Archbishop Cordileone: “I sense a growing sense of urgency among the bishops…”

“Regarding dialogue, as bishops, with [pro-abortion] Catholic leaders in political and secular life on the national level,” says the Archbishop of San Francisco in an interview with CWR, “I think we’ve pretty much reached the point of exhaustion.”

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is pictured in a file photo celebrating Mass outside the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption as part of a rosary rally. (CNS photo/Dennis Callahan, Archdiocese of San Francisco)

On May 1st, the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone of San Francisco issued a 17-page Pastoral Letter, titled “Before I Formed You in the Womb I Knew You”, focusing on “Human Dignity of the Unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in Public Life”.

Archbishop Cordileone spoke this week with Carl E. Olson, editor of CWR, about that letter, as well as about recent remarks by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, news from the White House regarding Roe v. Wade, and the upcoming USCCB Spring General Assembly in June.

CWR: Let’s begin with the background and reason for your May 1st pastoral letter. Was it because of the Biden administration? Or the specific situation in San Francisco?

Archbishop Cordileone: Yes, I’ve known for a long time, being here in San Francisco and the particular situation here, that I needed to do something about this issue because there’s so much confusion in the minds of people. And even among Catholics, I’ve realized for quite some time, it’s a matter of needing to be more effective in teaching certain basic principles.

First of all, what it means for a Catholic in receiving Holy Communion. We’ve seen the Pew Research Center study [“Just one-third of U.S. Catholics agree with their church that Eucharist is body, blood of Christ”, August 2019] that shows the majority of Catholics nowadays don’t believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is very alarming, but it’s no surprise this coincides with the decline in understanding what it means to receive Holy Communion. People see it as a sort of table fellowship—that everyone’s welcome to the table, which of course is a very Protestant understanding.

But it’s not our Catholic belief at all. So, I needed to do something to teach more clearly that this is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, by which he makes his sacrifice on Calvary present to us here and now. And that the timeless teaching of the Church—from the beginning down to the present time—about being properly disposed to receive Holy Communion, believing what the Church believes and living one’s life in conformity with that, because the sacrament of our communion means that we are uniting our sacrifice with Christ. We died with him by dying to sin. I knew that I needed to teach more clearly on that because the idea that someone should not be receiving Communion doesn’t make any sense unless one understands this basic teaching.

Also, there was the need to clarify teachings about the evil of abortion, because [abortion] has become such a standard part of our day-to-day life. Nowadays, people are just sort of blind to the horrendous evil that it is. I knew I had to lay out those principles. So I decided some time ago to issue a pastoral letter such as this … so I’ve been feeling some urgency for quite some time. I hadn’t had a chance to do anything earlier. And, yes, I admit the election of President Biden did add all the more to the urgency. I began working on it last year and have had it in the works for quite some time.

CWR: And it came at a time when there have been a number of statements and public remarks now from various bishops, including Archbishop Naumann, Archbishop Aquila, and Bishop Olmsted, among others. Your Letter provides a very comprehensive approach. Is this something you talked about with some of these other bishops?  Or is this something you decided you were going to do on your own?

Archbishop Cordileone: In the early stages? I had conversations with bishops who are concerned about the situation, but not really in planning it initially. As we got closer towards finishing it and were getting ready to roll it out, and I saw other bishops issuing similar statements, as you mentioned … I did let some bishops know that I would be publishing [the Letter] when I saw that we were kind of on the same track. But in terms of its initial conception, that purely came from my own mind—I had collaboration in getting it drafted, but the idea was mine.

CWR: Since you released that letter, a number of things have happened. The CDF sent a letter to the U.S. bishops on May 7th; there were the recent remarks by Nancy Pelosi and then your statement responding to her And then there was a statement made by the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, saying that President Biden is “committed to codifying” Roe v. Wade. First, there’s been a lot of discussion about the CDF letter—what it means and what it might mean going forward, especially leading up to the June 16-18 USCCB Spring General Assembly? What is your basic take on reading it?

Archbishop Cordileone: The way I read the letter is that it is giving some caution, but also affirming what we’re doing. [Cardinal Ladaria] speaks about the need for bishops to dialogue among themselves, to help maintain unity. And that there be a consensus before developing a national policy. But to that, I say, we’re not talking about a national policy. We’re talking about a document that will be a teaching document—reaffirming the Church’s teaching and emphasizing the bishop’s role and responsibilities and authority in this area.

