The Vatican's warning to the US bishops about politicians' support for abortion

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source: npr.org

In the North American country, there is a division between those who believe that communion should not be given to Catholics who defend the legal interruption of pregnancy, such as President Joe Biden, and those who do not agree to take such a hard line. The Holy See intervened in the matter.

The debate takes time and has now become public. Some relevant figures of the Catholic Church in the United States, such as the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, believe that the time has come to make it clear that those who support abortion cannot receive communion. He argued this in an extensive pastoral letter. His position is especially relevant today since the country's president himself; Joe Biden is a Catholic - he is the second president in the country's history to belong to this religion - and is in favor of the legalization of abortion.

On the other hand, the more progressive ecclesiastical authorities, such as the Bishop of San Diego, Robert McElroy, published an essay in response to Cordileone indicating that such a measure "would have tremendously destructive consequences."

On June 16, there will be a national meeting of the United States Conference of Bishops where the issue will be discussed. With a view to said meeting, the Vatican established its position through a letter sent by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith in the Vatican, to the Archbishop of Los Angeles, José Gómez, president of the United States Conference of Bishops.

In his letter, Ladaria said that the bishops of the United States should carefully minimize segregation and discrimination before pursuing a possible plan to reprimand followers such as Biden and Roman Catholic politicians. To prevent them from seeking support to legalize abortion.

Any new riddle requires a dialogue that takes place in two settings: on the one hand bishops, on the other hand, and between bishops and Catholic politicians who support legal abortion in their jurisdiction, said Ladaria's letter, where it also recommends that the bishops seek full support before taking a national measure so that it "does not become an object of discord rather than unity between the episcopate and the church in general in the United States."

While at no point does Ladaria directly tell them what to do, his letter presents four arguments that complicate the path of those who want to toughen the norms of the church:

· Ensures that any new policy established should not concern only Catholic politicians but should be for all Catholics who approach the church. The norm for those who can receive communion should be the same for all.

· Questioned that the bishops' conference identifies abortion as the preeminent moral issue, saying that "it would be uncertain if a new document gave the impression that abortion and euthanasia constitute the only serious moral offenses that require teaching from Catholics.".

· He recommended that if the US bishops are to change their policy, they should consult with the bishops of other countries "to learn from each other and to preserve the universal unity of the church."

· Lastly, remember that no determination of the conference can exceed the authority of each bishop locally to determine who can receive communion in his diocese.

Although it is not known what the determination of the bishops' conference will be, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC, has already publicly declared that President Biden is always welcome at communion time in the churches of his archdiocese.