In June 2021, U.S. Catholic bishops vigorously debated and then voted to proceed with a document on “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.” This discussion and decision have generated considerable conflict, confusion, and controversy, especially related to the question of communion for public officials.
This Initiative online dialogue with key bishops and lay leaders briefly reviewed what happened and what did not, and then looked ahead to the challenges U.S. bishops and U.S. Catholics face in the months to come. This conversation examined why this matter has affected so many Catholics so strongly, and it explored the choices facing the bishops, public officials, and the U.S. Catholic community as a whole.
Kim Daniels, co-director of the Initiative and member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, moderated the opening conversation and dialogue.
These bishops and lay leaders with differing roles and perspectives discussed a range of questions including:
- What is the current proposal regarding communion for public officials? What is the process for its development, and what actions will follow?
- What are its origins and current elements?
- What are the USCCB statement’s purposes, limitations, and potential opportunities and dangers?
- Why has this process generated ecclesial divisions, pastoral fears, and public controversy?
- What are constructive ways forward in the current ecclesial, political, and public context?
View a list of articles, books, podcasts, and other resources for this dialogue.
Photo credit: (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)