By Ave Maria Radio News
Ann Arbor, Michigan, 27 May 2021 / 6:45 pm
Sixty-seven bishops signed a letter to Archbishop José Gómez, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, requesting that he suspend discussion about “Eucharistic coherence” at the USCCB June meeting. In their letter, they cite Cardinal Luis Lardaria’s letter to Archbishop Gómez, saying they cannot “forge substantive unity” in a socially distanced setting. They also said, “The high standard of consensus among ourselves and of maintaining unity with the Holy See and the universal church as set forth by Cardinal Ladaria is far from being achieved in the present moment.”
Cardinal Ladaria, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published a letter earlier this month, urging the American bishops to continue in discussions and to dialogue with each other in order to reach a unified outcome. Nowhere in his letter did he tell the bishops to drop the discussion.
Archbishop Gómez responded to the more than sixty bishops with a memo addressed to all the members of the USSCCB, reminding them that they are debating an “Action Item” on the agenda, not a document or statement. What they will be voting on is a procedural matter which will determine whether or not the Committee on Doctrine will draft a document on Eucharistic coherence.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordelione of San Francisco told the Pillar: “The administrative committee voted overwhelmingly to put this on the agenda for the June meeting, I know Archbishop Gómez is committed to following the procedures as we agreed on them. I think this is totally unacceptable.” He also said, “I think whoever was promoting this action, it seems clear to me, they didn’t get their way. So they’re taking these alternative means to interfere with the procedures of the conference.” Bishop Michael Olson of Ft. Worth, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, and Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland also shared messages of support for Archbishop Gómez and the discussion.
The Pillar also reported that this letter was drafted and pushed by the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago and Washington and that the letter was published on Archdiocese of Washington letterhead. Some of the bishops that signed the letter include:
- Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago
- Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington
- Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston
- Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark.
- Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York previously signed it and then removed his name.
The Pillar also reported that the letter has circulated among the Secretariat of State’s office in the Vatican. They also said one official told them that Cardinal Cupich offered his personal assessment on both the situation and the letter, and suggested that the Vatican should intervene in the conference schedule.