As the nation’s bishops convene this week for their first in-person general assembly in two years, the in-person conversations on a controversial document on the Eucharist have taken a different tone, according to one committee chairman.
U.S. bishops met in private session on Monday; the first day of their fall general assembly from Nov. 15-18 in Baltimore. The public sessions open to the media are Tuesday and Wednesday. The general assembly concludes with another private session on Thursday.
“The nature of the conversations about the document have been very different from what people saw in June,” Bishop Andrew Cozzens, the bishop-designate of Crookston, told Crux. “Especially because what has come to be understood is that what we need to do is restate and strengthen our teaching on this and as far as I can tell the bishops are in agreement on that.”
The document’s controversy – dating back to about the start of the year – was born out of the possibility that it would have implications for pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving the Eucharist, mainly President Joe Biden, the nation’s second Catholic commander-in-chief.
Disagreements on the drafting of the document among the nation’s prelates came to a head at their annual spring meeting this past June. Through Zoom, more than 40 bishops gave their opinions on the proposal to draft the document in a spirited two-hour debate.
Ultimately, the U.S. bishops voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposal from the doctrinal committee to draft the document on the Eucharist. The draft, titled The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church, will be presented, discussed, and voted on today and tomorrow.
“[The discussion] is definitely going to be in a different tone,” Cozzens said. “There probably will be discussions about particular wordings or disagreements in the tone of the document, but I’d be very surprised if the document didn’t pass because my sense is the bishops see that teaching on the Eucharist right now is a real gift.”
Read the rest at Crux