Bishops’ debate over Communion sparked by Biden seeps into holiest sacrament for Catholics

President Biden and Jill Biden pray at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

Source: Washington Post

By Michelle Boorstein; July 30, 2021 at 4:49 p.m. EDT

St. Stephen Catholic Church is the parish and school where Sara Smolenski grew up with her nine siblings, where her parents were married, where she worshiped on Sundays and served as a volunteer distributing Communion. It was also the place where the priest called in late 2019 to tell her she should no longer come up during Mass to receive the holy sacrament.

“He says: ‘I’m going to have to ask you not to take Communion because you’re married to Linda in the state of Michigan. He just kept saying: ‘Respect the church,’” said Smolenski, 63, a longtime District Court judge. “I was just blown away. It felt like my mother died again.”

Soon after the call from Rev. Scott Nolan, leader of the East Grand Rapids, Mich., parish, the coronavirus pandemic shutdown began, and Smolenski has not been to church physically in months. But her situation resurfaced this month when Nolan wrote in the St. Stephen bulletin that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is now drafting a new document on “Eucharistic coherence” and so he also would be starting a homily series on the sacrament.

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