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An Ecumenical Ministry in St. Patrick's Catholic Parish

Monday, May 3, 2021

Weaponizing the Eucharist

Weaponizing the Eucharist: The bishops, not Biden, cause scandal

"If we are honest with ourselves, all Catholics should approach the Eucharist in fear and trembling," writes NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters in his latest column. "… That goes for President Joe Biden too."

Winters speculates that Biden might think about the responsibilities of his office while standing in line to receive Communion, as he carries burdens most of us can only imagine and that he cannot really share with anyone. But whatever Biden is thinking about is a matter for him and his pastor.

And Biden's pastor is not Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, who was quoted explaining why the U.S. bishops' conference should draft a document that makes it clear Biden should not present himself for communion. Nor is San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila, or Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead, who have all been quoted making similar points.

"What is going on?" asks Winters. "Naumann, Cordileone, Aquila and Olmsted are not stupid men. They know that a bishops' conference has no role in this matter, that Biden is a baptized Catholic, subject to canon law, and that canon law leaves this issue entirely to Biden and his pastor. They know, too, that persisting in this effort will further divide their own organization, pitting bishop against bishop on a highly public issue that is emotionally fraught and involving issues that are easily misunderstood and even more easily enflamed to affect emotional manipulation."

You can read more of the column here.

More background:

Integrating faith and justice key to post-pandemic ministry with young Latinos

After missing out on junior proms and college graduations and grappling with the deaths of more than 500,000 Americans, including loved ones, young Catholics believe there will never be a return to "normal" in a post-pandemic world. 

And that's OK, especially for young Latinos, who say they had not previously been able to fully integrate their activism with their faith. Latinos across the United States were hit hard by COVID-19, as many lost loved ones and jobs. 

The pandemic, combined with the racial reckoning of last summer, has young Catholics — and those who minister to them — thinking about what the church can learn from Gen Z. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion are essential for post-pandemic ministry to young people, said Josh Packard, executive director of Springtide Research Institute, which researches the relationship between young people and religious leaders. "That is important as a baseline for getting Gen Z to fully participate in your organization," he said.

You can read more of the story here.

More headlines

  • At Global Sisters Report, read about how Catholic sisters and congregational representatives advocating at the U.N., as well as sisters involved in on-the-ground ministries, give U.S. President Joe Biden generally high marks for his first 100 days in office.
  • In a new commentary, Massimo Faggioli says synodality is the biggest wager Pope Francis has made for the Catholic Church. But if it is to be a key aspect of Catholicism, we need to keep in mind that at some point, there will be another pope.
  • At EarthBeat, the Catholic Church in Bangladesh is campaigning to plant 700,000 trees in order to combat the low-lying country's increasingly fierce storms and rising sea levels.
  • ICYMI: Pope Francis has removed the procedural obstacles that has spared Vatican-based cardinals and bishops from being prosecuted by the Vatican's criminal tribunal.

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