There may be some confusion about a planned document that will be discussed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when they meet in Baltimore in November (”Bishops debate over who is worthy of Eucharist when really, no one is — including them,” July 9).
When the proposal was originally presented, a false narrative developed that the U.S. bishops’ goal was to codify who is and who is not worthy to receive Holy Communion. As the bishops discussed the proposed document during their June meeting, it became clear that, in fact, the document would serve as a basis for pastoral efforts to strengthen belief in the Holy Eucharist and to reignite the desire of Catholics to participate in Holy Mass and to receive Holy Communion.
As Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori told the faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in a message after the bishops’ June meeting, “It is important to note that the bishops did not vote to implement a national policy to deny Holy Communion to politicians who reject Church teaching. … It is not disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one person or class of persons.”
The U.S. Bishops’ Conference, as such, is not authorized deny Communion to any individual nor to develop a national policy on this matter. The document is intended to be pastoral and to help all Catholic appreciate the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist. We hope that your readers will wait to see the document once it is complete before they pass judgment on it.
Christian Kendzierski, Baltimore
The writer is executive director of communications for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
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