In Rift With Biden, a dramatic show of force from a conservative Catholic movement


“We are at a new time in the pro-life movement,” he told the bishops. “Those who defend abortion no longer speak in the language of their choice – they speak of it as a right. “

Clerics ultimately approved a plan to draft a statement that could be used as a theological justification for denying Communion to Mr. Biden and Catholic politicians like him who support the right to abortion.

Christians receive Communion to remember the sacrifice Jesus made in his death. For Catholics, the ritual is a sacrament and the central part of every Mass. Catholic teaching teaches that the bread and wine are literally transformed into the body and blood of Christ during mass. To be refused the Eucharist is to be refused the presence of Christ.

Conservative Catholics, not just Evangelicals, had significant power in Mr. Trump’s administration, particularly in advancing his anti-abortion agenda and the appointment of around 200 federal judges. Several senior officials were conservative Catholics, including Pat Cipollone, the former White House lawyer; Mick Mulvaney, the former White House chief of staff; and Kellyanne Conway, former advisor to Mr. Trump. Outside partners, such as Leonard A. Leo of the Federalist Society and Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, have also been influential.

Now, in the early months of the Biden administration, the actions of the bishops have recently emboldened the conservative base. CatholicVote, a conservative political group, began raising funds for the decision within hours.

On Saturday in Fort Worth, Reverend Jim Gigliotti wrote a letter to Representative Ted Lieu, a Catholic Democrat from California, writing “your very soul is in danger” and informing him that he would be denied Communion if he attended. Mass at the parish of M. Gigliotti.

“Confrontation is a ministry of compassion,” said Father Gigliotti.

Mr. Lieu, in a series of tweets after the bishops’ vote, called them “hypocrites”For not asking former Attorney General William P. Barr to abstain from the Eucharist because of his use of the death penalty while serving under Mr. Trump. Mr. Lieu challenged the bishops to deny him communion, stressing that he supports contraception, the right to same-sex marriage and “the woman’s right to choose”, which are all violations of Catholic teaching.


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