Denying Holy Communion to President Joe Biden is not the solution

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In every Catholic church there are “Stations of the Cross,” 14 equidistant “stations” mounted on the walls that represent sequential events in the passion and death of Christ on Good Friday. The sixth station, “Veronica wipes the face of Jesus”, commemorates the impulsive act of a brave early Christian woman, Veronica, who emerged from the angry crowd with her veil and gently wiped Our Lord’s face – a face covered in blood, sweat, mud and spit – as the condemned Redeemer carried his cross to Golgotha.

Veronica’s simple act put her own life in danger – remember, Peter and the other apostles were gone when it looked like all of Jesus’ followers could be arrested and suffer the same fate.

Veronica’s heroic act of kindness still resonates around the world as a model of compassion and mercy. The example of this noble saint might be something for Catholic bishops to consider as they continue to build a doctrinal case to deny Holy Communion to Joe Biden, the first Catholic president of the United States for 60 years but who supports abortion “rights” – the legal “right” to kill our unborn sisters and brothers that was invented from nothing by the Supreme Court in 1973 and strongly fought against by the Catholic Church before and since that decision infamous.

Reunited virtually this month in Baltimore, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, after a heated debate, voted overwhelmingly (73% against 24%) to write an edict that would “guide” the faithful in receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist. The sharing of the bread (the body of Christ) and the wine (his precious blood) at Holy Communion is the penultimate part of the Mass for participating Catholics. Buried deep within the text of this declaration is anticipated language that would provide a sort of scriptural basis for denying President Biden, a faithful Catholic in all other respects, an opportunity to receive Holy Communion at Mass.

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By extension (and as no doubt expected), the ban would logically extend to other pro-abortion Catholic politicians at all levels of government, presenting the rather appalling visual of men and women with outstretched hands for receive the sacred host rejected at the altar of their own churches.

I understand the frustrations of the bishops. Catholic office holders and those running for public office often use their religion and church life experiences as selling points in their campaigns. “Vote for me! I am a member of the parish council of Sainte-Marguerite-Marie!” I am a graduate of the Academy of the Sacred Heart! ”“ I am a member of the board of directors of Catholic charities! “I am (very) distantly related to the Kennedy family! ”Etc. etc. But then, once the race is won, some of these people are either AWOL or oppose legislative / executive efforts to protect the most innocent lives and most vulnerable among us, unborn children.

In Biden’s case, he is by far the most important Catholic elected official in the world, and his opposition to his church’s teachings on life issues is therefore even more prominent (and embarrassing). Although no bishop has mentioned it so far, the president also reneged on a campaign pledge to end the death penalty in federal criminal cases. (The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty.) Sadly, last week Biden allowed the US Department of Justice to ask the Supreme Court to restore the Boston Marathon bomber’s original death sentence.

With my paltry 18 hours of theology at Xavier University and my simple diplomas from Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School and Trinity High School, I admit that I do not have the academic clout to face the collective scholarship of American bishops on any point of religious dogma. Nonetheless, from my humble layman’s perspective, denying Holy Communion to Biden or any pro-abortion Catholic politician destroys the very principles of mercy, love, forgiveness, compassion, and ultimately redemption for which our Savior died on Calvary.

What would Jesus do?

In the New Testament, faced with the imminent execution of the adulterous woman, He shamed the righteous with all their laws by telling them that only those who had not sinned could throw stones. Rightly chastised, these men melted, leaving Our Lord alone with the woman. When asked if any of the recently deceased had condemned her, she replied: “no” and at that moment Jesus said: “I will not condemn you either, go and sin. more. “(John 8: 10-11).

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Bob heleringer

Far from refusing the Holy Eucharist to these recalcitrant Catholic officials, invite them to participate more often in the sacrament. Preach them, inspire them, encourage them to follow the all-life-is-sacred principles of their professed faith and their own conscience – just as our priests tell us every Sunday at Mass, those of us. in the benches which do not hold any public office whatsoever.

In the meantime, as the good bishops continue to deliberate, all I can say is “St. Véronique, pray for us.

Bob Heleringer is an attorney and Republican from Louisville who served in the 33rd District Kentucky House from 1980 to 2002. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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