Opinion | Can the U.S. Catholic Church Change Biden’s Mind on Abortion?

Produced by ‘The Argument’

Could the Catholic Church pressure a politician into changing his or her stance on abortion? A debate has erupted in the Catholic community over whether a politician, like President Joe Biden, should be denied communion for supporting abortion rights.

[You can listen to this episode of “The Argument” on Apple, Spotify or Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

This week, Jane Coaston debates the pros and cons of using communion as punishment with Ross Douthat, a Times Opinion columnist, and Heidi Schlumpf, the executive editor of National Catholic Reporter.

Mentioned in this episode:

Ross’s column “The Bishops, Biden and the Brave New World”

National Catholic Reporter’s editorial “Why We Support the Bishops’ Plan to Deny Communion to Biden”

“United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Vote to Write a Document on the Meaning of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church” and its subsequent Questions and Answers page that says, “There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians.”

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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“The Argument” is produced by Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez and Vishakha Darbha, and edited by Alison Bruzek and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; additional mixing by Carole Sabouraud; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.

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