Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has responded to questions about the denial of Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden in October.
In an interview with Fox News, Cardinal Dolan said that he thought the incident was a good teaching moment about the Eucharist and the seriousness of denying Church teaching, but that he would not himself deny anyone reception of the Eucharist.
“So whether that prudential judgment was wise, I don’t want to judge him either,” Cardinal Dolan said of Fr Robert Morey, who denied Communion to Biden. “I wouldn’t do it.”
“Sometimes a public figure will come and talk to me about it. And I would advise them, and I think that priest [Fr Morey] had a good point, you are publicly at odds with an issue of substance, critical substance, we’re talking about life and death and the Church,” Cardinal Dolan said.
Receiving the Eucharist “implies that you’re in union with all the Church believes and stands for. If you know you’re not, well, integrity would say, ‘uh oh, I better not approach holy Communion.’ That’s always preferable than to make a split-second decision and denying somebody”, he added.
Fr Morey denied Eucharistic communion to 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden at Mass at St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, because of the politician’s public support of abortion.