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Bishops clarify purpose of Eucharist document


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John Burger - published on 07/04/21

Teaching is for all, and not directed to any individual, conference says in statement.

A week after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ spring meeting, the conference has posted on its website a clarification of the vote taken to write a teaching document on the Eucharist. In response to media coverage portraying the vote as being about denying Communion to President Joe Biden, a Catholic, for his support of abortion, the bishops said the document to be written is for all, and not directed toward one person.

“There has been much attention on the vote taken to draft a document on the Eucharist,” the statement read. “The question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot. The vote by the bishops last week tasked the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine to begin the drafting of a teaching document on the Eucharist.”

Reiterating the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of Christian life, the bishops stressed that “the importance of nurturing an ever deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives not a new topic” for them. 

“The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons,” the statement said. “It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

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