At their national meeting, American Bishops voted in favor of drafting a teaching document on the meaning of the Holy Eucharist in the life of the Church.
The draft will be created over the coming months and considered for approval when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops next meets in November. Bishop Alfred Schlert voted in favor of the document being drafted.
There was much speculation before the meeting that bishops would be voting this week on whether public officials who support abortion can receive Holy Communion. That was never the intention.
The document to be drafted will be about the truth and beauty of the Holy Eucharist, and about how Catholics believe, celebrate and live the Holy Eucharist. It is envisioned that it also will re-emphasize the teaching of the Church, which goes back to the Apostles, on the proper disposition for any Catholic to receive Holy Communion.
“For Catholics, the Holy Eucharist is Christ really present,” said Bishop Schlert. “To receive the Holy Eucharist, Catholics must be properly prepared. They must not be conscious of mortal sin, which can be removed through the Sacrament of Penance (Confession). They also must be in the right disposition, meaning in a relationship of unity with the Church and her teachings on both faith and morals.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued additional information on the vote last week by American bishops to draft a teaching document on the meaning of the Holy Eucharist in the life of the Church.
The additional information includes a statement from Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, the president of the USCCB, as well as questions and answers about the issue and about the vote. The document can be viewed here.
The Diocese of Allentown is in the midst of a Year of the Real Presence, in which we are celebrating our belief as Catholics that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.