San Francisco, Calif., Oct 30, 2021 / 10:50 am
In just two weeks, the bishops of the United States will come together to debate and vote on a teaching document about “Eucharistic coherence.”
The term comes from the 2007 Aparecida document of the Latin American bishops, which used it to explain why public servants such as government officials and health care workers who act to encourage “abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and the family” cannot receive Holy Communion.
A chief architect of Aparecida was the then-Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who now as Pope Francis rightly reminds us bishops to think and speak as pastors, not as politicians: It is souls that are at stake, not elections. Lost sheep are to be lovingly called to return to the fold, not angrily denounced in the way that would imitate so much of the animosity of our political culture.
As I approach these next few weeks, I am struck less with the conflicts the media likes to project than with the deeply reinforcing unity of Church teaching, grounded in the Catholic sacramental sense.