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USCCB has ‘nothing in the works’ on Biden and Communion

Recent reports that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops may at their spring general assembly press pro-abortion Catholic politicians not to receive Communion are unfounded, and at best ignorant of ecclesial structure, a source close to the conference has told CNA.

A source close to the USCCB told CNA April 29 that they believe such reports from the AP and the Washington Post are either “just totally ignorant of the Church’s structure,” or meant “to pressure the bishops into silence” regarding the Equality Act.

The Equality Act would amend federal civil rights law and create protected classes for sexual orientation and gender identity, extending those protections to all areas where race is currently protected.

The USCCB has said the bill is “well-intentioned but ultimately misguided,” that its language “discriminates against people of faith and threatens unborn life,” and that it would force “novel and divisive viewpoints regarding ‘gender’ on individuals and organizations.”

At the US bishops’ spring general assembly, either the doctrine committee will present a “broad document” on fitness for reception of Communion, or there will be a vote to consider such a document at the next meeting, in November, the source said.

One bishop is expected to issue a document on Communion early next month.

At the closing of the USCCB’s November 2020 general assembly its president, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, announced the creation of a bishops’ working group to deal with President Joe Biden, who as a prominent Catholic in public life has taken public stances against Church teaching.

“The president-elect has given us reason to believe that his faith commitments will move him to support some good policies. This includes policies of immigration reform, refugees and the poor, and against racism, the death penalty, and climate change,” Archbishop Gomez said Nov. 17.

“He has also given us reason to believe that he will support policies that are against some fundamental values that we hold dear as Catholics. These policies include: the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and the preservation of Roe vs. Wade. Both of these policies undermine our preeminent priority of the elimination of abortion,” said the archbishop.

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