Our American Catholic Rubicon
Nearly three-quarters of the U.S. bishops (166-58) voted Friday to prepare a document about Catholics receiving Holy Communion. The draft will then be debated and voted on at their annual November meeting. The bishops’ conference doesn’t have authority to tell specific politicians such as Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi not to come forward at Mass (though individual bishops may). Which is unfortunate, because the Church has reached a kind of Rubicon in America.
The moment is unprecedented. Bishop Liam Cary of Baker, Oregon, had it exactly right: “We’ve never had a situation like this where the executive is a Catholic president opposed to the teaching of the church.” Several bishops – Gomez, Naumann, Daly, Hying, and others – also spoke up boldly. And SF Archbishop Cordileone (“lion-heart”) put it bluntly: “Our credibility is on the line. . . .The eyes of the whole country are on us right now.”
It’s no surprise that a clash has arisen over the reception and very nature of the Eucharist now that we have a progressive Catholic presidency. We already know that a majority of American Catholics think – if they think about it at all, since three-quarters never attend Mass – that the Eucharist is not the Body and Blood of Christ. Forces hostile to the Church are happy to cite that fact.
To allow leaders – at the highest levels of government now – who call themselves Catholics to continue to vigorously promote abortion (forget the “personally opposed” of days gone by), homosexuality, and curbs on religious liberty means that what little public influence the Church still retains is on a fast track to oblivion.