Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) recently made headlines in his attempt to redefine the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist. The senator claimed that some U.S. bishops are attempting to change what it means to receive Communion. The debate revolves around the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) plan to be more specific in outlining the ability for politicians who publicly invoke and support laws that contradict Church teaching to receive Communion.
The discussion has escalated rapidly with the election of Joe Biden as president. There have been heated discussions on whether or not the Church can deny someone Holy Communion for years now. Senator Kaine, however, is among the first to clearly state that the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist is incorrect. He notes that the “decision by U.S. bishops to elevate issues of human sexuality, however important, above all others seems contrary to the Gospel.”
The topics of abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgender rights are ancillary and basically up to the individual, we are told. Holding back the Eucharist from someone would appear, according to Kaine, to be both anti-Jesus and anti-American. “No reading of the life of Jesus would suggest these issues as his primary, or even secondary, concern. His towering message is about love of neighbor as oneself with a special focus on the poor, sick, hungry, marginalized.”