“Thank you, Katrina. There is really nothing to discuss. To receive our Lord while stubbornly ‘choosing to disagree’ with basic Church teachings leads to eternal damnation. The rules are the same for any Catholic approaching Communion. It’s about real faith.”
This was a tweet by Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, in response to an excellent op-ed in USA Today, June 21, by Katrina Trinko, titled, “U.S. Catholics need a crash course in Church teaching on Communion. Biden gave an opening.”
Indeed, he did. When questioned by a reporter about the U.S. bishops discussing a pastoral letter to respond to President Biden (and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and numerous other Catholic pro-abortion Democrats), Mr. Biden responded, “That’s a private matter and I don’t think that is going to happen.”
First of all, it’s not a “private matter,” because Mr. Biden et al are very public persons who make decisions which affect everyone. Consider, for example, Mr. Biden‘s reversal of the Hyde Amendment in which he shares the international blood on his hands with all American taxpayers. Those who are Catholic, among others, don’t like it, especially younger Catholics who are the spiritual children of Pope St. John Paul II. They know people may look at Mr. Biden and think “well Biden does it, I guess it’s all right.” This is scandal. “Personally opposed” doesn’t cut it. Anyone claiming this either doesn’t know what the Eucharist is or what abortion is, or both.
Secondly, he says, “I don’t think that is going to happen.”
Why not, Joe? We know you’re a man who has enjoyed much privilege in your life, and we all know no one is above the law, but does Joe now think he’s above God’s law? Is the fix in somewhere? Did some dissident bishop or cardinal give him a wink and a nod telling him not to worry about it? If so, that bishop or cardinal is now in trouble. They don’t have a pass to skate over God’s law either.
But why do the bishops think they have to write a document outlining Mr. Biden‘s inadmissibility to the Eucharist? The president is the leader of the free world, who is obstinately persisting in very serious sin. He is responsible for countless deaths of innocent unborn infants. He must be called out and no one is in a better position to call him out than the U.S. bishops. In fact, they must call him out or they will share in his guilt.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco addressed this in his magnificent pastoral letter, “Before I Formed You in the Womb I Knew You,” about the responsibility of the bishop in these matters. He said, “Speaking for myself, I always keep before me the words from the prophet Ezekiel: ‘When I say to the wicked, “You wicked, you must die,” and you do not speak up to warn the wicked about their ways, they shall die in their sins, but I will hold you responsible for their blood.’ (Ez 33:8).
“I tremble,” Archbishop Cordileone said, “that if I do not forthrightly challenge Catholics under my pastoral care who advocate for abortion, both they and I will have to answer to God for innocent blood.”
I hope all the bishops drafting this document prayerfully consider this quote from Ezekiel and take it to heart. This Scripture verse is aimed at them in this, our time.
The fact is, this document from the bishops would be an act of charity and pastoral concern for the souls of these politicians.
The document can only mirror what the Church has held since the days of St. Paul writing to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). Then the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, up to the Second Vatican Council, Canon Law no. 915, the Declaration on Procured Abortion, and St. John Paul II in countless talks and documents, a letter instructing the bishops in 2004 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), and finally, in 2006 the U.S. bishops themselves wrote a document, “Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper: On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist,” where they called abortion murder.
Sixty U.S. Congress members, all Catholic pro-abortion Democrats, issued a statement imploring the U.S. bishops not to write the document “denying” them the Eucharist.
The proposed document would not “deny” them the Eucharist, it would, one hopes, make clear the situation that already exists: That by their own actions of promoting legal abortion they have denied themselves the Eucharist by rejecting the Church’s teachings. How can they receive what they have already rejected: Christ Himself in His Word in Scripture and Sacred Tradition?
In First Things magazine, Archbishop Cordileone issued a point-by-point response to these dissenting Congress members.
To speak of “weaponizing” the Eucharist is laughable. It is the politicians who have weaponized it, not the bishops. It’s like unity. Those who have broken off and caused the disunity are those who complain loudest about division.
So, in view of all this, Scripture and Sacred Tradition, some Catholics, like Mr. Biden and Mrs. Pelosi, are simply obstinate in their non serviam. Abortion, with 66 million dead in the U.S. and counting, is simply satanic. It is not hard to come to this conclusion if you consider the facts.
Google “Nancy Pelosi, Planned Parenthood” and see what comes up. The speaker of the House of Representatives is constantly being praised and lauded by Planned Parenthood, which is easily one of the most satanic organizations on Earth.
Bishops like Archbishop Cordileone are simply trying to save Mr. Biden‘s soul, as old fashioned as that may sound. Mr. Biden and Mrs. Pelosi are standing up for a great wickedness in their support for abortion. They have blood on their hands. Someone needs to tell them. Every time they receive the Eucharist unworthily, based on their very public positions on abortion, they are living a lie that has them ever more deeply in its clutches.
• John Mallon is retired as a contributing editor to Inside the Vatican magazine. His website is https://johnmallon.LIFE.