After its last meeting in June, the U.S. bishops' conference tried to walk back messaging about a document on so-called "eucharistic coherence," releasing a statement downplaying the whole issue of denying Communion to pro-choice politicians and instead noting that it was related to "declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful," which has been of concern "for some time."
Don't be fooled by a similar spin coming out of the bishops' Nov. 15-17 meeting in Baltimore, we say in our latest editorial.
"Although many of the bishops would like to backpedal this public relations train wreck, lying about it won't help rebuild trust and credibility," we write. "The truth is the document has been the pet project of a crowd of right-wing bishops — several of them committee heads — who convinced the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, that it was a good idea to play hard ball with Joe Biden."
Keep up with all of NCR's coverage of the U.S. bishops' fall 2021 assembly here.
Twitter erupted last week after Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, published the text of a deeply regrettable speech he is delivering this week at a conference about the church in public life, writes NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters in a new column.
When Winters thinks about the 63rd anniversary of the coronation of Pope John XXIII that was on Nov. 4, and the pope's most famous speech, given in 1963 when opening the Second Vatican Council, shows a dark contrast between John and Gomez.
"Pope Francis seems to me to be a lot like Pope John in that they look at the same socio-cultural and ecclesial landscape as the rest of us, and they seek to find the good and the hopeful," Winters says. " … The contrast with the Gomez talk could scarcely be more acute. It showed him to be a prophet of doom for our day."
Gomez claimed in his speech that some modern social justice movements were Marxist-inspired, anti-Christian "pseudo-religions." Read reactions from Black Catholics here.
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vatican decreed that the church cannot bless same-sex unions. That did not stop LGBTQ+ parishioners at a Chicago church from volunteering for numerous tasks to allow the church to reopen for services and keep the congregation safe.
As students' parents have been left unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam, Catholic nuns have stepped in to provide help with fees, computer access, textbooks, uniforms, school supplies, bicycles and more. Read more at Global Sisters Report.
ICYMI: As world leaders gather for COP26 to discuss the best way to tackle climate change, leaders of the world's religions want to make sure some voices aren't lost in the crowd: namely, the voices of Indigenous peoples from the Arctic to the Equator.