US Catholic bishops OK steps toward possible rebuke of Biden

Biden brushes off bishops’ move that could BLOCK him and other Catholic politicians from receiving Communion if they support abortion

  • President Joe Biden dismissed concerns Friday that US Catholic bishops would block him from receiving communion
  •  ‘That’s a private matter, and I don’t think that’s going to happen,’ he told reporters Friday at the White House
  • It follows a meeting of U.S. Catholic Bishops that moved towards stopping Biden taking Communion  
  • U.S. Catholic bishops approved the drafting of a ‘teaching document’ 
  • Many of them hope it will rebuke Catholic politicians for receiving Communion
  • The result of the vote – 168 in favor and 55 against – was announced Friday 
  • Supporters of the measure said a strong rebuke of Biden was needed because of his recent actions protecting and expanding abortion access 
  • As a result of the vote, the USCCB´s doctrine committee will draft a statement on the meaning of Communion in the life of the church 
  • Bishop Donald Hying of Madison said people are confused Catholic politicians are pushing ‘the most radical pro-abortion agenda in history’

President Joe Biden dismissed concerns Friday that US Catholic bishops would block him from receiving communion because of his pro-abortion stance.

‘That’s a private matter, and I don’t think that’s going to happen,’ he told reporters Friday at the White House when asked about a document that could rebuke him and Democrat politicians.

On Friday, U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved the drafting of a ‘teaching document’ for Catholic politicians who support abortion.

The result of the vote – 168 in favor and 55 against – was announced Friday by the Most Reverend Allen H Vigneron near the end of a three-day meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that was held virtually.

The bishops had cast their votes privately on Thursday after nearly three hours of impassioned debate.

Supporters of the measure said a strong rebuke of Biden was needed because of his recent actions protecting and expanding abortion access, while opponents warned that such action would portray the bishops as a partisan force during a time of bitter political divisions across the country.

‘That’s a private matter, and I don’t think that’s going to happen,’ he told reporters Friday at the White House when asked about a document that could rebuke him and Democrat politicians 

Biden and his wife Jill attend Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle during Inauguration Day ceremonies in Washington in January

As a result of the vote, the USCCB´s doctrine committee will draft a statement on the meaning of Communion in the life of the church that will be submitted for consideration at a future meeting, probably an in-person gathering in November.

One section of the document is intended to include a specific admonition to Catholic politicians and other public figures who disobey church teaching on abortion and other core doctrinal issues.

Bishop Donald Hying of Madison, Wisconsin, said during Thursday’s debate that he speaks with many people who are confused by a Catholic president who advances ‘the most radical pro-abortion agenda in history,’ and action from the bishops´ conference is needed.

‘They´re looking for direction,’ Hying said.

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego countered that the USCCB would suffer ‘destructive consequences’ from a document targeting Catholic politicians.

‘It would be impossible to prevent the weaponization of the Eucharist,’ McElroy said.

Biden, who attends Mass regularly, says he personally opposes abortion but doesn´t think he should impose that position on Americans who feel otherwise. He´s taken several executive actions during his presidency that were hailed by abortion-rights advocates.


The result of the vote – 168 in favor and 55 against – was announced Friday by the Most Reverend Allen H Vigneron (pictured, left)  near the end of a three-day meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles (right) also addressed the Catholic conference on Wednesday

The chairman of the USCCB doctrine committee, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, said no decisions have been made on the final contents of the proposed document. He said bishops who are not on the committee will have chances to offer input, and the final draft will be subject to amendments before it is put up to a vote.

Rhoades also said the document would not mention Biden or other individuals by name and would offer guidelines rather than imposing a mandatory national policy.

That would leave decisions about Communion for specific churchgoers up to individual bishops and archbishops. Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, has made clear that Biden is welcome to receive Communion at churches in the archdiocese.




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In this photo taken from video, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., head of the doctrine committee for the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, addresses the body’s virtual assembly

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, has made clear that Biden is welcome to receive Communion at churches in the archdiocese 

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