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Invoking the familiar argument about separation of Church and state, Cardinal Mahony argues that it is “almost impossible” for a Catholic politician to make decisions consistently based on Church doctrine. He praises a June statement issued by 60 Democratic representatives, saying that when he read it, “I said, ‘This is us! This is the Church!’” In that statement the lawmakers had objected to “the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion.”
Cardinal Mahony’s arguments are not original or surprising. But it is noteworthy that the Vatican’s official service chose to call attention to these views—expressed by a prelate who resigned under pressure ten years ago—on the eve of the US bishops’ debate.
5plan for a National Eucharistic Revival. In a 201-17 vote, the bishops approved a national Eucharistic congress in Indianapolis in summer 2024.
The bishops’ statement “does not contain reference to pro-abortion Catholic politicians, though it does mention the possibility of prohibiting Catholics from Holy Communion,” The Pillar reported.
That is one of many revealing statistics produced by a survey of the country’s Catholics, commissioned by Pillar.
In a preliminary analysis of the survey results, Pillar points to a number of interesting responses—some surprising—showing which Catholics are statistically most likely to remain active in the Church, and which most likely to leave the faith.
“It’s clear that Traditionis Custodes is saying, OK, this experiment has not entirely been successful,” he continued. “And so let us go back to what the [Second Vatican] Council required of the Church.”
The archbishop’s interpretation of Summorum Pontificum conflicts directly with the published thoughts of that document’s author. In his Last Testament, Pope-emeritus Benedict says:
The reauthorization of the Tridentine Mass is often interpreted primarily as a concession to the Society of Saint Pius X. This is just absolutely false! It was important for me that the Church is one with herself inwardly, with her own past; that what was previously holy to her is not somehow wrong now.
In 2019, a Pew survey found that only 31% of American Catholics—but 63% of those who attend Mass weekly—accept the Church’s doctrinal teaching.
The Pillar survey results were made public just before the November meeting of the US episcopal conference, at which the bishops will discuss a proposed document on proper reverence for the Eucharist.
On other questions, the Pillar survey found that American Catholics generally trust their bishops and pastors, with the level of trust significantly higher among regular Mass-goers. An even stronger majority (76%) trust Pope Francis, with the results fairly consistent across the ideological spectrum.
9offered to resign following the publication of a report about his relationship with a woman.
The Pontiff appointed Archbishop Georges Pontier, 78, retired Archbishop of Marseille and former president of the French episcopal conference, as apostolic administrator.