Pope Francis to Create Cardinal Bishop Opposed to Denying Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians

On August 27, Pope Francis will preside over a consistory in which he will create 21 cardinals, among whom is the Bishop of San Diego (United States), Msgr. Robert McElroy, who has affirmed that the Eucharist should not be denied to politicians who They support the legalization of abortion.

The 68-year-old future cardinal was ordained a priest in 1980. In 2010 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco and in 2015 Pope Francis entrusted him with the pastoral direction of the Diocese of San Diego.

Archbishop McElroy has spoken several times in the “Eucharistic consistency” debate, stating that Communion should not be denied to politicians who support the legalization of abortion.

In addition, he has often criticized what he sees as the elevation of abortion as a priority over other social concerns, such as the death penalty, the care of migrants and the environment.

In November 2019, the Bishop stirred controversy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops General Assembly when he objected to language in a letter to be published as a supplement to the 2015 document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizens.” He opposed the statement that “the threat of abortion remains our top priority because it directly attacks life itself.”

He called that line “at least discordant” with what Pope Francis had taught, but did not explain which particular teaching it violated.

In an essay on May 5, 2021, Bishop McElroy denounced what he called “a theology of unworthiness” to receive the Eucharist. He said that those who practice it focus too much on discipline.

The Bishop of San Diego argued that the logic of denying the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians constitutes an “extremely expansive” litmus test that “applies sanctions in a highly selective and inconsistent manner,” and that, in his opinion, abortion is being singled out. to the detriment of other ills.

In that essay he said that “the Eucharist should never be instrumentalized for a political purpose, no matter how important.”

“I don’t see how depriving the president or other political leaders of the Eucharist based on their public policy stance could be interpreted in our society as anything more than the use of the Eucharist as a weapon and an effort not to convince people with arguments , with dialogue and with reason, but, rather, to subject them to blows on the subject,” he wrote.

Some observers have noted the contrast between Msgr. McElroy’s view, that the Eucharist should not be denied, and that of his former archbishop, Msgr. Salvatore Cordileone, who last week forbade the president of the United States House of Representatives United, Nancy Pelosi, receive Holy Communion until you repent of your support for abortion.

Archbishop Cordileone explained that he issued the instruction on Pelosi in accordance with canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which establishes that “the excommunicated and those who are in question after the imposition or declaration of the penalty, and those who obstinately persist in a manifest grave sin.

The Church teaches that “formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.”

“After numerous attempts to talk to her and help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger she is putting her own soul in, I have determined that the time has come for me to make a statement. public statement that she (Nancy Pelosi) should not be admitted to Holy Communion,” the Archbishop of San Francisco wrote on Friday, May 20.

He did not respond to a letter requesting information about the sexual abuse crisis

In 2016, investigator Richard Sipe sent a letter to Msgr. McElroy in which he listed the allegations against half a dozen bishops and warned of a broader problem of chastity violations by members of the clergy.

In his text, Sipe listed allegations against various bishops, including reports of misconduct by Msgr. John Neinstedt and Msgr. Robert Brom, abuse by Msgr. Thomas Lyons and Msgr. Raymond Boland, and Cardinal Roger’s cover-up. Mahony.

Sipe also said that he had interviewed twelve priests and seminarians who described sexual activities on the part of then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Bishop McElroy said he did not respond to that letter because the way it was delivered made Sipe unreliable.

After Sipe’s death, the Bishop of San Diego said he had raised concerns that some of the information may have been inaccurate and also that the investigator had not provided any evidence to corroborate his claims.

Archbishop McElroy supports deaconess ordination and LGBT-identifying Catholics

In 2019, Bishop McElroy told the National Catholic Reporter that he is in favor of ordaining women to the diaconate. “My opinion on this is [que] women should be invited to any ministries or activities that we have that are not doctrinally excluded,” he said.

Pope Francis has asked two commissions to study the question of a female diaconate in the Catholic Church. The second was created in 2020, following the discussion on deaconesses during the 2019 Amazon Synod.

In February 2021, Msgr. McElroy was one of several US Catholic bishops who signed a statement opposing “violence, intimidation, or harassment” directed at those who identify as LGBT.

The statement reads in part: “All people of good will should help, support and defend LGBT youth; who attempt suicide at much higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts; that they are often homeless due to families who reject them; that they are rejected, intimidated and harassed; and that they are subjected to violent acts at an alarming rate.”

Translated and adapted by Eduardo Berdejo. Originally posted on CNA.



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