A new survey of practicing Catholics found that 74% of respondents believe that pro-abortion politicians who claim to be Catholic, such as President Joe Biden, should not be allowed to receive communion because it goes against the basic precepts of the Catholic Church.
The poll was conducted by the information consulting firm CRC Research on behalf of the pro-life group Catholic Vote. Initial results showed that 74% of Catholics who regularly attend Mass believe that pro-abortion politicians should not receive communion and another 83% of Catholics who regularly attend Mass said that pro-abortion politicians “create confusion and disunity” because they do not follow the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.
A large majority of practicing Catholics also agreed that politicians who identify as Catholic but advocate policies in opposition to the church are “hypocrites.”
“Catholic politicians who advocate policies deemed ‘gravely immoral’ create confusion and discord among believers,” Catholic Vote President Brian Burch said in a statement. “Catholics’ concern about the flouting of Catholic social teaching by public leaders has less to do with politics and more to do with the integrity of the faith, along with the reverence and respect due to the Holy Eucharist.
Catholic Vote seeks to persuade the U.S. Catholic bishops, who are preparing to meet to discuss how to restore the understanding and function of the sacrament among Catholics.
The data is very clear: the bishops have an obligation to act,” Burch said.
This week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) plans to clarify its policy on whether politicians who contradict church teaching can be denied Communion at its spring General Assembly.
The USCCB has previously stated that Catholics who knowingly reject church teaching in their personal or professional lives should refrain from Communion, according to religious media outlet The Pillar.
According to the story published by The Pillar, in November 2006, two years after a USCCB discussion on the Eucharist and the behavior of politicians, the conference approved “Happy Those Who Are Called to His Supper,” a 23-page document “On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist.”
The document identifies that those who are “no longer in the state of grace due to mortal sin” should refrain from receiving the Eucharist until they are “reconciled with God and the Church.”
For its part, the Vatican privately urged U.S. bishops not to implement a policy that would open the door to denying public officials and elected leaders access to Communion, according to an anonymously authored New York Times report.
Last month, a group of bishops sent a letter urging Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the USCCB, to remove the item from the June meeting agenda, saying that because the issue is extremely controversial and should not be addressed until the bishops meet in person, which could likely happen only in November.
However, despite warnings from the Vatican and its allied bishops in the U.S., USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has stood firm and decided not to postpone the discussion this week, according to the National Catholic Reporter.