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"Communion, Catholics and Public Life: Where Do We Go From Here?" This was the title of a discussion Wednesday hosted by a Jesuit university. Participants included an American cardinal, a bishop and the nation's apostolic nuncio. Church Militant's William Mahoney looks at the conversation and the people involved.
Kim Daniels: "As I watched the June debate, I was struck by the fact that this very important conversation was only taking place among older, ordained, mostly white men."
Kim Daniels of Georgetown University moderated the online discussion.
Apostolic nuncio to the United States Abp. Christophe Pierre offered a prerecorded message featuring many Pope Francis buzzwords.
Abp. Christophe Pierre: "It is in the logic of synodality. ... We need to become a Church which goes forward to encounter and accompany the people where they are. ... how to remain firm, faithful to the message of the gospel and avoid any kind of ideological war."
Cdl. Joseph Tobin: "We try to listen in many different ways to how the Holy Spirit is speaking to the Church today."
Bishop Rhoades is the chair of the Committee on Doctrine for the U.S. bishops' conference, or USCCB. He is ultimately responsible for drafting the conference's official document on the Eucharist.
Bp. Kevin Rhoades: "The document will not be establishing national norms. ... It's really beyond our competence. I mean, we're the doctrine committee, we're not the canonical affairs committee."
Another participant, Mollie Wilson O'Reilly, is editor-at-large and a columnist for the magazine Commonweal.
She has penned an article titled "A Harmful Doctrine — The Catholic Church Is Wrong about Gay People" and another piece called "Working for Justice Means Taking Sides," in which she claims "racist and violent policing as the result of individual 'bad apples' doesn't just obscure larger systemic problems."
Mollie Wilson O'Reilly: "And now that we have Biden in office, and we are still dealing with so many of the negative consequences of letting someone like Donald Trump be in power. ... The most significant thing about Biden is not his position on abortion or even his identity as a Catholic, but just the fact that he's the guy who has the job of trying to fix all of these messes."
Critics are wondering: If the USCCB has no competency to establish a national policy for enforcing canon law, then what is its purpose?
They further wonder, if the bishops really want to hear the people, why do they refuse to include the many voices begging them to enforce the Church's law?
Many bishops seem to be speaking from both sides of their mouths, claiming, on the one hand, the goal is eucharistic revival, while on the other, not taking the Eucharist seriously enough to prevent public sacrilege.
In November, the USCCB will meet in Baltimore, where Church Militant will also meet with thousands of believers for a prayer rally and conference.