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois voiced support for Archbishop Gomez and the U.S. bishops’ conference leadership. In a May 26 statement, he noted that the phrase “Eucharistic coherence” appeared in the 2007 Aparecida Document of the Latin American and Caribbean bishops, a document which then-Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, had a “crucial role” in developing.
In that 2007 document, the bishops noted the role of public officials in defending the sanctity of life on issues such as abortion and euthanasia. When Catholic officials support these and “other grave crimes against life and the family,” they are not to present themselves for Communion, the bishops said.
Bishop Paprocki added that the teaching on Eucharistic coherence draws from canon law, which bars those who “obstinately persist in manifest grave sin” from being admitted to Holy Communion.
(Story continues below)
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