The U.S. bishops’ conference voted Wednesday to adopt a long-debated teaching document on the Eucharist. Despite widespread media and episcopal speculation in recent months, the text does not contain reference to pro-abortion Catholic politicians, or the possibility of prohibiting Catholics from Holy Communion.
After contentious debates during early conversation over the document, the text passed Nov. 17 by a vote of 222-8, easily clearing the required two-thirds majority of the assembly, and drawing a round of applause from the floor.
The nearly unanimous vote, in which only three bishops abstained, came after barely a half-hour of debate on amendments, a sharp contrast to hours of sharp discussion among the bishops on the same subject in June, and to behind-the-scenes efforts this year to keep the issue off the conference agenda.
But after the vote, several bishops told The Pillar that conference and committee leadership had stressed during executive sessions their desire that bishops would reach substantial agreement before Wednesday’s vote, urging bishops to avoid the kind of lengthy and barbed public debates that characterized the conference’s June virtual meeting.
During discussion on Wednesday Bishop Kevin Rhoades referenced a more in-depth discussion of amendments that had apparently taken place in executive sessions earlier in the week.
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