The religious leaders debated whether they would be viewed as wading into partisan politics.
On Thursday, after almost three hours of debate, U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly passed the drafting of a “teaching document.”The document is set to draft a statement about the meaning of communion, which will be submitted for consideration at a future meeting in November.
U.S. Catholic bishops approved the drafting of a document that many hope will rebuke Catholic politicians including President Joe Biden for receiving Communion despite their support for abortion rights. https://t.co/qf72sfufXK
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 18, 2021
U.S. Bishops on Biden’s Abortion Stance
The U.S. bishops cast an overwhelming vote of 168 in favor of the “teaching statement” and 55 against it. It was announced on Friday at the end of the three-day virtual U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Supporters of the measures mentioned a strong condemnation of Biden is needed, due to his recent actions in expanding abortion access and protecting abortion rights. However, opponents of the measures warned bishops that this action might portray the bishops more as a partisan force, especially during this time of bitter political divide all over the country.
However, as a result of the overwhelming vote agreeing for the passage of the measure, the USSCCB’s committee will draft a statement about the meaning of communion for future consideration. This will probably occur in an in-person meeting in November.
One section of the document is also intended to add specific warnings to public figures and Catholic politicians who defy church teachings, particularly on abortion, as well as other doctrinal issues.
During Thursday’s debate, Bishop Donald Hying of Madison Wisconsin also stated that many people are confused by the Catholic President who’s advancing “the most radical pro-abortion agenda” in U.S. history. He added that due to this, actions from the bishops are needed.
Meanwhile, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego countered that the USCCB might suffer “destructive consequences,” due to the document that targets Catholic politicians.
McElroy also added that it is difficult to prevent the “weaponization” of the Eucharist.
Biden a “devout catholic” proclaimed executive action to support abortion
Biden, who is a self-proclaimed “devout Catholic” and who regularly attends Mass, mentioned that he personally opposes abortion. However, he said he doesn’t think he should impose the same belief on Americans who feel otherwise.
— Newsmax (@newsmax) June 12, 2021
Due to this, the president made several executive actions since taking office. These executive actions include measures that were celebrated by pro-abortion rights activists.
On the other hand, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana and chairman of the USCCB doctrine committee, stated there no decisions that have been made at present about the final contents of the “teaching document.”
He added that bishops who are not on the committee will also be given the chance to provide input. The draft of the document will also undergo amendment before it is put to a vote.
Rhoades also clarified that the document will not mention the president nor other individuals specifically. The document will also merely offer guidelines rather than imposing a mandatory policy.