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An Ecumenical Ministry in St. Patrick's Catholic Parish

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Villanova conference elevates calls for Biden to be denied Communion

Villanova conference elevates calls for Biden to be denied Communion  

What do President Joe Biden and ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick share in common? According to the organizer of a recent conference on Biden's Catholicism, the two men have been "abandoned" by the church's pastors for not having been barred from Communion.

The Vatican's McCarrick Report, which chronicled his decades of abuse of minors and seminarians and was released last fall, illustrates "what happens when the church fails to be church by preferring instead to be, as a practical matter, to be a bureaucracy," said Villanova University professor of law Patrick McKinley Brennan in a virtual conference titled "Taking Measure of the 'Biden Effect': American Catholics and The President."

"What McCarrick needed was callously denied," he said, going on to argue by comparison that Biden's support for legal abortion demands that "the church's pastors ... show the truth" and deny the president Communion. 

The conference comes nearly three months after the U.S. bishops disbanded a controversial working group to address issues stemming from Biden's Catholicism and areas in which he differs from church teaching on public policy. A proposal to produce a teaching document on "Eucharistic coherence or consistency" was sent to the U.S. bishops' Committee on Doctrine, with some bishops publicly advocating for Biden to be barred from receiving Communion. 

You can read more of the story here.

More background:

Biden's misstep on refugee cap reveals complexity of migration debate

Immediately following his election in November 2020, then-President-elect Joe Biden said to Jesuit Refugee Service in a public forum that he would raise the refugee ceiling — the number of refugees resettled in the United States each year — to 125,000, a huge increase from the historically low figure of 15,000 set by President Donald Trump in his last year in office.

But on April 16, Biden signed a memorandum that kept the number for fiscal year 2021 at 15,000 set by Trump, sparking a backlash from members of his own party and advocates. Within hours, the administration backtracked and stated that a revised refugee number, presumably much higher than 15,000, would be announced in mid-May.

"What happened between November, when the president committed to 125,000, and now?" asks Kevin Appleby in a commentary for NCR. "Simply put, reality set in, as the administration has begun to realize the political and operational challenges of managing migration to the United States."

You can read more of the commentary here.

More background:

  • Catholic refugee resettlement groups and advocates are still waiting for President Joe Biden to live up to his campaign promises.

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