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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Vatican throws wet blanket on those who want to deny Biden Communion

Vatican throws wet blanket on U.S. bishops who want to deny Biden Communion

Cardinal Luis Ladaria, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote a letter to the president of the U.S. bishops' conference, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, regarding the conference's plans to draft a policy on the worthiness of pro-choice politicians to receive Communion. 

The letter gave a tutorial on what it means to be a bishop, writes NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters, a lesson that is "sadly as necessary as it is embarrassing" for the U.S. bishops.

Ladaria effectively derailed those plans, Winters says, adding that the cardinal is at pains to remind them how bishops should conduct themselves. 

"The letter systematically pulls apart the rhetorical building blocks that had been assembled by the advocates of denying Communion to President Joe Biden," Winters writes, naming three bishops — Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, and former Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput — who have "so thoroughly conflated their identity as Catholics with the pro-life political movement, that they had confusedly thought it was fine to assemble political talking points and strategies, and then wiggle them into some kind of magisterial teaching."

You can read more of Winters' column here.

More background:


Pope Francis' process for investigating accused Catholic bishops clearly requires reform

Pope Francis' new system to evaluate allegations of sexual abuse or cover-up against individual Catholic bishops, which went into effect in June 2019, is admirable, NCR writes in an editorial. For the first time in millennia — quite literally — there is an active process in place to hold prelates accountable should they fail in their duty to protect children or vulnerable adults from clerical predators.

"But after two years, it is clear that the process — which involves the Vatican empowering archbishops to conduct investigations as necessary in their local regions under the norms of the papal motu propio letter Vos Estis Lux Mundi — requires significant improvement," we write. 

First, we say, should be a "substantial increase in transparency about which bishops are being investigated, what the accusations being brought forward involve, and who exactly is doing the investigating."

"Second up is something that, three decades into the church's continuing abuse crisis, many would have reasonably thought the Vatican should have understood by now: lay experts must be involved in all investigations," we write.

You can read more of the editorial here.

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