While the country waits for a possibly game-changing Supreme Court decision on abortion. Catholic Bishop Burbidge Takes Aim at Biden, says he causes ‘Great Scandal’ and urges Biden to seek counsel in Eucharistic adoration.
Last month, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco called on his highest-profile parishioner to refrain U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from receiving Communion as long as she supports abortion rights.
The Archbishop told Speaker Pelosi in a letter that she should not attempt to take Holy Communion and that if she does, priests will deny her.
The letter said:
“The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree on the Church in the Modem World, Gaudium et spes, reiterated the Church’s ancient and consistent teaching that ‘from the first moment of conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes’. Christians have, indeed, always upheld the dignity of human life in every stage, especially the most vulnerable, beginning with life in the womb. His Holiness, Pope Francis, in keeping with his predecessors, has likewise been quite clear and emphatic in teaching on the dignity of human life in the womb,
This fundamental moral truth has consequences for Catholics in how they live their lives, especially those entrusted with promoting and protecting the public good of society. Pope St. John Paul II was also quite consistent in upholding this constant teaching of the Church, and frequently reminded us that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose’ any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them (cf. Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life [November 24, 2002], n. 4, §1).
A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 915).“In striving to follow this direction, I am grateful to you for the time you have given me in the past to speak about these matters. Unfortunately, I have not received such an accommodation to my many requests to speak with you again since you vowed to codify the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in federal law following upon passage of Texas Senate Bill 8 last September. That is why I communicated my concerns to you via letter on April 7, 2022, and informed you there that, should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, As you have not publicly repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come.
Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be “concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.”
While many bishops around the country have backed Cordileone’s ruling, Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, has addressed a similar message to President Biden.
“I find it very troubling that President Biden continues to contradict the most basic teachings of the faith he professes,” Burbidge said in a recent episode of his podcast, Walk Humbly.
“It’s a shame. It really is, both for the state, for his own soul, and also because he’s missing the opportunity to do good in his role that is unmatched, the ability he has to do good. And it’s so sad to see him not doing that. Imagine if he chose to support women in need rather than encourage wider access to abortion.” He added.
He said that Biden causes “great scandal when he announces both his faith and his pro-abortion position publicly. I pray that he will change his position, repent of the scandal and the damage that is being caused.”
Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. are covered by the Diocese of Arlington.
Denial of Communion for pro-abortion Catholic public officials has been a source of contention for years, but it has recently heated up. As the Roe v. Wade ruling is increasingly challenged, Pelosi, Biden, and other Catholics in office have expressed support for strengthening the legal “right” to abortion. Politico leaked a draft ruling authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito and signed by four other justices in early May, implying that the high court will overturn Roe when it issues its conclusion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization later this month.
This year has also seen a number of states impose much stricter abortion regulations, with some states outright prohibiting the procedure. Other states, with the help of some Catholic legislators, have taken the opposite approach and worked to strengthen abortion rights.
The bishops of Colorado released a strong statement this week, warning that any Catholic legislator who has voted in support of expanding abortion in the Centennial State should not receive the Eucharist.
And as for President Biden, Burbidge urged him to seek counsel in Eucharistic adoration.
“My prayer recently has been that, as busy as he is, as demanding as his job is, that the president and other elected officials would find time … to just go in church, just sit in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, be still, be quiet, and allow the voice of the Lord to speak to you,” he said. “We know what that voice will say to the president, to all of us. Protect my children, love me, respect one another, uphold the Gospel of Life. And so, as we always say to Catholics, the churches of our doors are open to you to simply be in the presence of the Lord, the one alone who can transform hearts, the one alone in the Sacrament of Penance who is willing to forgive our sins, no matter how great they may be and allow us to begin anew.”