Bishop Bill Frey responds to new guidelines from US Catholic bishops

Bishop William Frey, head of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, sat up and took notice on Monday of a new document from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. A change to USCCB guidelines that had been controversial was approved by the bishops’ conference.

The document was approved last year and was immediately challenged by bishops across the country, some of whom believed the bishops made the new standard too loose and backslid on specific cases. Bishop Frey filed a dissent on the new policy, suggesting that it could be applied to former Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno and state Sen. C. Anthony Muse, both of whom have said they support a woman’s right to an abortion.

The document, the next update to an old USCCB standard, was announced on Monday. Instead of calling for the denial of Communion to Catholics who do not support the Catholic Church, as had been suggested, it calls for the USCCB’s panel on religious liberty to consider such a move if the issue arises. Bishops will be given a chance to vote on those concerns in the USCCB’s upcoming December meeting.

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