And, I’d say the bishops have been dialoguing about this for a very long time, about 20 years now, because at the beginning of the letter, he makes reference to the [2004] letter to the bishops from Cardinal Ratzinger, then prefect of the CDF, about guiding us on this issue. And Cardinal Ladaria reminds us of the principles; he instructs us to use those principles in discerning our own document.

Well, those principles are affirming the kind of basic pastoral approach that we’ve been discussing all along—that for a Catholic prominent in public life who is supporting abortion or euthanasia, [and] Cardinal Ladaria says that promoting those is formal cooperation and a grave sin. So his letter is very clear, of course. So Cardone Ladaria is affirming this very clearly: that it is formal cooperation and a grave sin.

So the bishop has to have conversations to help the person understand that and come to a change of heart and to change course in their life. And if repeated efforts prove fruitless then the bishop is to declare that the person not be admitted to Communion. I see Cardinal Ladaria’s letter as affirming what we’ve been doing all along. We’ve been discussing this, dialoguing about it, for at least 20 years. And now I sense a growing sense of urgency among the bishops to do something very clear and strong, that is pastoral and clear teaching about this. So, I think the letter is affirming what our plan is.

CWR: Your comment about dialoguing now for 20 years leads to this question about Nancy Pelosi and her statement, “I think I can use my own judgment on that,” referring to receiving Holy Communion. Is she really open to authentic dialogue? Can’t we conclude that many of these calls for dialogue have not resulted in positive change at all?

Archbishop Cordileone:  Well, first of all, when I mentioned dialogue in reference to Cardinal Ladaria’s letter, that was referring to dialogue among bishops. Regarding dialogue, as bishops, with [pro-abortion] Catholic leaders in political and secular life on the national level, I think we’ve pretty much reached the point of exhaustion. But there’s also dialogue to take place one-on-one. A lot of bishops do have those dialogues. I myself, personally, have not come to the end of the road. I have had those conversations, but I’m not at the end of the road of that yet.

But I do think on the national level, we are reaching a breaking point. And I think the bishops need to stand together and to be very clear and definitive about the horrendous evil that abortion is. And no one can favor this, favor access to abortion and think they’re a Catholic in good conscience.

As I said, in my statement in response to Speaker Pelosi’s comments that we cannot judge them about receiving Communion—but what about the 66 million babies murdered in their mother’s wombs? There’s not a judgment involved there; it’s a fact. In the last 50 years in the United States alone, 66 million babies have been murdered in their mother’s wombs, and how many more lives have been scarred because of that? So this is a horrendous evil; we have to look it in the face and admit it if our country is going to be rid of this very deep and painful scar.

CWR: My sense from what you’re saying about the upcoming USCCB meeting, is that you don’t anticipate there being a national policy statement. Rather, you hope there will be an affirmation for individual bishops, like yourself and others we’ve mentioned, to be more steadfast in making strong statements in their respective dioceses, that there will be a strong sense they’re going to have strong support from other bishops?

Archbishop Cordileone:  Yes. That’s what I would hope to come from this. … In my pastoral letter, I was just clearly laying out Church teaching. So there’s no argument about that. Now, when it comes to applying it in a particular situation, there are a number of factors that have to be taken in consideration. And each bishop has to make that decision at the time that he does, and in conformity with his own conscience. So I would hope that this document will give support to bishops who are going to make a hard decision and be very strong on this. … It’s very unpleasant to do, but if our conscience is such that we have to do it, then we do need the support of our brother bishops. And each bishop, I think, needs to respect the other bishop in whichever decision he makes, that he’s doing it in conformity with his own conscience.

CWR: You make a very strong statement in your Pastoral Letter,  where you re you say that because we’re dealing with public figures and public examples of cooperation of moral, evil, this correction can also “take the public form of exclusion from the reception of Holy Communion.” And a bit later, you write, “I tremble that if I do not forthrightly challenge Catholics under my pastoral care who advocate for abortion, both they and I will have to answer to God for innocent blood.” In terms of how this might work out in practical terms, are you directing the priests of San Francisco that if Nancy Pelosi or a known pro-abortion Catholic politician comes to receive Communion, that they’re supposed to take the specific action of refusing them Communion? Or is this something that you leave this to their individual judgment at that moment? How do you see that working out in practical terms?

