Former Archbishop: Biden ‘Smoothed the Way for Grave Moral Evils,’ Should Be Denied Communion
A retired archbishop says that the actions of former Vice President Joe Biden are so at variance with the Catholic faith Biden claims to espouse that clergy would be right to deny Biden Holy Communion.
Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory told the Jesuit magazine America last month that he will not deny Communion to Biden, the Democratic nominee for president and apparent winner of the still-disputed Nov. 3 presidential election.
In a commentary published Friday by the religious website First Things, former Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote that denying Communion to Biden is not to be taken lightly but that “Public figures who identify as ‘Catholic’ give scandal to the faithful when receiving Communion by creating the impression that the moral laws of the Church are optional.”
Bishops, Chaput wrote, “give similar scandal by not speaking up publicly about the issue and danger of sacrilege.”
Chaput wrote that bishops are “responsible before God for the care of souls and the integrity of the sacraments within the Church” and that while bishops have some leeway, “no bishop can presume to ignore basic moral and sacramental principles.”
“When bishops publicly announce their willingness to give Communion to Mr. Biden, without clearly teaching the gravity of his facilitating the evil of abortion (and his approval of same-sex relationships), they do a serious disservice to their brother bishops and their people,” he wrote.
“By his actions during the course of his public life, Mr. Biden has demonstrated that he is not in full communion with the Catholic Church,” Chaput wrote.
“[M]any of his actions and words have also supported or smoothed the way for grave moral evils in our public life that have resulted in the destruction of millions of innocent lives. Mr. Biden has said that he will continue to advance those same policies as president, and thus should not receive Holy Communion,” Chaput wrote.
Chaput wrote that the issue at stake is not politics, but adhering to the tenets of the Catholic faith.
“Moreover, there is also the pressing matter of pastoral concern for a man’s salvation. At minimum, every bishop has the duty of privately discussing these vital moral issues and the destructive effect of receiving Communion unworthily with public figures who act contrary to Church teaching,” he wrote.
The issue of denying Biden Communion is hotly debated on Twitter.
Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, who leads the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has said that Biden “has given us reason to think he will support some good policies” but also some that “undermine our preeminent priority of the elimination of abortion,” according to the New York Post.
“These policies pose a serious threat to the common good,” Gomez said.
“When politicians who profess the Catholic faith support them … it creates confusion among the faithful about what the church actually teaches on these questions,” he said.
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