The four principal leaders of the U.S. House and Senate will attend a Catholic Mass on Wednesday, Jan. 20, with President-elect Joe Biden before he is inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States.
The Mass will occur at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and Cardinal Wilton Gregory is expected to preside over the service. Although Biden supports abortion and "gay marriage," which are contrary to Catholic moral teaching, Cardinal Gregory has stated that he would not deny Holy Communion to Biden.
The four principal congressional leaders who will attend the Mass are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Baptist; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jewish; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Catholic; and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Baptist.
Once Biden is inaugurated, Schumer will become the Senate Majority Leader and McConnell the Senate Minority Leader. The 2021 Senate is split 50-50, which means any tie votes would be decided by incoming Vice President Kamala Harris (D).
Like Biden, Speaker Pelosi is also a pro-abortion Catholic who supports "gay marriage."
Although Cardinal Gregory has said he would not deny Communion to Biden, several bishops have explained that this is wrong.
Joe Biden “is not a Catholic in good standing and he should not approach to receive Holy Communion,” said Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who was ordained a bishop by Pope St. John Paul II.
“This is not a political statement, I don’t intend to get involved in recommending any candidate for office,” said Burke in September, “but simply to state that a Catholic may not support abortion in any shape or form because it is one of the most grievous sins against human life, and has always been considered to be intrinsically evil, and therefore to in any way support the act is a mortal sin.”
Biden “has not only been actively supporting procured abortion in our country but has announced publicly in his campaign that he intends to make the practice of procured abortion available to everyone in the widest possible form and to repeal the restrictions on this practice which have been put in place,” said the cardinal.
Burke added that in addition to Biden's support for killing babies by abortion, "he should not approach to receive Holy Communion because he gives scandal to everyone. ... [I]f someone says, ‘Well, I’m a devout Catholic’ and at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it’s acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion and, of course, it’s absolutely not acceptable.”
“It never has been, it never will be,” said Cardinal Burke. In the past, the cardinal has also stated that Pelosi should not present herself for Communion because of her pro-abortion views.
To receive Communion properly, a Catholic must “regulate one’s life according to what the Church teaches,” said San Francisco's Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in 2014. “So it’s belief and practice: faith and morals.”
“Anyone who would violate this, whether it’s dissenting from a defined Church teaching -- we know from revelation, Church doctrine -- or living in a way that violates the moral teachings of the Church in a serious way, what we would call mortal sin, are not properly disposed to receive Holy Communion,” said the archbishop.
In early December 2020, retired Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said that Joe Biden is "not in full communion with the Catholic Church," and because of his long history of supporting "grave moral evils," such as abortion, he "should not receive Holy Communion."
Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs said in 2012 that Biden "ought not to be receiving Communion."
"It’s clear to me that the Code of Canon Law, Canon 915, says that a Catholic politician who publicly espouses positions that are contrary, not just to any teachings of the Church, but to serious moral teachings, should not receive Holy Communion until they recant those positions publicly," said the bishop.
In a Jan. 7, 2021, commentary in the Irish News, Fr. Patrick McCafferty wrote that a politician "who supports and lobbies for abortion" is in a state of "grave sin," and should not receive Communion.
He added that Biden "has not repented of his avowed pro-abortion policies," and "has not sought God's forgiveness for them...." Biden "cannot claim to 'take comfort in the Rosary' and stridently advocate for abortion," said Fr. McCafferty. "You cannot serve two masters."