Are US Catholic bishops considering saying President-elect Biden is unwelcome at the communion rail? They’ve formed a working group on Biden’s position on abortion.
Episcopal priest Richard Balmer writing in the LA Times:
On Nov. 7, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, José Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles, congratulated Biden and Kamala Harris, and five days later so did Pope Francis. Then last week, Gomez wasn’t so sure. On Tuesday, at the end of the national meeting of the American bishops, he declared that the president-elect’s support for abortion rights presents the church with a “difficult and complex situation.”
News reports suggest that the bishops may want to deny Biden, a lifelong Catholic, access to the sacrament of Holy Communion, much the way that conservative bishops declared John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, unwelcome at the communion rail in their dioceses. Gomez has set up a task force to consider the matter. No one is yet calling this a threat of excommunication, but that effectively is what the bishops are considering.
Back in 2016, the same U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rushed to congratulate Donald Trump after his presidential victory, even before the results were certified. This year, at least one member of the conference, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, refused to acknowledge Biden as president-elect after the race was called.
Read it all.