The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will vote this week on a proposed document outlining the meaning of communion.
According to The Christian Post, the U.S. bishops are meeting in Baltimore this week and are expected to vote on a proposed “teaching document” about communion.
The document was first drafted by the conference’s Committee on Doctrine in June.
The USCCB has said that the proposal, “Document on the Meaning of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church,” will not lead to a ban on pro-abortion politicians receiving communion.
The issue comes as many have questioned whether American Catholic politicians who support abortion should be allowed to receive communion, particularly President Joe Biden, who is Catholic and said he personally opposes abortion but supports the right to abortion.
“[Biden has] gone on record as saying abortion is a fundamental right while presenting himself as an exemplary Catholic,” doctrine committee member Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “The issue of public confusion is really at stake here.”
The Church’s Code of Canon Law already states that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
In a 2004 letter from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would later become Pope Benedict XVI, Ratzinger wrote that abortion or euthanasia “is a grave sin.”
The proposal says, “Lay people who exercise some form of public authority have a special responsibility to embody Church teaching.”
A question-and-answer informational about the vote published by the USCCB asserts that the document “is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons.”
“It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate,” the USCCB said.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.