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US bishops’ aim to draw Communion line against Biden over abortion rights stirs ire

Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden attend Mass at St. Matthews in Washington on the morning of his inauguration, Jan. 20.
Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden attend Mass at St. Matthews in Washington on the morning of his inauguration, Jan. 20.Doug Mills/NYT

Don’t these bishops have more pressing issues?

As a formerly devout Catholic, I am outraged at how the Roman Catholic bishops of the United States are maneuvering against our Catholic president, Joe Biden (“Move by bishops takes aim at Biden: Set to write policy that could deny Holy Communion to backers of abortion rights,” Page A1, June 19). Biden practices his faith in life and in prayer, which is more than I can say about many of these bishops.

Perhaps these Catholic leaders should focus more on their fellow bishops and priests, whose hands were contaminated with acts of sexual abuse against children and who continue to use these same hands to dispense the sacred Eucharist during Mass. That, to me, would be a better use of their time than stepping into a political debate.


It is so interesting how their silence was deafening during the reign of Donald Trump.

Susan M. Schmidt


Catholic faithful are all over the map on church doctrine

Saturday’s front-page article was headlined “Move by bishops takes aim at Biden.” At the same time, we should be taking aim at the bishops. They are the ones responsible for the poor job many have done in catechizing the Catholic faithful on church doctrine.

The faithful, meanwhile, prefer being affirmed in their own opinions (for example, on women priests, abortion, and all the way down the slippery slope to novelties such as destination weddings). “Why should I care what the Vatican thinks?” is a comment I’ve heard more than once.

Paul M. Blake


Church leaders should focus on demand side of abortion curve

Efforts by US Catholic bishops to deny the Vatican-based church’s sacraments to specific politicians have always seemed strange to me.

First, they are promoting judgment and exclusion, even though Jesus taught people to practice mercy and inclusion.

Second, the adjective “catholic” is defined as embracing differences and variety.

Third, the bishops are usually endorsing a political strategy to reduce what one might think of as the supply of abortions. If the bishops had real political wisdom, they would instead be working to reduce the demand for abortions.


Policies reflected by the Trump administration are bent on making abortions illegal in certain states, much as fireworks are. As a follower of Jesus who is interested in preserving life, I’m not satisfied with that outcome.

Policies reflective of the Biden administration would actually reduce the number of abortions that take place. If we eased the economic pressures on pregnant women in our country, more of them might choose childbirth.

Wise bishops should be focused on advocating for the kind of policies of gender equality, universal health insurance, affordable housing, living wages, paid time off, affordable child care, affordable public colleges, and fair taxes that already exist in European countries.

W.D. Stefanowicz


From death penalty to gun control, there are many issues over which to contend here

Bishops are on a path to refuse Holy Communion because of support for abortion rights? How about refusing Holy Communion to Catholics who don’t: shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, welcome those seeking asylum, extend medical coverage to the sick, pay their fair share of taxes? Or how about refusing it to Catholics who do: exploit workers, support the death penalty, incite immoral insurrections, enable sexual abuse, and discriminate against others in words or actions?

Bill Henderson


Out of a concern for the sanctity of life, US Roman Catholic bishops are moving to deny President Biden Communion over his support of abortion rights. I trust that this means they also will deny Communion to politicians who support the death penalty and who refuse all efforts to enact sensible gun control legislation, which could save thousands of lives each year.


Gilbert E. Metcalf


The tax question arises

It’s a nice idea: separation of church and state. But Catholic bishops wanting to deny Communion to supporters of abortion rights are playing politics and marrying church and state.

I’m all for bishops playing politics, enjoying free speech, and playing revenge games if the church pays its fair share of taxes.

Carol Szymanski

Old Wethersfield

Is the whole world really watching?

Reading “Move by bishops takes aim at Biden” confirmed for me that the modern institutional Catholic Church can only be understood as a farce about a group of deluded old men. I laughed out loud at the suggestion by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco that the bishops’ “credibility” was “on the line.” What credibility?

Thomas Miller


No statement captures the immense ego, tone-deafness, and disconnect from reality of the conservative Catholic bishops at their conference as well as that of Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco: “The eyes of the whole country are on us right now.”


Edward Sullivan

Londonderry, N.H.

Last he checked, US is not a theocracy

The Roman Catholic bishops of the United States remind me of the ayatollahs who have held sway over Iran. While the United States is a democracy founded on separation of church and state, Iran is in large part a theocracy, and their religious leaders are obliged to issue guidance to the populace and their president.


In our country, the Roman Catholic bishops should stick to their church business and leave President Biden alone.

Walter Horan