Archbishop Cordileone: First of all, I see this pastoral letter as a very clear effort of mine to warn people who are favoring the abortion of the seriousness of the situation. So that’s already acting as a warning with regard to any specific individuals. Again, those conversations have to take place. And, at a certain point, if they don’t bear fruit, taking into consideration a number of other factors as well, the bishop would have to decide whether or not to make that move. And I haven’t reached the end of that process yet. That’s still a work in progress.

CWR: Any further thoughts that you’d like to share?

Archbishop Cordileone: I’m very grateful to so many of Catholics have been so strong and visible leaders in the pro-life movement, who are not just advocating for life in the womb, but are truly pro-life because, as they say, the right response to a woman with a crisis pregnancy is not killing her baby but surrounding her with love and support. And our Catholic people are doing so much wonderful work in the pro-life, crisis pregnancy clinics, giving that woman the support she needs to make a happy and life-giving choice—all that they’re doing to help women and others in their circle of relationships, who are scarred by an abortion experience, to heal. It’s really only the Catholic Church that is doing this. I’m so grateful to, and proud of, our Catholic people who are showing the true face of what it means to be pro-life. Please keep it up!


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About Carl E. Olson 1157 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His new book Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021), is published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications.

50 Comments

  1. I realize your comments may be edited to some degree, Archbishop Cordileone, but … there is, notwithstanding your own stated convictions, a sense of circling the wagons in your comments. Play nice. Don’t name names. Make it sound like something big is coming, but don’t step on toes. You don’t even address, when asked directly, how you are specifically directing your priests to deal with YOUR Nancy Pelosi. Again, sorry Archbishop. It’s not enough to write pastoral letters. No one reads them. No one is moved by them. No one acts on them … even you are reluctant to follow through with the consequences of your convictions. Frankly, nothing will come of all of this. Cupich, Tobin, Gregory and Farrell (Bergoglio’s US proxy) will call the shots. Put your pastoral letter in the drawer.

    • You’re absolutely right, John.

      The archbishop says that taking any action at all against people who support the wholesale slaughter of children — millions upon millions of children over many decades — is “very unpleasant to do.”

      I wish I could ask him why.

      • Perhaps why it my be unpleasant is because of evil backlash…lies, cancel, name calling, protests where you live, made fun of, scourged…all of that is unpleasant. However, ALL of our martyrs did the unpleasant things in the pursuit of truth and justice. We need to do the same. Just do the right thing and don’t complain.

        • We KNOW there will be backlash, we KNOW it will be unpleasant, we KNOW the pro-death forces will strike back with everything they’ve got, which is a lot.

          We know that now, we’ve known it for years.

          So – Let the battle be joined.

    • Excellent reply. I thought the same thing that he is avoiding a clear stand on the issue . Our Catholic Catechism states that anyone who knowingly and purposely commits a sin against Gods laws as clearly stated in the 10 Commandments is commuting a mortal sin .What part of the Commandment Thou Shall Not Kill needs more teaching??? I know you’re trying to be merciful and give people to change their cold hearts, but what will it take for you to do your duty as Gods shepherd in this confusing time and put your foot down and deny Holy Communion to those who are blatantly and publicly disobeying Gods Commandents You will be held responsible for all lost souls on your watch. No excuses accepted🥲🥲🥲🥲

    • I agree a letter probably won’t achieve much, however these should still be sent as a warning. Time for talking is over, they must take real action, if there is one thing I have learned from the recent election steal it is that you cannot argue with people that support these things, for some reason they stick to their parties policies no matter what, even going along with the lies they are spun. I’m beginning to think it is like what happened in Nazi Germany in WW2, It seems that there is some sort of providence attached to their beliefs and the only way is to fight back with firstly prayer and real action combined.

    • John P – I agree with you 100% – Archbishop Cordileone doing nothing and will continue to do nothing but dialogue! He does not know “that actions speak louder then words.”

  2. The headlined title offers hope. The message suggests only more of the same. ‘Sad’ doesn’t do justice to ‘dashed hope.’

    Ho hum. So it’s now business as usual. Until the next scandal. Then will begin the preaching by bishops who need more money. Next time, the government will only be too happy to provide to keep such a ‘church’ afloat.

    May God bless all the little hearts which have been broken, and may God have mercy on those with hard, brittle, pride-filled souls and those who do nothing to staunch the flow of blood crying from the ground for justice.

