Weaponizing the wafer: Why San Fran Archbishop opposes communion for Biden

Should someone be allowed to have the services of the Catholic Church if they do not believe in the theology and the Bible?  Should someone who uses his office to destroy the teachings and values of the Catholic Church be allowed to receive Communion?  Pelosi, Biden and Newsom are CINO—Catholic In Name Only.

“Given the chance, would San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone deny Holy Communion to Joe Biden, only the second Roman Catholic president in U.S. history?

Would he weaponize the wafer?

On June 18, His Excellency issued a brief missive — more like a missile — supporting the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ recent vote that could result in Biden being barred from taking communion because the president supports a woman’s right to choose an abortion.

Cordileone made it clear that he was flying with a group of right-wing bishops who are determined to use the sacrament of communion as a political weapon in the Catholic hierarchy’s long-standing alliance with conservative evangelicals and the culture warriors of the GOP.

The Bishop has a good point—why give the Blessings of the Church to those that use its name and then work to destroy it.  What do you think?

Weaponizing the wafer: Why San Francisco Archbishop opposes communion for Biden

By Don Lattin, SF Examiner,  6/23/21  

In doing so, the American bishops ignored the advice of Pope Francis, who warned the prelates that they were wading into dangerous waters. Yes, I guess you could say that the American bishops have come to see themselves as more Catholic than the pope.

Some of you who are not up to speed on how the Catholic church operates may be surprised that liberal San Francisco has such a conservative archbishop. So let’s step back and consider the recent history of politics and religion in the United States.

I’m old enough to remember the election of the first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, who had to go out of his way to assure the American people that he would not blindly follow dictates of the pope and his American prelates.

From all appearances, Joe Biden seems to be a devout, middle-of-the-road Catholic — a man who turns to his faith to find solace in times of trouble. That’s about as American as apple pie.

One would think that the American leaders of the Roman Catholic church would be thrilled to have such a man sitting in the Oval Office. But not in today’s divisive political climate, when wedge issues like abortion and gay rights trump religion.

I’m not Catholic, but I spent many years writing about the church as the religion writer for The Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle, retiring from daily newspapering in 2006.

I started writing for The Examiner in 1977, when Pope Paul VI appointed Archbishop John Quinn to shepherd the San Francisco flock. That same year, Quinn was elected to a three-year term as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Quinn was a leading liberal voice in the church, especially on such issues as nuclear disarmament and economic justice. He was also a tireless critic of U.S. policy in Central America during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Quinn, who died in 2017, was among a group of bishops who came of age and rose to power in the 1960s, amid the liberal church reforms of the Second Vatican Council and the papacies of John XXIII (1958-1963) and Paul VI (1963-1978).

My stint as a religion reporter roughly coincided with the long reign of Pope John Paul II (1978-2005), the Polish pontiff who was charismatic, popular and deeply conservative. He appointed the conservative bishops who still hold a firm majority at the bishops’ conference, including Archbishop Cordileone.

Numerous polls showed that Pope John Paul II’s traditional views on birth control, premarital sex, divorce, the ordination of women, gay rights and abortion did not reflect the views of American Catholics — let alone San Francisco Catholics. But as snarky priests liked to say during his pontificate, “We don’t listen to the polls. We listen to the Pole.”

The current flap over pro-choice Catholic politicians being denied the sacrament of Holy Communion is not a new controversy. At the level of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, it tends to be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Individual bishops — not the collective conference — have the power to deny communion or make “pastoral decisions” to look the other way. This happens all the time. Divorced Catholics, or Catholics who marry a divorced spouse outside the church, are technically not supposed to take communion.

When it comes to the politics and theology of abortion, the devil is in the details. If President Biden is banned from receiving communion, what about the millions of Catholic women who have actually had abortions, including those who may have been raped or whose life was at risk if they gave birth?

And why not deny communion to Catholic politicians who support the death penalty, or ban those who oppose legislation to provide greater economic justice for the poor?

