During his 16 years in Congress, Catholic Dan Lipinski became one of the last pro-life Democrats serving in the House of Representatives.

Lipinski’s pro-life position drew considerable criticism within the Democratic Party. It became the focus of a tough primary challenge in 2018, which Lipinski won, and a tougher primary race in 2020, which he lost.

His final term in Congress ended Jan. 3, 2021.

Lipinski, who has a Ph.D. in political science, talked with The Pillar this week about partisanship and “Eucharistic coherence.” He also told us why he’d rather be a Catholic witness than a congressman….

The Pillar: Dr. Lipinski, an outspoken pro-life Catholic Democrat has a fairly unique lens through which to observe national politics. It’s a unique lens to observe the life of the Church too, for that matter. What has been your assessment of the bishops’ debate over “Eucharistic coherence” in recent weeks?

You know, it really has helped me watching the bishops debate last week. I’m very happy that the bishops are moving forward with their teaching document. It’s clearly needed.

I think most Catholics don’t understand the teachings of the Church on the Eucharist — on Holy Communion, and the reception of Holy Communion. I’ve learned more, and I know that there’s more for me to learn. It really made me think more seriously about receiving Holy Communion, and preparing to receive Holy Communion.

And then seeing that “Statement of Principles” come out… well, that statement surprised me.

[ed note: Shortly after the U.S. bishops announced last week that they had approved the drafting of a text on the Eucharist, 60 Catholic Democrats in Congress released a “Statement of Principles,” which acknowledged their “disagreement with the Church in some areas,” and urged that the bishops not prohibit pro-choice Catholic lawmakers from receiving the Eucharist.]

I would not have expected that the 60 members of Congress would so quickly come out with that. I wonder where it originated from.

The above comes from a June 25 story in The Pillar.