"The Eucharist itself will be a tool in vicious partisan turmoil. It will be impossible to prevent its weaponization, even if everyone wants to do so. Once we legitimize public-policy-based exclusion … we’ll invite all political animosity into the heart of the Eucharistic celebration.”- San Diego Archbishop Robert McElroy, on the Catholic Bishops' decision to move forward with their plan to block abortion-supporting politicians from receiving communion.
In a fateful (and stupid) decision Friday afternoon, conservative RC Bishops proved they are more committed to sowing political divisions in their church than ministering to their flock's desperate needs. Thereby they have ensure millions more will leave the church for greener pastures, including in the realm of free thought. This after voting overwhelmingly for a draft of a 'guidance' document to weaponize the Eucharist against Catholic politicians - including President Joe Biden. The end goal being to deprive them of communion if they publicly support abortion.
This followed three days of contentious debate at a virtual June meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The measure was approved by a vote of 73 percent in favor and 24 percent oppose. Ironically, this fell move was designed to target a president who regularly attends Mass and has spent a lifetime steeped in Christian rituals and practices.
The rubber hit the road after Joe Biden was elected last fall, when the USCCB created a working group to deal with what its president, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, said was the “problem” of Biden and his policies on abortion and LGBTQ protections.
That working group recommended that the conference produce a document on “Eucharistic consistency.” Some bishops immediately expressed concerns about the aims of such a group; others celebrated it.
Catholic law gives the power to decide such things to each bishop. The USCCB is more of an industry group and doesn’t have the authority to mandate or even teach without two-thirds agreement and approval from the Vatican, said Nicholas Cafardi, a prominent canon lawyer and former dean of Duquesne University.
But let's back up here for a moment and get heads screwed on straight. As I pointed out in my May 3rd post:
One thing none of these moral absolutists has figured out yet, before they approve their paper, is that Biden doesn't endorse abortion nor has he abortion "stances". His administration policy simply allows women and families to decide for themselves. That's what pro-choice means, letting others make their own decision. He's a secular president of a secular nation - like JFK was- so he knows he cannot impose the dogmas of his church on We the People.
Biden's religious views are irrelevant, except as they influence his policies, and people and organizations are free to jabber, complain or criticize his policies as they see fit. Biden isn't trying to teach what it means to be Catholic- but to teach dogmatic Catholics (namely these testy Bishops) they cannot dictate U.S. public policy.
Evidently, none of these sanctimonious fools have taken the message to heart, so driven are they to teach Biden a lesson. Never mind these spineless shills for the GOP (who've promised them donations) have flouted a warning from the Vatican to cease and desist - at the risk of fomenting division and discord in a church that can't afford any more.
Biden, like Pope Francis, embodies a liberal Christianity focused less on sexual politics and more on racial inequality, climate change and poverty. The conservo hierarchy, meanwhile, have their development arrested at the infantile sexual obsessive level - so exhibit only a premoral mind in their assorted jeremiads against abortion, etc. As pointed out by Ethics professor Cheryl Mendelson ('The Good Life', p. 157):
When fundamentalists insist on risking the life of the mother to deliver an anencephalic fetus they take this tendency to an extreme. People who think this way are unable to override disgust with rational appreciation of the objective characteristics of the fetus. The ability to do so is an indispensable trait of the moral mind."
In other words, the basis for a truly moral mind presumes the capacity for rationality to assess objectively - as opposed to reacting emotively.
Perhaps the real basis for this pseudo-moral posturing by the RC Bishops was finally exposed by Steven Millies, a professor of public theology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He said the Catholic church received significant financial support in recent years from conservative philanthropists who are skeptical of Francis and favored Donald Trump over Biden in the 2020 election. Adding in his comment to the AP last ,month:
"What we’re seeing now is an effort to please donors who want a church which will wage a culture war,”
This explains why these (mainly) conservo Bishops have aimed their fire at the nation’s second Catholic president, perhaps the most religiously observant commander in chief since Jimmy Carter. It also explains the bitter divisions in American Catholicism, given the schism between more rational Catholics who follow Francis and the many conservative Catholics who willingly turned a blind eye to the reckless pussy grabbing by Dotard Trump because they supported his political agenda. More morally purblind, vicious hypocrites would be difficult to find.
The Bishops' action is the latest sign of how the nation’s bitter political divisions are shaping religious life. Christians across denominations are facing similar divides. Earlier this week at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, a more moderate majority narrowly headed off a takeover attempt by a hard-right movement.
Meanwhile, the proposed RC Bishops' outline, earlier reported by America Magazine, said it would “include the theological foundation for the Church’s discipline concerning the reception of Holy Communion and a special call for those Catholics who are cultural, political, or parochial leaders to witness the faith.”
The fight comes as anti-abortion activists across the United States are emboldened and as reproductive rights activists want Mr. Biden to speak more forcefully in their defense. State legislatures have introduced more than 500 abortion restrictions over the past five months, and the Supreme Court, with its newly expanded conservative majority, agreed to take up a case on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions at 15 weeks, which could challenge the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade. The RC Bishops are at the forefront of this and similar efforts.
Most pathetic has been the remark recently of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone who whined:
"Our credibility is on the line. … The eyes of the whole country are on us. If we don’t act courageously, clearly and convincingly on this core Catholic value, how can we expect to be taken seriously on another matter?”
I have news for this twit: your credibility was already shattered the instant you commenced this crusade against Biden and other Catholic Dems. Especially as 67 % of Catholics according to a Pew Research Survey don't agree with what you're doing, i.e. Biden should be allowed to receive communion. The survey also found that 56% of Catholics polled say abortion ought to be legal, implicitly supporting Biden's policy in allowing it.
Apart from that, by singling out Catholic leaders for upholding the separation of Church and State these low IQ miscreants (like Bishop Liam Cary of Baker, OR) have shown themselves to be autocrats against our democracy. Cary, like his daffy compatriots, is miffed that Biden is "opposed to the teaching of the church". Failing to grasp he is nothing of the kind. He just knows he cannot impose church teaching on a mixed secular nation in which Catholics are a minority. Oh, and the Jeffersonian wall of separation prohibits religious hegemony over the civic state.
To paraphrase one Notre Dame political science professor quoted in The Denver Post: "Many Catholics will now leave the church if it is seen as descending into the political fray."