In my reading of the Bible, Jesus says a lot about solidarity with the poor. He says nothing about abortion.

In his June 18 statement, Archbishop Cordileone cites “our unity in Jesus Christ” and “our God-given responsibility as bishops to proclaim the truth.” But then he warns against a “feigned unity.” He calls on the faithful to consider early church martyrs “who died to protect the Most Blessed Sacrament from profanation.”

Given the context of last week’s discussion at the bishops’ conference, that is militant code language — a signal to religious conservatives who see themselves as a persecuted remnant of the One True Church, a church that never existed and certainly doesn’t exist in today’s pluralistic society.

So, if Joe Biden approached the altar in St. Mary’s Cathedral this Sunday, what would Archbishop Cordileone do?

Here’s his answer, delivered via email:

“First of all, if I were informed that President Biden were coming to San Francisco and intended to attend public Mass, I would attempt to contact his office and discuss it in advance. But even if that were not possible, it is very publicly known that I support Church teaching in this matter. President Biden certainly knows that, and I believe he is respectful enough not to create a scene by approaching me to receive Holy Communion.”

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.


  1. Brenda Torres says

    I’m certainly NOT a supporter of Joe Biden’s policies or of Abortion (just one of a long list against Biden), but aren’t we not to judge….Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged! They will face Judgment soon enough and they will Not be able to Hide from their sins against God…

  2. The Pope says be careful but isn’t he deeply involved in the politics? The Catholic Church has no choice but to do this if it is to maintain any credibility as a religion. From rock bans and “it’s ok to eat meat on Friday now” in the 1970’s to pedophiles. Really?

    Life always began at conception until the women’s movement changed biology. They worry about every homeless person on the street but think nothing of aborting life, up to and including live birth.

    That is disgusting and must not continue. For those who don’t want to judge and take the high road all I can say is how has that been working for us in everything else.


    DO IT NOW!

  3. Carol Hile says

    there was a time that eating meat of Friday was a Mortal Sin and God forbid if you died you would go right to Hell. Seems odd that the “Church” made a deal with the fishing industry that they would give one day a week for fish and the fishermen would give a “tad” back to the church. No meat of Friday was Not universal ,started in the good ole US of A. Like all things…….the “elite” are not subject to same laws as we the common folk…… but we are not so common when we pick up the tab sorry we still are “common” to them.
    Not only is the president a Catholic who is a divorced, committed adultery , for abortion along with Kerry and Pelosi It’s Friday and I’m going to have a Hamburger! indeed we have a right to “judge” when we are being judged…tit for Tat!

  4. Many religions have rules. For example, some forbid the eating of pork. If a person doesn’t agree with the rules, why remain with that religion? With few exceptions, people are allowed to leave. There are many religions to choose from. Or you can start your own. Martin Luther and King Henry VIII had serious differences with the Catholic church and now we have Lutheran and Anglican churches.

  5. For your information, The Catholic Church is simply administering God’s Laws, i.e. the Ten Commandments. Abortion falls under the Commandment Thou Shalt not commit murder. Abortion is the murder of unborn baby boys and girls. The Bishops are obligated under the rite of their position to TEACH God’s law. Participants in an abortion are automatically excommunicated leaving a Mortal sin on their soul and in danger of going to hell if not repented before their death. Many women suffer long years over the death og their children. God bless the Bishops who want to save souls help these women repent.

    Eating meat on Fridays is a law changed over 60 years ago. Friday is a day of memorizing Christ’s horrible day on the Cross and Catholics and Christians are encouraged mark the day for sorrow whether you deprive your self of meat or some other deprivation of your choice

  6. Biden’s sins go far past abortion. He has adopted all of the policies of AOC and the Squad, and supports all the B-S about biology doesn’t matter, a person can “decide” to be another sex despite his or her DNA, and the currently politically-correct push to remove “he” and “she” from our vocabulary. Would Jesus have ever referred to the mother of a child as a “breeding unit”?

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