The far-left National Catholic Reporter, in a bizarre op-ed this week, accused the U.S. Bishops of worshiping former President Donald Trump rather than Jesus Christ.
The newspaper’s editorial board declares that “Catholicism already is perceived by many — including many of our young people — as an extension of that portion of the Republican Party that believes the ‘Big Lie,’” adding that it “promotes conspiracy theories about vaccinations and is willing to abandon all other principles to overturn a nearly 50-year-old court case.”
“This new ‘MAGA church,’ with Donald Trump instead of Jesus as its savior, has already divided U.S. Catholics,” the paper’s editors insist.
The theme of the op-ed is the U.S. Bishops’ examination of “Eucharistic coherence,” or what public positions against Church teaching should disqualify a Catholic from receiving Holy Communion. Many bishops have already declared that President Joe Biden should be excluded from Communion because of his enthusiastic support for abortion, which Catholics believe to be murder.
“The decision of the bishops’ conference to adopt an adversarial stance toward Biden is not only pastorally wrong, it is politically stupid,” the editors state, “given the number of areas of agreement between this administration and the bishops’ own priorities.”
Historically, the National Catholic Reporter has downplayed the importance of abortion as a moral issue, and the current president of Catholics for Choice, a pro-abortion advocacy group, is Jamie L. Manson, a former columnist for the Reporter.
The bishops’ conference “has become completely irrelevant and ineffectual,” the editors assert, and this will be even clearer “after the conference leaders move forward with this patently bad idea.”
“The bishops’ plan is a terrible idea, first and foremost, because such excessive attention to the worthiness of those receiving Communion is contrary to a proper, traditional theology of the sacraments,” the editors declare.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, however, “Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution.”
“The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins – that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation,” the Catechism declares. “The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church.”
“St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: ‘Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup,” the Catechism recalls.
Bill Donohue, the redoubtable president of the Catholic League, has pointed out the Reporter’s inconsistencies in its own commentary on the latest op-ed.
“There is nothing new about the National Catholic Reporter working to undermine Catholic teachings,” he notes, “but their latest attack on the bishops is in a class of its own.”
“If we had a racist Catholic president, the Reporter would be calling on the USCCB to excommunicate him,” Donohue observes. “But when it comes to abortion, they swing the other way.”
“The Church regards both abortion and racism to be ‘intrinsically evil,’” he concludes. “It is the Reporter that is inconsistent, not the bishops.”