Last week’s USCCB session saw the nation’s bishops divided in a fractious discussion over — of all topics — Christian unity.
The conversation, ironically, served mostly to highlight disagreement among the bishops over what ecclesial unity really is, and what it takes to achieve it.
During that debate, which centered on whether to draft a teaching document on the Eucharist, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., made clear his perception of the stakes: “Either we pursue a path of strengthening unity among ourselves, or settle for creating a document that will not bring unity but may very well further damage it.”
The cardinal’s argument was not convincing enough. Nearly 75% of the U.S. bishops voted to create the document.
According to the text’s drafters, it will reiterate doctrine on worthy reception of the Eucharist which has already articulated by the bishops in their own 2006 document and in by Pope Francis and the Latin American Bishops in their 2007 Aparecida document, which many Vatican watchers have pointed to as the pope’s “vision…of how you evangelize a world in flux.”
As many as a quarter of U.S. bishops, including several cardinals who have positioned themselves as interpreters of Pope Francis, voted against the document, possibly agreeing with Gregory’s assertion that the document will cause division.
Read more at The Pillar