Dear US Bishops,
I know that you are diligently discerning how to best articulate the persistent and obstinate problem of Catholic politicians proclaiming their faith while advocating for abortion, especially in light of our so-called Catholic President Joe Biden’s behavior. I am praying for you and your strength.
The instruction on this matter could not be clearer as received from then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (2004) and St. Paul to the Church in Corinth nearly 2000 years ago. St. Paul instructed “A person should examine himself…for anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment, but since we are judged by [the] Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:28-32).
This eternally dangerous practice of presenting oneself for Holy Communion while persistently and publicly committing mortal sin, as these politicians continually do, brings both scandal and harm to the people of God (the body of Christ). This continual immoral behavior as Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Chair of the Pro-Life Committee for the USCCB, has stated, is “a grave evil.”
As shepherds of God’s flock in the US, you have a responsibility to withhold communion from the lost sheep who are in this state of apostasy. Pope Benedict XVI instructed, while Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, that priests “must” deny the sacrament if a politician attempts to receive Communion despite “an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin.” Sadly, you did not adhere to our future Pope’s apostolic words and instructions 17 years ago and so we continue to have this chronic sacrilege occurring before our very eyes in the church’s we attend.
Why will you not courageously protect these lost souls by helping them properly discern the body as St. Paul taught? Why will you not exercise your office of bishop by admonishing the ignorant and imposing the necessary medicinal response should they persist in their public scandal?
Of course, we know that Matthew 18:15-17 should be followed in this course of pastoral action. However, since we hear no public act of repentance or retraction of their position on the issue of abortion, we are left as a lay faithful to assume that these politicians are not interested in discerning the body and not concerned about the state of their own souls before Almighty God. You, as their bishops, must care for their souls and apply whatever measures the Church allows to rescue these souls from perdition.
Your office of bishop demands such action from you. You are in a position of teacher, admonisher and wise counselor. Please exercise your role knowing that the great gift and burden you bear, as shepherd for these lost sheep, requires tremendous courage, humility and strident instruction from you. All of which I know might be exercised amidst volatile and disparaging public opinion and pressure from those who neither know the Church nor care about the souls in question.
Again, I will pray for your wisdom and courage as you seek to honor the will of God in the service of His people.
Your spiritual son,