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Petition urging Cardinal Gregory to excommunicate Biden gains over 36,000 signatures

The American offshoot of a right-wing Catholic group in Brazil looks to pressure +Gregory into refusing Communion to the 2nd Catholic president in US history.

A group affiliated with the ultraconservative Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) movement has spearheaded a letter-writing campaign that seeks to have Cardinal Wilton Gregory reverse his public stance on giving Biden Communion.

It also asks Cardinal Gregory to issue an apology.

Fueled at least in part by opposition to the president-elect's positions on abortion, contraception, LGBT issues, and climate change, the petition appears to have accumulated tens of thousands of signatures over the course of only a few weeks.

The position described in the petition mirrors that of many conservative Catholics, asserting that Biden has incurred a "latae sententiae" excommunication by way of his political positions.

The TFP movement, founded in Brazil in 1960 and repeatedly condemned by local bishops, pushes a variety of Far Right talking points within the context of Catholicism and operates internationally via independent chapters.

The American TFP group includes on its staff one John W. Horvat II, an author who runs "Return to Order", a website based on and named after one of his books.

With a tagline calling itself "A Special Campaign of the American TFP", the site is the source of the petition in question.

Cardinal Gregory's comments on Biden, shared with the USCCB-owned Catholic News Service late last month, have drawn the ire of conservative Catholics nationwide, with one of his fellow bishops penning an open letter against him shortly thereafter.

This latest attempt to reverse the Washington Archdiocese's Eucharistic policies, which date back at least to the reign of then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, came as Biden's electoral victory became increasingly sure—a fact that many Traditionalists have disputed.

Interestingly, the group does not speak out against Catholic politicians receiving Communion while ignoring other Church teachings such as the ban on the death penalty.

In fact, Return to Order explicitly dissents from the Magisterium on this matter.

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder of Black Catholic Messenger, a priesthood applicant with the Josephites, and a ThM student w/ the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).

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