June 22, 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
In these days following the conclusion of the Spring General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the need to clarify the decision the bishops reached has become evident. In a decisive vote, the bishops decided to draft a pastoral document to affirm the meaning, importance and value of the Eucharist.
It is important to note that the bishops did not vote to implement a national policy to deny Holy Communion to politicians who reject Church teaching. Rather, in light of the decline in belief and participation in the Eucharist, the bishops voted to permit their Committee on Doctrine to begin drafting a pastoral document on the Eucharist. As Archbishop José Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently stated “…our desire is to deepen our people’s awareness of this great mystery of faith, and to awaken their amazement at this divine gift, in which we have communion with the living God. That is our pastoral purpose in writing this document.”
This pastoral document is to serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It is not disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one person or class of persons. The document is outlined to address the Church’s teachings on personal conscience for every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.
I am aware that many will have further questions regarding conclusions reached at the recent Bishops’ meeting. Please find some common questions pertaining to this issue and their corresponding answers here.
For information and resources about our own Year of the Eucharist in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, visit our archdiocesan website here.
With kindest personal regards, I remain
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Reverend William E. Lori
Archbishop of Baltimore