The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Bishop Paprocki: The bishops must discuss worthiness to receive the Eucharist

“Sadly, there are some bishops and cardinals of the Church who not only are willing to give holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, but who seek to block the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from addressing the question of Eucharistic coherence….”

Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, Illinois

Washington D.C., May 26, 2021 / 12:59 pm (CNA).

Another U.S. bishop has reproached efforts to delay discussion of “Eucharistic coherence” by the whole conference.

“Sadly, there are some bishops and cardinals of the Church who not only are willing to give holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, but who seek to block the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from addressing the question of Eucharistic coherence,” stated Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois on Wednesday.

The question of “Eucharistic coherence,” he added, “has taken on heightened urgency with the election of President Biden, a Catholic who promotes the evils of abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism.”

In a recent letter, Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago and other bishops asked the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, that deliberations on “Eucharistic worthiness and other issues raised by the Holy See” be delayed until the bishops can meet again in-person.

Individual bishops have recently addressed the application of canon law to situations of Catholic public officials who support permissive abortion laws. President Joe Biden is a Catholic and supports taxpayer-funded abortion, and individual bishops have argued both for and against denying him Holy Communion because of his continued support for legal abortion.

Bishop Paprocki noted in his Wednesday statement that the phrase “Eucharistic coherence” appeared in the 2007 Aparecida Document of the Latin American and Caribbean bishops – which then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, had a “crucial role” in developing.

In that 2007 document, the bishops noted the role of public officials in defending the sanctity of life on issues such as abortion and euthanasia. When Catholic officials support these “grave crimes against life and the family,” they are not to present themselves for Communion, the bishops said.

“We must adhere to ‘eucharistic coherence,’ that is, be conscious that they cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and the family are encouraged,” the document stated.

Bishop Paprocki further stated that the teaching on “Eucharistic coherence” is also part of canon law.

According to canons 915 and 916, “a person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or to receive the Body of the Lord’ and that those ‘who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,’” Bishop Paprocki said.

“This is not a judgement of the interior disposition of person’s soul, which only God can judge, but pertains to the person’s external actions in relation to objectively grave sins,” he said.

With the spring meeting of the bishops approaching, Archbishop Gomez had written to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on March 30. He informed the congregation that the U.S. bishops would be discussing Eucharistic consistency at their upcoming spring meeting, addressing the situations of Catholic public officials who support permissive laws on grave evils such as abortion and euthanasia.

On May 7, the prefect of the congregation – Cardinal Luis Ladaria – wrote back, telling Archbishop Gomez that if the bishops were to consider any “national policy” on Communion including these situations, they would need to first dialogue extensively and serenely among themselves to ensure they were united on the Church’s teaching.

Cardinal Cupich noted the Vatican’s call for dialogue and unity in his recent letter, and argued that the virtual nature of the bishops’ June meeting would not be conducive to discuss the matter at hand.

“The serious nature of these issues,” he said, “makes it impossible to address them productively in the fractured and isolated setting of a distance meeting.”

“We strongly urge that the bishops gather in person regionally or by province” to discuss the Vatican’s letter, he added, before the conference as a whole were to consider a teaching document on the Eucharist.

Then in a May 22 memo to all U.S. bishops, Archbishop Gomez explained that their upcoming meeting will include a deliberation and vote on whether or not to begin drafting a teaching document on the Eucharist; the vote, he clarified, will not be on final approval of any such document. Furthermore, he said, the proposed discussion “reflects recent guidance from the Holy See.”

The proposed document, he said, would focus on the centrality of the Eucharist to Christian life. An outline of the proposed document, included in Gomez’ memo, included the teachings of the Church on the Eucharist such as understanding it as “sacrifice,” the need for beautiful liturgies, the works of mercy, and a call to conversion.

It also included a section on “Eucharistic Consistency” and St. Paul’s teaching that Catholics must examine themselves before receiving Communion. The proposed section would focus on the “nature of eucharistic communion and the problem of serious sin.”

