A divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops announced on Friday that they had voted to draft a statement on Holy Communion that may admonish Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, who support abortion rights.
JEFFREY BURRILL, GENERAL SECRETARY] “The action passed with the vote of 168 in favor, 55 opposed, 6 abstentions” A divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops announced Friday that they have voted to draft a statement on Holy Communion that may admonish Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, who support abortion rights.
The move comes after two hours of debate Thursday at the virtual assembly of the United States Catholic Bishops' Conference, where bishops weighed the merits of reaffirming church teachings against the possibility of sowing partisan division.
Biden - the second Catholic to serve as U.S. president - came up repeatedly during discussions because of his support of same-sex marriage and abortion rights, alarming many bishops who say his views are antithetical to church doctrine.
But when asked by reporters about the move by the bishops Friday, Biden responded: “That's a private matter, and I don't think that's going to happen.” Some bishops advocating for drafting the document argued they had an obligation to clarify the church's teachings for all Catholics in light of inconsistencies in the faith and actions of public officials like Biden.
Opponents said they feared writing the document could sow further partisan division within the church, and that the bishops should take more time to discuss the issue before moving forward.
The conference's Committee on Doctrine is now expected to draft the document ahead of a November meeting when the bishops will review an amendable draft.