The Catholic church has recently come to a unanimous vote in support of drafting a document criticizing politicians and officials who openly support abortion rights, including United States President Joe Biden, denying them from receiving communion.
At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB, religious leaders vote with a unanimous 168 to 55, a 74% majority on the creation of guidance that would manifest into a "teaching document." Catholic Bishops held the conference over three days in a remote location, discussing the issue.
Religious leaders have been working on the idea of the document for several months. In November, its exact language will be drafted and voted on. The final document during that time would require a two-thirds majority to be passed.
Banned From Communion
The approval of the bill would result in the limiting or denying of the receipt of communion for Catholics, including Biden, who support abortion rights. During the Democratic leader's South Carolina campaign trail in 2019 for his view on abortion.
On Friday, Biden refused to answer questions regarding the Catholic Bishops' decision to advance the resolution during his speech about the country's coronavirus pandemic status. He clarified the issue was a private matter and added it had a slim chance of happening, MSN reported.
The one who announced the passing of the decision was the Most Reverend Allen H Vigneron, the vice president of the USCCB. However, the U.S. clergy has divided views on the issue, with the Most Rev Robert McElroy, the bishop of San Diego, warning against the potential "weaponization" of the Eucharist by the document.
In opposition, the Most Rev Liam Cary, Bishop of Baker, Oregon, argued the Church was placed in an unprecedented position when the country's leader, a Catholic, expressed views opposing the teachings of the Church.
Weaponization of the Eucharist
The doctrine committee of U.S. bishops will be responsible for drafting the document now that the support has gone through. Despite the move being a national policy, it would not be binding. Each bishop can choose to enforce the communion ban on the people they are serving.
Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, warned the document serves as a confusing order for religious leaders who are now being told to deny some people communion at a time when worshippers are only starting to get back to churches, BBC reported.
Many religious leaders who opposed the document also warned against the potential effect it could have on the Church, which could become divided based on who supports the decision. Cardinal Luis Ladaria, a Vatican official, wrote a letter in May addressing the conference, warning to take caution of debating over politicians' views on abortion and Communion.
About 56% of Catholics supported the legalization of abortion in all or most cases, based on a poll from 2019. And on Friday, 60 Catholic Democrats who are members of the U.S. House of Representatives released a statement urging the Catholic Church to revert the ban of communion for politicians based on this one issue, arguing it was a "weaponization" of the Eucharist, Reuters reported.