June 29, 2021
Since the conclusion of the Spring General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), there has been significant attention (and in some cases misinformation) on the vote taken to draft a document on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.
A great deal of media coverage has focused on the question of whether to deny an individual or groups of people Holy Communion. In reality, this question was not up for a vote or debate at the meeting. Bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion.
The vote taken by the full body of bishops tasked the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine to begin the drafting of a teaching document on the Eucharist. For the last several years, helping all people understand the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist has been an important goal for bishops – especially after a 2019 Pew Study found that many Catholics do not understand or believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
As indicated to all bishops at the recent USCCB meeting, the document would include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate – but the document would not be disciplinary in nature.
The Eucharist is an amazing gift from the Lord that He has given to us as nourishment for our souls. Each Catholic is called to continual conversion and Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, along with his brother bishops, have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.
In addition to the proposed document, the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis has detailed plans for a three-year National Eucharistic Revival, which would aim to share the love of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist with the world. This revival has the opportunity to have a tremendous impact – as it would be designed to affect every level of the church, from the home and parish to the national stage.
To learn more about the proposed document on the Eucharist, the Bishops’ vote to approve the drafting of the document or the planned “Eucharistic Revival,” please click here.