The US bishops approved a document that could deny communion to President Joe Biden for supporting abortion.
The text promoted by the conservative sectors requires the approval of the Vatican.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved this Wednesday by a majority a document with which the most conservative prelates could deny communion to the president, Joe Biden, and other elected public officials, after the support that some of them have given to the abortion.
The text, adopted by 222 votes in favor, eight against, and three abstentions, requires first having the approval of the Vatican before it is put into practice and involving any official of the government elected in the polls tells the CNN.
The document, made up of several articles, among which one describes the meaning of communion and who can receive it, leaves the decision of whether or not to offer this sacrament to the bishops and archbishops, rather than to impose a mandatory policy at the national level.
Before the vote took place, the Archbishop of Kansas City, Joseph Naumann, one of the principal architects of the document, has indicated that it is the responsibility of the bishops “to take care of the souls of politicians,” who, although they are recognized Given the difficulties they face, Church leaders need not “fear” to make them see how “serious” this question of abortion is.
The document does not identify Biden or other politicians by name, though it does say at one point: “Laypeople who exercise some form of public authority have a special responsibility to embody the teaching of the Church .” It also asks Catholics to examine their consciences and make sure they are in harmony with the teachings of the Church. It says that bishops have a “special responsibility” to respond to situations “that involve public actions at odds with the communion. visible of the Church and the moral law. “
In recent months, Biden and other leading figures such as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, have been questioned by the most conservative sectors of the American Catholic Church for their position in favor of abortion, even going so far as to consider the possibility that the head of the White House could be excommunicated.
Biden, who had the support of Pope Francis himself a weeks ago during their meeting at the Vatican, “is a good Catholic who must continue to receive communion,” he already knows that he has the open doors of the churches of the archdiocese of Washington, as his Archbishop Wilton Gregory said.
Biden, the first Catholic president since John F. Kennedy, has said he is personally opposed to abortion but supports a woman’s right to choose. She is committed to protecting abortion rights from increasingly restrictive laws enacted by some states, such as Texas’s recently passed.
About 55% of Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to 59% of the general population, according to a Pew Research poll conducted in April.
The debate has sown further discord in the Church’s struggle to retain its members. According to a Gallup poll conducted in March, nearly 20% of American Catholics have left the Church in the past two decades, as sexual abuse scandals involving priests have emerged.