  3. Good bishop, you begin by speaking about exhaustion and end by giving much appreciated encouragement to those of us in the trenches in pro-life work, sidewalk counseling and follow-up aid to turnarounds. You have our gratitude. I personally feel ashamed for my less than fully energized efforts in this regard. Nonetheless, we who have been active are exhausted too. For nearly half a century at the March for Life in Washington for example, multiple groups from around the country have appropriately chanted at various times, “Here are your people, where are our bishops!”
    Your comments talk about the respective consciences of other bishops, as though this is a confusing and burdensome struggle to take action. How so? A recent article in CWR contrasts your noble perspective with the moral sophistry of Bishop McElroy who seldom tires of trying to find yet another way out from his self-evident responsibility to affirm the primordial truth about life that he has been dodging for years. This case of not performing sacrilege by allowing political architects of the culture of death to approach the Eucharist unworthily is not his first.
    Many bishops have been acting as though a half century of ecclesial cowardice hasn’t been enough, as though ecclesial authorities, at any level of authority, has never been obligated to recognize their additional responsibilities to condemn other ordained men who have been publicly compromising their sacred responsibility to bear witness to the truth. When men of Holy Orders fail to affirm or outright bear false witness to God’s truth the only way to stem the effects of their life and soul destroying damage is to publicly identify their evil theological positions as evil. Not to pursue wrist slaps silently behind closed doors. Were not all the sex scandals a sobering enough lesson about incalculable damage to the Church’s public moral witness?
    Obviously we are all sinners, but objective evil is objective evil, even when committed by high prelates. An even larger percentage of Catholics misunderstand such Catholic fundamentals as culpability as distinct from sin as not understanding the Real Presence. Evil ideas can hypothetically not be culpable evil. But Bishops and numerous theologians who support or ignore or want to ignore evil ideas and their murderous effects must have their evil positions called out publicly, unambiguously, without hesitation, and without deference to any spinelessness demanded by anyone from Rome.
    What pro-lifers in the trenches want is for prelates, some prelate anywhere, to not be afraid to affirm that what the Church stands for, before the whole world, is justice, truth, and the value of each and every single human being made in the image and likeness of God.

      • Thank you for your complement. And I’d just like to add one more wistful observation. A friend from sidewalk-counseling, who saw them called me, and reminded me of the time of an unexpected encounter with a bishop in New York. It is true that many bishops, to their credit, around the country, have joined in rosary procession vigils at abortion mills, so I do not seek to type them, but we could not help remembering the time that by happenstance an auxiliary bishop walked past our prayer group outside a busy NY abortion mill. Rather than join us in prayer or nod encouragement he hastened his pace and tuned his head ninety degrees to the side as he walked past, very much the way a little child acts thinking that if they don’t look at what threatens their comfort, they can just make it magically disappear.

  4. Let’s pray that the bishops take a unified stand against the evil of abortion in a non negotiable way that prevents any wiggle room for interpretation. When we fight this evil we need clarity. Please fight this evil by taking a personal stand affirming it’s evil and sign a pledge acknowledging so. Go to “declaration-for-life.org” to sign the pledge. A small step indeed, but we all will face judgement some day.

    • Yes, we can and should pray and fast for our bishops and politicians, however, it looks like a unified stand of all USA bishops would indeed take direct intervention from the heavens. After all the flap from clergy over the past 50 years to follow our consciences, many bishops need to rehydrate their atrophied consciences, throw off their fear of the repercussions from Media, Pelosi, Biden and Kent, Inc. and the Cardinal Ladaria/Cupich/McElroy Kaiserschmarrn. It will take the lightening rod of courage to say, “enough is too much” — “we’re full to the eyeballs” with the pandering to politicians and media, so that, we can get our government grants for our select projects. We are now ready to reestablish as our first priority, the salvation of souls. We are going to man-up and protect the Holy Eucharist, our Divine Lord who said: “I will not leave you orphans”. We will proclaim that we are men who are ready to die for Christ, as did St. Thomas More, who said: “I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.” We will lay down our lives to protect our flock, to protect our Eucharistic Lord, who is with us always until the end of time. If by so acting, we will become a poorer church, a smaller church, a struggling church, a Faithful Catholic Church, as indicated could happen, by Cardinal Ratzinger—— then we will know that we have acted with a clear conscience and we can stand up to the world as men of faith, true followers of the Risen Lord and true shepherds ordained to carry out the Lord’s mission in this world.

  5. “…a growing sense of urgency among the bishops…

    Good. Perhaps an American Mit brennender Sorge moment is brewing.

