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The subject of Eucharistic coherence is placing a magnifying glass on U.S. bishops and their ongoing division. This demarcation on receiving Holy Communion relates to whether one first needs to accept and uphold the Church's essential doctrines on faith and morals.
Priest: "do you renounce Satan?"
Congregation: "I do."
In a tradition that dates back to St. Paul (in his first letter to the Corinthians), if one is not in communion with the Church — either by mortal sin or refusing to accept her official doctrines — taking Communion is a condemnatory act.
Abp. Cordileone: "They're in a state of mortal sin, objectively speaking. Therefore, they should not present themselves for Holy Communion."
It's like a man taking a woman he's not married to. Both marital and Eucharistic union must be based on a total commitment already made.
Bride and groom: "I will."
Despite the splash the letter rejecting Eucharistic coherence is making, of the 263 Latin rite bishops in the United States, only 67 signed the letter. This means 196 did not. Prelates who refused to sign include: Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Samuel Aquila of Denver and Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.
Bp. Strickland: "Being Catholic, having the Catholic label, that covers a spectrum that can be very foreign from what the Catholic Church teaches."
Also not signing: Joseph Naumann of Kansas City (who leads the U.S. bishops' pro-life office) and José Gómez of Los Angeles (who heads the U.S. bishops' conference). Nonetheless, the great majority who didn't sign it have remained silent on the issue.
The fence many U.S. bishops are now sitting on is becoming much sharper and more uncomfortable.
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