The Washington, D.C., church where President Joe Biden attends mass announced it wouldn’t deny communion to anyone regardless of a potential statement from American bishops advising Roman Catholic parishes to withhold the sacrament from pro-abortion politicians.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church issued a statement on Tuesday saying it has “a long history of welcoming all.”
The parish council said it stood by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, who has pushed back against prohibitions on offering communion to pro-abortion politicians.
“Holy Trinity Catholic Church will not deny the Eucharist to persons presenting themselves to receive it,” the parish council said in the statement.
This is a statement from the parish council at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown, which President Biden attends.
Whatever you think about discussion over Biden and the Eucharist, let it be noted that a parish council has no authority over sacramental discipline. pic.twitter.com/GP0WIRfHGW
— JD Flynn (@jdflynn) June 29, 2021
Earlier this month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a measure to draft a statement clarifying whether politicians who openly oppose church teaching on topics like abortion may be denied communion. Nearly 75 percent of the 229 U.S. bishops approved the measure.
Gregory’s request that the USCCB delay the drafting of a statement was rejected by the bishops, the parish council said.
“None of us, whether we stand in the pews or behind the altar, is worthy to receive [communion],” the council said. “The great gift of the Holy Eucharist is too sacred to be made a political issue.”
But the overwhelming vote in favor of issuing a statement on communion suggested that the bishops were unified in clarifying the church’s position.
In addition, a large majority of practicing Roman Catholics in the U.S. believe public officials who counter church teaching shouldn’t receive communion, according to a recent poll released by CatholicVote. The poll surveyed 600 respondents from June 1 to June 8 with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
“What’s motivating us as bishops, as teachers, is the Eucharist,” Arlington, Virginia, Bishop Michael Burbidge told reporters after the USCCB vote.
“Cited throughout our discussions today were the grave concerns about the lack of belief in the real presence, the lack of people going to church, how we are going to get people back to church and that love for the Eucharist.”
“It’s not a political motivation, what’s motivating us is what’s at the heart of our teaching and faith,” he added.
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