  6. I fail to see that this issue needs further discussion by the bishops. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 2272) doesn’t equivocate, nor does Canon Law. Those who promote abortion should not present themselves to receive the Eucharist, because they are not in “communion” with the Church, period. Whether or not the bishops agree to refuse Communion to them, they have ex-communicated themselves by promoting an evil. The individual bishops should put the responsibility for the excommunication where it belongs; that is, with the one who ignores Church teaching and then has the audacity to “judge for myself” that it is find to present for Communion. The bishops don’t endanger their souls, they do it themselves.

    • The bishops do endanger their own souls by refusing to act in accordance with Church teaching and with their own oaths at ordination. They are the successors to the Apostles, for the sake of the Lord, for goodness’ sake. They do not deserve their positions if they are afraid to speak. This issue has been ongoing in the U.S. for 44 years! We who are compassionate yet devout and faithful Catholics, we who are sinners, see right through the delay and diversions of such foolishly weak, inert, slothful, unfaithful and feminine men who claim– unworthily–title of shepherd. We can only imagine what God will say. I for one, cannot imagine His words, but I envision his spitting such cowards out of His holy mouth. Except for Christ, our Church is filled with ‘leaders’ without spine, backbone, heart, or soul. They speak out of all corners of their mouths. God help them at Judgment Day.

      • ” Except for Christ, our Church is filled with ‘leaders’ without spine, backbone, heart, or soul. They speak out of all corners of their mouths. God help them at Judgment Day.”

        My long held belief too. The USCCB will not take a unified stand, 100%, agreement on this issue and will leave the decision to each bishop. Pelosi knows this, I believe this. A cafeteria church indeed.

  7. I fail to see that this issue needs further discussion by the bishops. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 2272) doesn’t equivocate, nor does Canon Law. Those who promote abortion should not present themselves to receive the Eucharist, because they are not in “communion” with the Church, period. Whether or not the bishops agree to refuse Communion to them, they have ex-communicated themselves by promoting an evil. The individual bishops should put the responsibility for the excommunication where it belongs; that is, with the one who ignores Church teaching and then has the audacity to “judge for myself” that it is fine to present for Communion. The bishops don’t endanger their souls, they do it themselves.

  8. We are a church of signs and symbols, and we eliminated the signs and symbols that indicated the Real Presence. Kneeling at a communion rail, receiving from the consecrated hands of a priest on the tongue, Mass offered on an alter changed to “gather around the table” and more. I don’t believe that issuing a document will change anything, and I have no confidence that the signs and symbols will return. With regard to non-belief in the Real Presence, we have done this to ourselves.
    In response to Mr. Olson’s question as to whether the archbishop would instruct his priests to refuse communion to Nancy Pelosi, he gave a totally non-commitment answer. Words without action will get us nowhere.

  9. Thank you, CWR, for continuing to explore this topic. We need to keep the spotlight on — as the good archbishop puts it — the “horrendous evil” of abortion.

    I would remind everyone that we as a Church are fifty years into that evil — not a mere twenty years.

    And I would have hoped that in that half century we as a Church might have progressed past “educating” and “dialoguing” to actually doing.

    Still, timing aside, I am grateful to Archbishop Cordileone for speaking the truth. Apparently, sadly, within the ranks of Catholic bishops today, it takes incredible courage to do even that.

    One last point: For every two people under the age of 50 that you see in our country, there’s another person who’s not there, who never had the chance to live.

    Put another way, a Titanic filled with children has sunk in America every day for fifty fifty years. And counting.

    Like the archbishop, I shudder that all of us — including, I am ashamed to say, me — who stood by as this evil took place will be judged in the harshest of terms.

    • It is not too late for penance. Volunteer or contribute cash to a CPC. Stand with others in prayerful vigil at Forty Days for Life. Adopt a child or parent a foster.
      Pray and fast. Pray and fast. Fast and pray.

    • I am an old man who worked through childhood, youth, young adulthood and relative maturity by seeking to defend those who can not defend themselves. As a former lifeguard, police officer, private investigator, college instructor and lay chaplain, I have laid myself on the line (both physically and emotionally) on multiple occasions, thanking God for using me and allowing me to return home to my family. I presently swim each day to keep the arthritis in check as I often think that I need to maintain my swim ability should I ever encounter a precious soul floundering in the waves. I hope that I will be up to the task, and, if I don’t accept the challenge, that the Good Lord will not hold me in contempt. Action requires “buying in to the worthiness” of the goal. Not buying in, seems to me, is an abdication of the example Our Lord provided us on the cross. He died for us all and for each and every one of us. Would I not be willing to do the same? May God bless us all- bishops, priests, consecrated souls and the lay.

