Louise Kelly, Ailsa Chang, Washington discussed on All Things Considered
1 806 100 KCRW. This is all things considered from NPR news. I'm Ailsa Chang and I'm very Louise Kelly. When President Biden spends the weekend here in Washington, he often attends Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown. And when he's there, Biden participates in a central part of the service the Eucharist, But there is tension surrounding the sacrament for the most prominent Roman Catholic politician in the US some bishops. Some priests believe that because Biden supports abortion rights, he shouldn't be allowed to receive Holy Communion. And now some American bishops are moving to make that a policy. Not only for the president, but for other Catholic politicians who also support abortion rights. We're going to talk through this with Reverend Stan to alot. He's a priest and an associate professor and Catholic studies at DePaul University in Chicago, and he opposes this policy. Welcome. Thank you. So I want to start with today's news. The Vatican wait on weighed in on this with a warning to the head of the U. S conference of Catholic bishops. What did they say? The sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which regulates Catholic doctrine, beliefs and practices globally. Come on with. I mean, I would say policy and advice that what is needed today is dialogue with Catholic Pro Choice politicians. So one the Vatican is saying is that they should not rush into making sanctions and the weaponizing the sacraments, but rather they should seek for dialogue. Okay, so the Vatican wing and saying slow down If I could take your time with this. How does that square or not? With what? The pope himself What Pope Francis has said the pope. You remember the famous expression off the pope many years ago, I said, Who am I to judge? The pope is telling us that Holy Communion is not a trophy that you grant to a champion. The pope is the reminding us that we shouldn't weaponize the sacrament is not the role of the bishop toe make draconian laws, but rather to inform the conscience to teach people on, then tow, allow the A teaching toe form the hearts and minds off people in their dialogue. So let me jump in and try to figure out how this might Play out. We know The U. S conference of Catholic Bishops has scheduled a meeting. We know it's next month, June 16th. They have plans to vote on a document about this. What? Where do you expect that to go? I will expect that given the polarization, unfortunately within the ranks of the B shops, giving also this cautionary note from the Vatican that the bishops will not proceed in coming up with that kind of policy. Which I think given the fact that we in the mist of a pandemic, why should people just suddenly think that this is the most central issue to address and then I was going to ask? Is this issue front of mind for American Catholics? Is this the priority in a lot of churches? I think that what most Catholics are worried about, and I think most of the Christians and other people of faith is that for the last one year, they have not been able to go to church. Experience community. I think people are worried that many people are still dying and suffering from Cove. It 19 on most important way. I must say this as a Catholic priest. It worries me that when we talk off abortion, we only hearing the voices off an all male hierarchy on May leadership. We are not talking about the experience of the women who have suffered from abortion who had to make that choice. Who's there, carrying the burden off the choice? I like to hear more of the voices of women about this issue. One more question, which is just the very basic one, Whatever the U. S conference of Catholic bishops decides next month Is it binding or do individual churches have some leeway? Because we should stress? It would be very where to turn someone away from communion, right? Yes, definitely. You know, the law in the Catholic Church is that it is the local bishop who regulates the practice and administration of the sacraments in his particle, a church. So in this case, the cardinal archbishop of Washington, D. C. Cardinal, Wilton Gregory has already made it clear that Biden is welcome to receive communion. Churches in the diocese. That is the reverend stand to alot. He is a priest and an associate professor and Catholic studies at DePaul University in Chicago. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Mm hmm. When the pandemic began, and lots of people moved to remote work, some also moved full stop to new places, places they would rather live in far from the offices..