The Vatican has warned conservative American bishops to curb their pressure to deny communion to politicians who support abortion rights, including President Joe Biden, the second White House leader to be a practicing Catholic. The New York Times writes it. However, the American bishops insist and are expected to impose a debate and perhaps a vote on the matter in a virtual conference that begins on Wednesday and that could create a furrow between the Holy See and the US Catholic Church.
The bishops who want to dictate the hard line
The initiative is being carried out by some bishops, aligned with former President Donald Trump, who want to reaffirm the centrality of the opposition to abortion in the Catholic faith by dictating a hard line. Among them is Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the US bishops’ conference, which the pontiff has never promoted to the rank of cardinal.
The position of the Vatican
“The concern in the Vatican is not to use access to the Eucharist as a political weapon,” Antonio Spadaro, director of Civiltà Cattolica, a Jesuit very close to the pontiff, told the NYT. Pope Francis said this month that communion “is not the reward of the saints but the bread of sinners”. And Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote a letter to the American bishops warning them that a vote on this issue could “become a source of discord rather than unite the episcopate and enlarge the church in the United States.