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Bishop defends denying Eucharist to Biden: He’s ‘not in full communion with the Catholic Church’

Biden is participating in "the corruption of religious practice" – Charles Chaput, archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia.

Published: December 5, 2020 11:42am

Updated: December 5, 2020 12:51pm

A retired Catholic archbishop is defending the practice of withholding holy communion from Joe Biden, stating the Democratic politician's support for abortion rights has “smoothed the way for grave moral evils” in the U.S.

Charles Chaput, the archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, made that case in an essay in First Things on Friday, responding to the ongoing controversy of Biden’s position on the issue, as it relates to his professed Catholic faith.

The Catholic Church stipulates that “formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense,” to the point that those who so participate in abortion receive “the canonical penalty of excommunication” from the Church and so should be denied reception of the Eucharist.

Noting past controversies involving politicians who support abortion rights, Chaput in his essay, argues that “public figures who identify as ‘Catholic’ give scandal to the faithful when receiving Communion by creating the impression that the moral laws of the Church are optional.” Bishops, he argued, “give similar scandal by not speaking up publicly about the issue and danger of sacrilege.”

“By his actions during the course of his public life, Mr. Biden has demonstrated that he is not in full communion with the Catholic Church,” Chaput writes, arguing that “many of his actions and words have also supported or smoothed the way for grave moral evils in our public life that have resulted in the destruction of millions of innocent lives.”

“Mr. Biden has said that he will continue to advance those same policies as president, and thus should not receive Holy Communion,” Chaput writes. “His stated intention requires a strong and consistent response from Church leaders and faithful.”

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