The Washington DC Catholic church that President Joe Biden attends has said that it will begin giving Communion to anyone who asks for it, in a move to sidestep a potential ban on politicians who support abortion.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown issued the new policy in a statement on Wednesday, saying its priests ‘will not deny the Eucharist to persons presenting themselves to receive it.’
‘The great gift of the Holy Eucharist is too sacred to be made a political issue,’ the parish council added, in a clear reference to a recent vote by the U.S. Conference of Bishops to draft a formal document on the meaning of the Eucharist.
The vote, which passed overwhelmingly, came amid a debate in the church about whether Catholic politicians who support abortion, such as Biden, should be allowed to receive Communion.
Biden is seen leaving a service at Holy Trinity in April. The church will now allow anyone to receive Communion, in a snub to bishops who want to ban politicians who support abortion
Holy Trinity (seen above) issued the new policy in a statement on Wednesday, saying its priests ‘will not deny the Eucharist to persons presenting themselves to receive it’
Unlike many other churches, the Catholic Church strictly limits who is allowed to participate in Mass, and a priest who knowingly violates those rules can face excommunication.
However, in practice, priests typically assume that anyone who presents themselves to receive the Eucharist is eligible to do so.
Holy Trinity said in its statement that it is ‘a parish which has a long history of welcoming all.’
‘Communion should be viewed ‘not as a prize for the perfect, but as a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak,” the church added, quoting Pope Francis.
‘None of us, whether we stand in the pews or behind the altar, is worthy to receive it,’ said Holy Trinity.
Unlike many other churches, the Catholic Church strictly limits who is allowed to participate in Mass, and a priest who knowingly violates those rules can face excommunication
Many of the more conservative U.S. bishops have been clamoring for a clear directive against giving Communion to U.S. political figures who are Roman Catholics and support abortion.
Vatican teaching forbids abortion as a grave sin. This campaign puts the heat on Biden, who has said that while he personally opposes abortion, he supports legal abortion rights.
However, a Eucharistic ban on pro-abortion politicians is unlikely to pass. Such a move would require unanimous support from all the country’s bishops, or two-thirds support and the Vatican’s approval.
A third of the conference has already signaled their opposition by asking for the vote to draft the document to be removed from the agenda.
Francis himself hasn’t weighed in publicly on the Communion issue, but prior to the bishops’ vote, his top official on doctrinal orthodoxy had urged them to think the matter through thoroughly and aim to keep divisions to the minimum.
On Monday, Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) met privately with Pope Francis in the Vatican City
On Monday, Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken met privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican City.
Blinken declined to delve into ‘domestic politics’ when later asked if the two discussed the campaign by U.S. bishops to deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion Roman Catholic politicians like Biden.
The closed-door meeting in the Apostolic Palace ‘played out in a cordial atmosphere,’ a Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said.
Bruni said the meeting was a chance for the pope to ‘express his affection and his attention to the people of the United States of America.’
Source: Daily Mail