Bishop Paprocki approved of the effort to discuss the Eucharist at the bishops’ upcoming meeting.

“I fully support the decision of Archbishop Gomez and the Executive Committee of the USCCB to proceed with discussion of the topic of Eucharistic coherence at our June meeting to authorize the Committee on Doctrine to draft a document on this important subject for debate, amendment, and vote at our November meeting,” the bishop said.

He joined other bishops, including Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, who decried attempts to delay discussion of Eucharistic coherence.

“I’m deeply grieved by the rising public acrimony among bishops and the adoption of behind-closed-doors maneuvers to interfere with the accepted, normal, agreed-upon procedures of the USCCB,” Archbishop Cordileone stated on Tuesday.

“Those who do not want to issue a document on Eucharistic coherence should be open to debating the question objectively and fairly with their brother bishops, rather than attempting to derail the process,” he added.

Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver stated, “St. Paul is clear that there is danger to one’s soul if he or she receives the body and blood of our Lord in an unworthy manner.”

“As bishops, we are failing in our duty as shepherds if we ignore this truth and how it is manifesting itself in today’s society, especially with regards to those in prominent positions who reject fundamental teachings of the Church and insist that they be allowed to receive Communion,” Archbishop Aquila said.

The USCCB working group on Biden’s presidency did recommend a teaching document on the Eucharist, but maintained that any discussion of Communion for pro-abortion politicians must be included with the Church’s teaching on general worthiness to receive Communion among all Catholics.


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Catholic News Agency 2219 Articles
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

22 Comments

  1. Cupich is running the show. Francis will make sure of that!

    Let’s see the names of the other bishops who signed on to Cupich’s letter. And how about some investigative reporting from CNA? Who else is behind this? John Carr? Bryan Heir? Who at USCCB now is managing the outcome? It’s not Gomez? Where are Tobin, Gregory and Farrell in all of this? Let’s get some journalism going here and not just carefully manicured press releases.

  2. I do not understand what is to prevent Bishops Paprocki and Cordileone (Strickland, others?) from saying something along the lines of “If you are an elected official who has voted for ‘abortion rights’, don’t bother coming to receive the Eucharist, not until you are ready to repent and publicly denounce that position.”
    .

  3. We read: “Cardinal Cupich noted the Vatican’s call for dialogue and unity in his recent letter, and argued that the VIRTUAL nature of the bishops’ June meeting would not be conducive to discuss the matter at hand.”

    So, a lemming-follower of the “virtual Council” (marketed through the media) versus the real Vatican Council (found in the Documents), now protests against a “virtual” June meeting…How ever would Cupich commandeer the microphone as he did over the past USCCB President, Cardinal DiNardo, not so long ago.

    • Cupich should no more be a Cardinal than I should! He is a distraction to the establishment, when the USCCB FINALLY decides to do something. My God Bless him and keep him….far away from the USCCB! I wish he would just simply shut up! He never says anything helpful or in any way according to the Church Doctrines. He is a Cardinal??

  4. It seems urgent that bishops address the matter of Public Officials who promote and support objective grave sin regarding their demand to receive the Holy Eucharist.

    As Bishop Paprocki said: “This is not a judgement of the interior disposition of person’s soul, which only God can judge, but pertains to the person’s external actions in relation to objectively grave sins,” This matter can be handled urgently and separately. Archbishop Gomez’ proposal below is a stall tactic to draw this matter out as long as possible, so that Cupich/Ladaria et al can maneuver the outcome.

    This should be separate and can be worked out later where they can again include the worthy reception of Holy Communion in that teaching document.
    Archbishop Gomez indicates that “The proposed document would focus on the centrality of the Eucharist to Christian life. An outline of the proposed document, included in Gomez’ memo, included the teachings of the Church on the Eucharist such as understanding it as “sacrifice,” the need for beautiful liturgies, the works of mercy, and a call to conversion.”

