WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s regular parish in Washington, D.C. issued a statement on Tuesday that its priests and ministers will not deny Communion to those approaching to receive.
“Holy Trinity Catholic Church will not deny the Eucharist to persons presenting themselves to receive it,” read a statement of the parish council of Holy Trinity, located in Georgetown neighborhood of D.C.
Biden, a Catholic, has attended Sunday Mass at Holy Trinity parish at least six times as president, on Jan. 24, Jan. 30, Feb. 20, March 6, April 10, and June 5, according to White House pool reports. He regularly attends St. Joseph on the Brandywine parish in Wilmington, Delaware, when he travels back home to Wilmington.
Biden supports the codification of Roe v. Wade, taxpayer-funded abortion through repealing the Hyde Amendment, and the Equality Act, among other policies opposed by the U.S. bishops’ conference.
The Holy Trinity parish council stated its agreement with Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington “concerning the issues surrounding offering the Eucharist to American politicians.”
Cardinal Gregory told a journalist in November 2020 that he would not deny Communion to a politician who supported the codification of legal abortion in federal law and the taxpayer funding of abortion. Biden supports both policies.
“As a parish which has a long history of welcoming all, we concur with and support the pastoral approach of our Archbishop,” the parish stated.
The Archdiocese of Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment by CNA on Tuesday afternoon.
According to a 2004 instruction by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, pastors and bishops must speak to Catholic public officials in their jurisdictions when the officials support permissive laws contrary to Church teaching on grave moral issues, such as legal abortion and euthanasia.
The pastors must admonish the officials that their positions are contrary to Church teaching and instruct them not to receive Communion. If the officials persist in their positions, then the minister of Communion must not distribute it to them, Cardinal Ratzinger said. The memo was an implementation of canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.
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