“How radical is the @USCCB decision? A Catholic can love Jesus with all her heart, oppose abortion & work at Catholic Relief Services. But if she believes government shouldn’t put women in jail for an abortion, then she can be denied Communion,” Lieu tweeted.
Lieu also argued “God’s love is not a quid pro quo transaction.”
“Dear @USCCB: Instead of denying God to Catholic human beings who disagree with your political views, you should be inviting everyone to God’s table. God’s love is not a quid pro quo transaction. Remember Agape?” he asked. “It’s no wonder Catholic membership has been rapidly declining.”
During their meeting last week, some bishops warned against drafting the Eucharistic document with the section on “Eucharistic consistency,” saying that they could be seen as partisan actors or as politicizing the Eucharist.
Supporters of the document, including the bishops’ pro-life chair, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, said that the bishops needed to call for “integrity” from Catholic public officials. Archbishop Naumann said that those Catholic politicians who contradicted the Church’s teachings on grave issues and approached to receive Communion anyway were the ones politicizing the Eucharist.
“Those who advocate for abortion no longer talk in the language of choice,” Naumann said on Thursday. “They talk about it [abortion] as a right.” Pope Francis, he added, expressed agreement that the issue of abortion is a “preeminent” concern for the Church, during the ad limina meetings with the U.S. bishops in Rome during 2019 and 2020.
“We’re calling everybody to integrity, including those in public life,” he said.
In their joint statement, the 60 Catholic House Democrats affirmed their commitment to “the basic principles that are at the heart of Catholic social teaching.” The members said they also believe “the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties and best serve our constituents.”
They referred to their position on abortion as “support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion,” and said that denying Communion to Catholic public officials who support permissive legislation on abortion would be a “weaponization of the Eucharist.”
“We solemnly urge you to not move forward and deny this most holy of all sacraments, the source and the summit of the whole work of the gospel over one issue,” the statement said.
They added that no elected officials “have been threatened with being denied the Eucharist” on issues such as the death penalty, family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border, or failing to reduce food insecurity.
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On Friday, Biden was asked about a “resolution” by the U.S. bishops to deny him and other publicly pro-choice politicians Communion - even though the bishops’ vote was not on a national Communion policy, but rather on whether to begin drafting the teaching document. Biden replied, “That's a private matter, and I don't think that's going to happen.”