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US bishops hold tense 2-hour discussion on whether to draft document on the Holy Eucharist

June 18, 2021

Following routine presentations and discussions, the bishops of the United States held a tense virtual public discussion on June 17 on the question of whether to “approve the request of the Committee on Doctrine to proceed with the drafting of a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.”

(The discussion begins at 3:28 of the USCCB YouTube video of the day’s proceedings.)

The bishops cast electronic votes on that question as well as on eight other action items, with 99% of the bishops endorsing the beatification causes of the Servant of God Joseph Verbis Lefleur and the Servant of God Marinus (Leonard) LaRue. Results of the other votes will be announced on the afternoon of June 18, the final day of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ three-day annual spring meeting. Cardinals Blase Cupich (Chicago) and Wilton Gregory (Washington) were among those who spoke against the resolution, while Archbishops Salvatore Cordileone (San Francisco) and Joseph Naumann (Kansas City, KS) were among those who spoke in favor.

“In my nearly 38 years as a member of this episcopal conference, I cannot recall a similar moment,” said Cardinal Gregory. “The choice before us at this moment is either we pursue a path of strengthening unity amongst ourselves, or settle for creating a document that will not bring unity, but may very well further damage it.”

“The eyes of the whole country are on us right now,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “If we do not act courageously in presenting this teaching document clearly and convincingly on this core Catholic value, how can we expect to be taken seriously on any other topic?”

Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque, who worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1997 to 2005, said he would vote against the document because documents from the bishops’ conference are practically useless. The two most important persons engaged in teaching about the Holy Eucharist, he said, are the individual bishop and the individual parish priest.


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  • Posted by: td4207 - Jun. 18, 2021 2:30 PM ET USA

    "The two most important persons engaged in teaching about the Holy Eucharist, he said, are the individual bishop and the individual parish priest." The problem is that certain bishops shy away from offering public guidance that reveals the true counter-culture nature of essential Catholic doctrine. It does not help when two of the most vocal proponents of avoiding said public guidance on the proper disposition for reception of the Holy Eucharist were made cardinals by Pope Francis.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jun. 18, 2021 10:18 AM ET USA

    The moral relativism displayed by our 2 beloved cardinals demonstrates why the U.S. Church is bleeding faithful Catholics at a pace not seen since liberation theology took hold on Central America. Sure, the child and seminarian abuse blasphemies continue to generate righteous anger that has been turned into action in some dioceses around the world. But it is the corruption of education, seen clearly in the opposition of 2 prelates to instruction about the Eucharist, that continues to destroy.