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Letters to the Editor: Will bishops deny Communion to pro-gun politicians? How are they ‘pro-life’?

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, seen preparing the Eucharist on Feb. 17, leads the group of Catholic bishops considering a call to deny Communion to Catholic politicians such as Joe Biden who support abortion rights.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The proposal by some U.S. Catholic bishops to deny President Biden Communion is ludicrous. It is like saying that all who attest to be “pro-life” are sinless and holy enough to accept the bread of salvation, while these same folks may also encourage policies that put the unborn at risk. (“Biden’s top diplomat to meet pope — and try to ignore the elephant in the room,” June 27)

As a strong Catholic who was involved in the L.A. Catholic Archdiocese in leadership positions from 2002-12, I am witnessing the very disturbing turn toward traditional conservatism with the male hierarchy reasserting dominance over the Catholic faithful.

I am witnessing an archdiocese that is turning its back on life-giving ministries (such as the environment, which protects the unborn from multiple sources of pollution) in favor of clericalism, which Pope Francis has deemed the church’s “ugliest perversion.”

This sad shift over the past decade by my adored church has little to do with first-century Christianity, founded upon the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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Allis Druffel, Sierra Madre

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To the editor: In the “analysis” on the American Catholic bishops considering denying Biden Communion because of his strong support for abortion rights, your reporter writes: “The same bishops largely turned a blind eye to former President Trump’s flouting of religious values because they favored his willingness to pursue a conservative social agenda.”

The same bishops would already deny former President Trump Communion because he’s a Protestant and not a Catholic. As a Protestant, he has not pledged to follow Catholic doctrine.

Biden has pledged to follow Catholic doctrine, but in the opinion of these bishops, he has not and instead is prompting the killing of innocent lives through abortion. That’s why the bishops are considering taking action.

Jeff Zimmer, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: The U.S. Roman Catholic Church is in danger of becoming a one-issue church that focuses only on abortion. Clearly, abortion is a complex moral issue, but it is not the only life issue.

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Will the bishops withhold the Eucharist from those public officials behind the other life issues, such as capital punishment, possession of nuclear weapons, ownership of dangerous guns and the devastating and deadly effects of poverty and racism?

I suggest the bishops reread the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s book, “Consistent Ethic of Life,” and rethink serious punishment for only one life issue. As a Catholic and a theologian, I am appalled and embarrassed by the move to weaponize the Eucharist.

Marie Egan, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Biden shouldn’t lose any sleep over threats to deny him Communion.

Conservative Catholic leaders like Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, underscore their blatant hypocrisy by holding Biden to a standard large numbers of their own flock ignore. Catholic beliefs are not checked at the door despite parishioners flouting church doctrine about contraceptives and abortion for generations.

The church’s longtime foot-dragging in dealing with the pedophiles in their ranks and their conservatives’ deafening silence in criticizing Donald Trump’s countless transgressions reveal a leadership that’s got no business pointing fingers.

If they insist on ostracizing devout Catholics like Biden, the pews will continue to empty — and rightly so.

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James Underdown, Los Angeles


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