Ok, it’s time.
I have been simultaneously working towards this and dreading it.
The obligatory Biden and the Bishops post.
Backstory: If you haven’t been consumed by the media on this, here’s the story: The USCCB, or US Conference of Catholic Bishops, voted last week on whether or not to draft a document on the Eucharist.
Sounds harmless right?
See, some of the bishops are angling for this to specifically state that politicians who “support abortion” be denied Communion. The main focus of this appears to be on President Biden because he is not trying to destroy Roe v Wade or the Hyde Amendment, but with the added benefit of ruining Nancy Pelosi as well, who is more outspoken about using other means to slow the abortion rate.
The concern about this is intense enough that the Cardinal in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith warned the bishops not to deny Biden communion, and Pope Francis hinder warned against drafting the Eucharist document stating that it would cause too much division.
Well, the bishops disobedience has in fact caused the exact division that Pope Francis was worried about. I have seen more hateful vitriol in the last few days than I have seen in the past 6 months. Every Catholic group has the same thread in a different level of anger(depending on the group.)
Catholic democrats, like myself, feel abandoned and like the Church doesn’t understand us, which is nothing new for us, but it still hurts.
Republicans, on the other hand, are angry that these crazy democrats do not believe the Eucharist is sacred and that baby-killers should be allowed to receive.
This is so not okay!
This is exactly what Pope Francis warned against, and exactly why the Bishops should have conducted themselves in obedience to their leadership.
Our country is already fraught dangerously close to, or surpassing schism, and the Bishops refusal to heed the pain of that division is irresponsible at best.
That being said, we don’t know what the document says. Based on my research, the bishops can’t create a blanket rule to forbid Communion to any democrat politician without a unanimous vote, or 2/3 vote and papal approval. Given the state of the Bishops vs the Pope right, that one would be a definite no, and I highly doubt a unanimous vote when the Bishops already clash so severely.
Okay, now for my stance with this whole situation.
First of all, there is precedence in the Church for denying communion to someone who is publicly advocating for, or committing a mortal sin. I am not a huge fan of this, but I can see how there could be a situation where it is necessary so I’m not going to argue that for now.
Secondly, I think the memes talking about how everyone should be allowed to receive Communion are a little complicated because some are not written by Catholics, and Catholics believe you have to go to confession(with true contrition and desire to change) before receiving if you are in mortal sin. Some other denominations do not share this belief, so their posts don’t quite work for the Catholics here. However, I do think that the Catholics being hateful about what the other denominations are saying is completely uncalled for and inappropriate, and a glaring sign of how little we try to understand other perspectives.
Third, the biggest thing that drives me crazy about this is it all centers around Biden. The reason that drives me crazy is because people talk about him like he is advocating abortion, or worse actually committing them himself. Biden has said that he is pro-life, but believes he cannot force his beliefs on others. For a Democrat to say even that, is a huge deal, and what’s more is he has suffered for that stance. He has talked about never having really fit in with the democrats because of his pro-life views, but not fitting with republicans for other reasons. I don’t know if you have ever felt caught between two sides like that, but especially with as divided as these lines are, that is an extremely painful place to be.
To understand why this is so important, we need to talk about what makes something a mortal sin:
1: It has to be grievously wrong
2: We must know it is grievously wrong
3: We must fully consent to it
There are so many complicated pieces to laws and how it impacts different people, that, in my opinion, it would be incredibly difficult to know if Biden is in mortal sin, or if he is just trying to figure out the right thing to do for everyone. That doesn’t mean I’m saying he is right or wrong, just that he may very well be trying, in which case it would not be a mortal sin, possibly not even a sin at all.
Now here is the biggest set of problems I have with this whole situation. If the bishops were to blanket ban all politicians who are in mortal sin from receiving the Eucharist:
1. I do not believe for one second they would ban the Republicans who advocate torture, racism, injustice towards the working people, capital punishment, or any number of other intrinsic evil that the Republicans have been supporting. If they do the ban, it’s not about sin, it’s about excluding Democrats.
2. If they banned Biden, they would effectively be saying that there is not room for conscience in Catholic decisions about law and we should follow popular Catholic belief over our own reason.
3. The division this has already caused is extreme, there is a huge chasm in the Catholic Church right now, with members leaving like crazy because they don’t recognize Christ in the Church that advocates Trumpism, cruelty towards children, and sex abuse. As much as many Catholics want to judge them for being “weak,” the Catholic Church is a confusing place to be in right now.
So anyway, obviously my thoughts are still pretty everywhere on this, but here’s my thoughts, for now, thought there are a million more official arguments, and better descriptions. let loose the stones if you will, but I will be praying for everyone who reads this.
Basically, I write this for those of you who are hurting, I’m here with you, struggling, we have reason to hope it will be okay, but I know right now this has made so many feel it is ok to treat us even worse than they were. I’m here for you. If you need to talk, feel free to message me, or if you just need to feel safe, be here, or on any of my pages. ♥️ I’ll be here for you.
You belong here.