A D.C. Catholic church frequently attended by President Biden won’t deny the chief executive — or anyone else — the sacrament of Holy Communion based on political opinions, according to a statement released Tuesday.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church cited the position of Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, in its statement: “As a parish which has a long history of welcoming all, we concur with and support the pastoral approach of our Archbishop. Holy Trinity Catholic Church will not deny the Eucharist to persons presenting themselves to receive it.”
The church‘s parish council issued the statement 11 days after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to draft a document on the Eucharist that could contain instructions on withholding the sacrament from politicians show support abortion. At that time, Mr. Biden said the issue is “a private matter” and told White House reporters that he didn’t think such a prohibition would come to pass.
Days later, the conference’s leadership issued a statement walking back some of the threats perceived in the vote to draft a document: “Sadly, the recent vote has caused considerable desolation among our parishioners as well as Roman Catholics throughout the nation.”
Holy Trinity, located about 3 miles from the White House, emphasized its intent to continue current practices.
“As Pope Francis recently reaffirmed, communion should be viewed ‘not as a prize for the perfect, but as a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’ None of us, whether we stand in the pews or behind the altar, is worthy to receive it. The great gift of the Holy Eucharist is too sacred to be made a political issue,” the church‘s statement reads.
Mr. Biden also attends Mass in the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware. Its incoming official, Bishop-elect William Koenig, hasn’t addressed the Communion issue.