When I was child in St. Ann’s Grade School, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was running to become the President of the United States. JFK was a Catholic, just like Joe Biden. The nuns, the priests, and most Catholics I knew got behind JFK and supported his candidacy, and eventually, his presidency.
I heard the concerns. ‘He will be taking orders from the Pope.’ ‘All laws will come from the Catholic Church.’ Protestants were scared that the Pope, the bishops, and priests would be running the country, and that they might be persecuted. None of that happened.
However, here we are, sixty years later, and instead of celebrating another president of the Catholic Faith, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is condemning President Biden because he doesn’t follow the religion’s position on abortion in his political life, although he does oppose abortion in his personal life. By a vote of 168 – 55, “the bishops went forward with plans for a report on the meaning of the Eucharist in the church.” The report will be a part of a long process in which President Biden “and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights” may be eventually rebuked. In the Church, rebuke means censure.
“This movement is driven by the extremely conservative wing of the Catholic Church.” There should be no conservative wing of the Catholic Church. There should be no liberal wing. Jesus is simple. Feed the poor, heal the sick, be kind. Jesus taught forgiveness, peace, and love of one’s self and others – not just those who think and act like you. And Jesus warned his followers that they should not be quick to judge (like the bishops).
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
The Catholic Church also opposes capital punishment. It is hypocritical that some priests will refuse to offer communion to a politician who is pro-choice, but piously give it to the politician who supports and introduces legislation to enhance or establish the death penalty. There are far too many of the latter.
I graduated from a Catholic High School. That same school will ask me once a year to help financially support its mission to teach adolescents about Catholicism and Jesus’ word. I refuse to contribute. It is painful to know that a vast majority of students that came from that school, my class and beyond, were taught well that abortion is a sin, and all Catholics should oppose it. Supposedly, the school did not give the same weight to the death penalty. Those same alumni that have lectured me on the evils of abortion [I have been called a baby killer by a few] support the death penalty, unequivocally.
The U.S. bishops should not be making policy that allows individual priests or bishops to determine the cleanliness of a communion recipient’s soul or the conscience of her mind. Where does this lead?
“Once we legitimate public policy-based Eucharistic exclusion as a regular part of our teaching office — and that is the road to which we are headed — we will invite all of the political animosities that so tragically divide our nation into the very heart of the Eucharistic celebration,” . . . That sacrament which seeks to make us one will become for millions of Catholics a sign of division.” Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego.
The purpose of this so-called report is to increase participation in the sacrament of the Eucharist. It will have an adverse affect.
Abortion has torn the Catholic Church apart. It has come to a point in time when the only issue that matters to many Catholics is the eradication of all abortions. That will not happen. There will always be abortions, albeit most of them in foreign countries (for the wealthy Americans), or dimly lit, unsanitary rooms off back alleys. That’s where they occurred prior to 1973. Innocent lives were lost during that era, also. Young women, facing unwanted pregnancies were left to find a med school washout who would perform the abortion. The young innocent woman was often a fatal casualty of the meatball surgery. The dirty knife amateur surgeons were rarely, if ever, found or prosecuted.
Meanwhile, the practice of state killing continues. Candidate Joe Biden promised to abolish the federal death penalty. But like an octopus, on his other hand he “broke his promise and failed his first death penalty test in a very big way when his administration filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court asking it to reinstate the death sentence of Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.” Where is the majority of Catholic bishops on this matter? Silence.
President Joe has said that the issue of a possible rebuke is a private matter. It is. And Catholics should understand that. However, the broken promise of seeking the death penalty, which is a government matter, should be an outrage by the bishops. They should be as loud about this issue as they are with abortion. The entire Catholic population should be up in arms – like an octopus.