  10. IMO Archbishop Cor(di)leone is taking careful steps, dotting all the i’s, crossing all the t’s, advancing toward what I consider to be the inevitable – instructing the Priests in his diocese to deny Holy Communion to all ‘catholics’ who openly defy the Church’s (2000 year old) teaching on abortion. I look for this to happen in San Francisco, for obvious reasons, and I think that once this happens – and somewhere it has to – the you-know-what will hit the fan, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, the msm will go nuts, showing once again how much they just don’t get it, and life will go on.

    I for one am sitting waiting for it, because it has to happen.

    • Sinner here. Archbishop Cordileone is probably dotting his i’s and crossing his t’s starting off with a reiteration of the universal truth that abortion is horribly wrong-evil. Before I Formed You in the Womb…helps to set the stage for the next steps in defending the defenseless. Abortion supporters may use any angle to detract from the message, including suggesting that receiving the Eucharist is fine even if you support tax payer funded abortions. The concept of worthiness becomes more and more confusing and meaningless. Some might say no one is actually worthy; therefore, let everyone in. A stand must be taken by the church to send the message that persistent and obstinate support for abortion is not catholic…is not the universal truth. Isn’t it horrible that the most defenseless humans, have the least protection? Abortion is acceptable to those who deny the humanity of the young life in the womb. As long as you can dupe people into feeling like the fetus isn’t really human, then the fetuses’ right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness can be ignored since they don’t feel like it’s a human in the first place.

  11. “2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” “by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.”
    What might be added is that leaders with a powerful profile and legislative influence who advocate for liberal abortion laws are in fact giving formal cooperation to abortion, no matter how strongly their ‘personal position’ might be against it. Especially in this day when their is so much stress on systemic immorality, with that additional explanation, what more needs to be said? Reception of communion is not a right or a prize but an act of the spiritual life than involves preparation and assent. Being Catholic is not simply a matter of tribalism or community identification, but also an ongoing choice.

  12. Every bishop at the upcoming Spring Assembly should be asked these two questions which they can take to prayer before offering public counsel on this issue: Am I acting like an Apostle in the Acts of the Apostles? If the Church today was sent an angel of God to record a present day Acts of the Apostles, would my preaching and acting (and what I am willing to suffer) for addressing abortion today with political leaders even be in the same ballpark as the preaching and actions considered to be worthy and instructive enough to be included in the original Acts of the Apostles? Hmm.. perhaps God’s angel should give up on the new project and instead ask the bishops to order a long study that will eventually produce an “Acts of the Administrators”.

  13. I support Archbishop Cordileone’s informed and sincere efforts to teach better the true meaning of the Holy Eucharist and the need for each Catholic to be in the State of Grace to worthily receive Holy Communion. Persistent public support for abortion is, indeed, a mortal sin and one should not be given Holy Eucharist when in that state.

    AB Cordileone talks of teaching on two levels. First, in general terms to all Catholics and other readers. Second, to individuals in need of more one-on-one teaching. One-on-one teaching should be private counselling and it does take some time. How much is unknown. But certainly not years. Getting public officials into private counselling might be hard, so perhaps a private letter or two.

    The longer this festers unresolved, the more Catholics and others will come to believe that Christ is NOT truly present in the Holy Eucharist, because if He was, then the Bishops would strongly defend the Holy Eucharist.

    USCCB: Time to stand up strong for Christ!

    • St. Mother Teresa spoke at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast. Pres. and Mrs. Clinton sat on the bench near the dais. You can view it on YouTube.

      St. Mother Teresa: “I think that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion. Because Jesus said, ‘If you receive a little child you receive me.’ So every abortion is the denial of receiving Jesus, the neglect of receiving Jesus.”

      These few sentences were followed by sustained audience applause for 38 seconds, during which time the President and Mrs. Clinton were seen never to clap.

      Wonder what Nan and Joe would do today if the saint said such words in their presence today? Choose those moments to go to the restroom? Clap? I’m betting they’ll do the latter, after having invited and being accompanied by Gregory, Cupich, Tobin and maybe a being or two from a higher plane of existence.

