President Joe Biden and other prominent Catholic Democrats have long faced criticism over their pro-choice positions, which stand in stark contrast to the church’s teachings on the sanctity of life.
Now, a group of U.S. Catholic bishops is taking steps that could result in Biden, among others, being denied communion as a result.
Bishops vote to provide guidance
According to the Daily Mail, the latest move by church leaders appears to be directly tied to the vocal support of abortion by Biden and fellow Democrats. Although the president claims to be personally opposed to the practice, he has assumed a pro-choice stance in line with his party’s platform.
Biden’s recent budge proposal goes so far as to eliminate the longstanding Hyde Amendment, which effectively prevents U.S. taxpayer money from being used to fund abortions.
Accordingly, there have been mounting calls for the church to intervene, considering that he is among the highest-profile Catholics in the world and is openly opposing religious teachings.
In a vote on Thursday, the bishops voted to approve a “teaching document” for public officials who profess a Catholic faith but support antithetical practices.
The measure passed with a vote of 168-55 in a private vote that took place after a period of debate, the Daily Mail reported.
“That is a private matter”
In their next step, bishops will draft a statement on the meaning of communion. This process is set to take place later in the year, but the resulting document is expected to include a broad rebuke of politicians who advocate for positions contrary to the church’s stance.
No public figures are expected to be mentioned by name and bishops are likely to defer to local leaders in deciding whether to offer communion to such politicians.
For his part, Biden responded to one reporter’s question on Friday regarding the development and the possibility that he could be denied communion.
“That is a private matter and I don’t think that is going to happen,” he said, according to Breitbart.
Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., made it clear that he would not deny Biden communion. Bishops in the president’s home state of Delaware have not yet revealed a position on the matter.