Saturday 19th June 2021
Because of the attitude towards abortion
US bishops do not want communion for Biden
Joe Biden wants women to be able to decide on an abortion. The Catholic Church to which the US President belongs is different. Some bishops therefore want to deny him Holy Communion.
According to a draft resolution of the Roman Catholic bishops of the USA, the US President and avowed Catholic Joe Biden could soon be denied participation in Holy Communion because of his stance on abortion. When asked, Biden described the bishops’ plan in the White House in Washington as “a private matter and I don’t think that will happen”.
Biden is a devout Catholic, the 78-year-old goes to mass practically every Sunday. At the same time, he supports the decision of the US Supreme Court in 1973 to grant women the right to an abortion in principle.
The US bishops voted on Thursday at their general assembly despite warnings from the Vatican to formulate a formal declaration on the “importance of the Eucharist in the life of the Church”. There were 168 votes in favor, 55 against and six abstentions. Some bishops advocate excluding politicians who defend the right to abortion from the sacrament of communion. The draft resolution is now to be discussed in the dioceses. At the next bishops’ conference in November it should come back on the agenda.
Host from the hand of the Pope
Holy Communion is a reminder of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples before his crucifixion. In principle, every bishop can decide for himself who receives communion for his diocese. In 2019, the priest of a Catholic church in the state of South Carolina refused to give communion to Biden because of his stance on abortion. Biden had pointed out at the time that he had already received communion from the Pope himself, the head of the Catholic Church.
In the United States, attitudes towards abortion are a traditional campaign issue. Many evangelical Christians had cited Biden’s stance on abortions as the reason why they voted not him but the avowed anti-abortionist Donald Trump in the presidential election in November.