  14. Archbishop Cordileone’s pastoral letter was wonderful. I would just like to add one other point. It is of course important to be pro-life and support women in crisis pregnancies; however the church needs to do more at the root of the abortion problem…that is to address the sexual license that has made abortion on demand such an issue. The teaching of sexual morality is something that needs to come back to the forefront. Perhaps JP II’s Theology of the Body can be dusted off and highlighted by the Church hierarchy.

  15. Please, if you are going to publish, especially on a very important topic such as this, make sure you proofread your work. You are insulting your readers.

  16. Re Terence McManus above – “the you-know-what will hit the fan”. Of course it will. And maybe that will wake up a few people about the bias (a much too charitable word) of the so-called MSM.

  17. Imagine how things would change if even one bishop spoke with the moral force and spiritual courage of either
    Dr. Martin Luther(a man of incredible boldness and courage however misdirected) or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr ? Where is the Apostolic spirit in these “Apostles”? Are they not eager to crush the serpent’s head? If not, why not? If they refuse, may God raise up men who will see, judge and act. Apathy was Adam’s sin. It must not be ours!

  18. Over the past year the bishops have bent over backwards to ensure Covid compliance with a faithfulness unseen in regard to ensuring the integrity of the Eucharist.

    Shame. May God have mercy on you and correct your disordered priorities.

  19. Dear AB, how can any bishop follow his own conscience by allowing sacrilege against the Holy Eucharist and causing scandal to the faithful? That bishop belongs in another occupation. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING.

  20. Abortion is evil. Sexual abuse of a child is evil. Why is abortion addressed more by the bishops than child sexual abuse? Just asking .

    • Because abortion, being murder, is a much graver evil. And it is committed far more often. And unlike abortion, almost no one claims to be a “good Catholic” and still supports child sexual abuse, whereas millions claim to be “good Catholics” while supporting child murder. But you are not really “just asking.” You are politicking, and you know it.

  21. The day is far spent— more talk, more documents, dialogue – discernment— for what?
    The USCCB is a political tool of the DC machine.
    The faithful are left to fend for themselves
    Pelosi and Biden could care a less. You deserve what you tolerate.

  22. I do believe that the 45th President of the United States has energized the pro-life movement in this country and more. He has provided additional constitutional influence throughout the judiciary and on the highest court in the land. Still, overturning Roe v Wade would provide traction and momentum. There is no single victory. The contraceptive culture and abortion callouses on the American conscience are deep and abiding.

  23. The Archbishop needs to reread St. Pope John Paul II’s 1998 Motu Proprio Apostolos Suos, On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences, which declared that whenever bishops conferences are to make a doctrinal assertion they need to have a unanimous vote. If they don’t get this 100% yes vote among themselves, they need the recognitio or approval of the Holy See. The way the situation is right now, Cordileone is daydreaming and giving false hopes to like minded Catholics. He must tell the truth that he and his kindred fellow bishops out to get back at Biden (for having won the election) and others are just grandstanding and trying to grab media attention.

  24. Sorry Archbishop. You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth. 20 years and just now you’re getting around to this? What about all the years that Joe Biden received Holy Communion as vice president, and as senator? I live in the diocese of Wilmington. Many here hope that our new incoming bishop will be able to deal courageously with Joe Biden. Personally I don’t hold out much hope. I expect the status quo to remain. No rocking the boat.

  25. I respect you Archbishop, but recently sixty bishops sent a letter to the USCCB calling for a halt for any discussion of Eucharistic sacrilege by providing the Eucharist to baby murdering politicians. Is this “We must continue to be moral wimps, a half century is not enough” attitude really what you had in mind by with your “growing sense of urgency among bishops?”

  26. Unfortunately, nothing is going to change. Pelosi, Biden and others will not be called out for anything. In time, it will be accepted. Same sex marriage accepted. The list goes on. It will all be accepted. Yup, the Church is already smaller and will get much smaller. Someone mentioned excommunication is in order; for whom? Pelosi, Biden, Buttgeig etc etc etc already excommunicated themselves. Are there any bishops and popes who have already excommunicated themself? I don’t know. All I know is there are NOT 1.5 billion Catholics in the world. It is smaller, much much smaller. Put this in a much different context: Let’s say I go around saying everyone should be vegetarian. I call myself a vegetarian, and I may even be a leader in a vegetarian group; however, if I eat meat, and poo-poo those who really believe in being a vegetarian, then I am NOT vegetarian. What I am is a carnivore calling myself a vegetarian.

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