The Archbishop of San Francisco said this week there must be a “major effort” to “re-catechize” Catholics on the Eucharist and worthiness to receive Communion.
In an interview which aired on Thursday on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said that the matter of “Eucharistic coherence” applies to all Catholics, not just Catholic public officials. The bishops are scheduled to discuss the topic at their upcoming spring meeting from June 16-18, and vote on whether or not to begin drafting a teaching document on the Eucharist.
Regarding the worthiness of Catholics to receive Communion – including politicians who publicly support permissive legislation on grave evils such as abortion – “we’ve been debating this and discussing it for a very long time, at least 20 years now,” Archbishop Cordileone said on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly.
“And I remember as a new bishop this issue coming up – and the realization that the problem is our people don’t understand what the act of Communion really means, in that sense of worthiness to receive Holy Communion,” he said.
“So, certainly, Eucharistic coherence applies to every single Catholic,” Cordileone said. “Catholics prominent in public life have an additional responsibility, in terms of the public witness that they give,” he added, “but it applies to all Catholics. So, we do need to have a very major effort in re-catechizing our people about this.”
At their upcoming virtual spring meeting, the U.S. bishops are scheduled to deliberate and vote on whether to begin drafting a document on Eucharistic coherence.
The term “Eucharistic coherence,” used in the 2007 Aparecida document of the Latin American and Caribbean bishops, refers to the “consistency between the way we receive the Holy Eucharist, and the way that we live our life, that we need to be properly disposed to receive the Eucharist,” Cordileone explained.
That document, which then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio contributed to the development of, also noted the role of public officials in defending the sanctity of life on issues such as abortion and euthanasia. When Catholic officials support these and “other grave crimes against life and the family,” they are not to present themselves for Communion, the bishops said in the Aparecida.
Some bishops, led by Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago, wrote Archbishop Gomez in an effort to delay the discussions on the Eucharist by the U.S. bishops. The gravity of the topic requires an in-person deliberation, he argued.
Gomez replied in a May 22 memo that that the agenda item to consider the document on the Eucharist was approved by the conference’s administrative committee, and will occur as planned at the upcoming meeting.
“There will be a debate,” Cordileone confirmed. If the bishops move forward with drafting a document, the Doctrine Committee would write the document, the full text of which would be debated and voted on at the bishops’ fall meeting in November….
The above comes from a June 4 story on the site of Catholic News Agency.