  5. Why is so much time being wasted by the bishops on a matter that has been settled by Canon Law for a long time? Their teaching authority demands that they do just that. Cite the Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and be done!

    • Exactly! Quit debating this. They’ve been “dialoguing” for over 50 years with liberal nuns, trying to get them to change their ways. How is that going? It’s time to refuse Communion to heretics like Biden, Pelosi, et al. If they don’t comply, excommunicate them.

  6. The Statement should read, if you are a Baptized Catholic wo denies The Sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, and/or denies The Sanctity of the marital act within The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, per Catholic Canon 750, do not present yourself to receive The Holy Eucharist, for you are no longer in communion with Christ and Hs One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church, due to your denial of The Unity Of The Holy Ghost.

    • If I remember correctly, among his “Chinamen” (Chicago-ese slang for one’s political sponsor(s); the New York equivalent is “rabbi”) in the U.S. hierarchy were Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (then Archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C.), Cardinal Donald Wuerl (then Archbishop of Washington, D.C. – currently Archbishop Emeritus of same), and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap. (then the Archbishop of Boston – currently Archbishop pro-tem (he turned 75 two years ago)).

      In short, some of the most prominent of “Bernardin’s boys” among the U.S. hierarchy engineered his being made a Cardinal – the same ones, in fact, who had engineered his appointment as Archbishop of Chicago in the fall of 2014, though his name was most certainly NOT on any of the “terna” lists submitted to Pope Francis. They used their “clout” to persuade Pope Francis to override the process – and we Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago have been suffering under the vicious, madcap tyrannical reign of His Royal Highness and his jackbooted toadies and lickspittles (truly a cabal of evil men and women) ever since.

  7. Cardinal Cupich wants the bishops to wait until they next meet in person because then he can pressure those on the fence face-to-face about “Eucharistic Coherence.” A virtual call renders him less effective because he can only state his opinion and argue. He can’t cajole.

    • “A virtual call renders him less effective because he can only state his opinion and argue.”

      I’d suggest it’s even worse than that: he will simply state his opinion and then try to strong arm others. He won’t argue, precisely because he is incapable of good argument.

  8. Among the greatest moral scandals, if not the greatest in the history of Catholicism is this pontificate’s determined resistance to clarify whether it’s for or against politicians clerics laity who openly support murder of the innocent to receive Christ the very Author of each slain innocent life. It leads one to believe it’s not at all concern with division, division already exists. And that based primarily on Amoris Laetitia, and Vatican tolerance of open communion to all whatever their sensitivities. This must be the final red line as to where the pontiff stands. Bishop Paprocki, among the best of our hierarchy, rightly insists on an affirmation of Church doctrine, while offering discussion with dissenters at the June USCCB conference. Thankfully we’re finally witnessing bishops strongly defending the faith. We pray they remain steadfast and prevail. What can a pontiff do if he disagrees, issue a decree? No pontiff has the authority to prevent a bishop from defending the faith, the very essence of his Apostolic mission as defender of the faith.

  9. One can know through both our Catholic Faith and reason, that the fact that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, (not Caesar, John Locke or King John) Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, And Thus The Author Of Our Inherent, Unalienable Right To Life, To Liberty, And To The Pursuit Of Happiness, is not a matter of opinion.

  10. As I read this article all I could picture was the USCCB as a fibrilating heart. One chamber is pushing out of synch with the other chamber and nothing is getting done.

  11. Less than 1/4 (67 including Waffle Dolan) of USA active Cardinals and Bishops support a long drawn out procedure on discussion of worthiness to receive the Eucharist. Surely out of the 207 remaining prelates there must be a hundred lions. Then again, Christ healed 10 lepers and only 1 returned in gratitude.

    Past time for the lion-hearted to take courage in hand and fight for The Lord and his Church. St. Peter, all ye Holy Apostles and Martyrs, pray for us. Amen

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. VVEDNESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

Leave a Reply to Gilberta Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*