As the US bishops face a moment unseen in most of their lifetimes – the nation’s election of a Catholic to the Presidency – the issue of Joe Biden’s faith emerged by surprise at today’s public close of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plenary, as the bench’s leadership suddenly moved to draw a line in the sand with the incoming Democratic administration over its support of legal abortion.
Five days since the President-elect received a congratulatory phone call from the Pope – during which the two discussed the common causes of “caring for the marginalized and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees” – while Archbishop José Gomez made a passing nod of hope that Biden’s “faith commitments will move him to support some good policies,” the conference president quickly pivoted to underscore that the new White House “will support policies that attack some fundamental values we hold dear as Catholics… [which] undermine our ‘preeminent priority’ of the elimination of abortion.”
Announcing a working group led by the U.S. bishops’ vice-president, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, and rounded out by several key committee chairs, Gomez said that “when politicians who profess the Catholic faith support” abortion and a concept of religious freedom that allows enforcement of protections for civil rights, “there are additional problems.
“Among other things, [the scenario] creates confusion with the faithful about what the church actually teaches on these questions.”
Much as the election of a Catholic adds a deeply potent aspect to the calculus – and with it, the cited fears of a competing influence over the faithful – there is precedent for an intervention of this kind, but only with a prior Democratic administration.
At its November plenary following Barack Obama’s 2008 election – which, with Biden as his Vice-President, likewise inflamed a sizable bloc of the bishops – the conference approved a statement written by its then-president, Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George OMI, warning that the new administration would attempt to codify the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade into US law; a move that, some predicted, would result in the closing of Catholic hospitals forced to comply with a legislated abortion mandate.
At the time, the bishops said they “are single-minded” on the issue “because they are, first of all, single-hearted.”
For context, then-candidate Obama signaled that he would sign a proposed Freedom of Choice Act in a speech to Planned Parenthood during the 2008 primary season, but such a bill was never introduced in Congress once he took office. At the time, Democrats notably enjoyed majorities in both houses and a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the Senate.
By contrast, the full bench’s reaction upon President Trump’s 2016 win was palpably more muted. First issued as a statement from the Committee on Migration (as opposed to the conference president) and only subsequently adopted by the entire body, the message focused less on Trump than as a gesture of solidarity with migrants given the former’s incendiary rhetoric and proposals on immigration – a platform which, of course, had already scored an explicit condemnation from the Pope during the campaign itself.
On the whole, today’s statement signals that, while several leading moderate and progressive prelates indicated tacit support for Biden during the campaign despite Trump’s anti-abortion stance, the conference as an institution is preparing to take a more aggressive line toward the incoming administration.
This dynamic reportedly stretched into the closed-door executive session that closed Tuesday’s business. According to Whispers ops, a steady chorus of conservative prelates rose in the private talks to urge a unified opposition to a Biden White House, lest any cooperation with it be perceived as undermining the church’s pro-life witness on abortion.
In practical terms, however, the first test of the coming church-state dynamic might be a matter where the prelates have little choice but to play ball. With plans for a further round of Covid-related economic stimulus effectively dead on arrival in the waning days of the Trump Administration – despite the President-elect urging a stopgap agreement as the pandemic’s biggest wave causes further havoc for workers and businesses – after the springtime CARES Act and its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) served as a mammoth lifeline allowing a broad range of Catholic entities to survive without mass layoffs or furloughs, the bishops have voiced concerted support for a new round of stimulus, without which no shortage of dioceses, parishes and schools would be forced into insolvency, or significant downsizing at best.
Along those lines, as the first round of PPP funding expired without being renewed, only in recent weeks have several dozen local churches needed to make their most drastic cuts of ministries and staff over the course of the pandemic – a reality which threatens to become ever more widespread as the status quo persists….
The above comes from a Nov. 17 story by Rocco Palmo, Whispers in the Loggia.
Form a committee? No committee necessary. It’s plainly obvious that Biden departs from non-negotiables of Catholic faith. All that’s needed is a declaration of that fact from a bishop along with bishops denying Biden Communion for his manifest persistence in grave sin. But doing that would take courage. How many bishops have courage?
These are Biden supporting bishops trying to cover their backsides because The Laity is rising up. Most of them have lost credibility, and with it, money from their flocks. Watch the bishops turn to government for funding. Say it with me, “Compromised!”
Here’s a ditto to Kevin’s comment.
I wonder if the USCCB will start the canonization process for Biden. Just look at how many voters that he raised from the dead. They will overlook all the babies that have died as a result of his support of abortion laws.
Bishop Strickland of Tyler, TX has publicly called for Biden to repent of his pro-abortion and pro-same sex marriage stances. Shout out to a good bishop.
In all my life, priests, bishops and cardinals have been holy people. Close to Christ. To be admired and honored. It’s heartbreaking to watch and listen to these self serving men destroy the image I’ve had of them my entire life of 74 years. They have agendas just like the demonic politicians they support. They certainly don’t represent me or the Catholic faithful. And they most of all, don’t represent Jesus.
I am a cradle catholic and have practice my religion that I love. I have never felt so let down by the Catholic church with this election.
My life long CATHOLIC FRIENDS who taught CCD with me and are church going people were supporting Biden and his Bull dog running mate
who are for late term abortion. The church did nothing they were mostly the silent majority. They listen to James Martin who did not support the unborn.
Each Mass No homilies to support the unborn. Biden supported Obama in his 8 years as VP to have our federal money through planned parenthood pay
for the abortiions,under a womans choice. Young girls will regreat their CHOICE the rest of their lives. Catholic priest where was your voice!!!
Amen Mary! Important to remind fake Catholics that because of their votes, horrific things happen. They must take responsibility and ownership of their collaboration with evil.
One question for you. If the current man in the White House was “sent by God to save America” as so many of his supporters have claimed for the last 4 years, what happened so that God changed His will and allowed Mr. Biden to be elected by the largest landslide in American history?
Kristina, largest landslide in American History? Not even in the top 45.
Archbishop Vigneron has strategic and organizational skills that will ensure that this group will do its job well. While we may or may not agree with the outcome of their work, you can be assured that it will be a thorough study and a well thought out answer. This is not as simple as Biden-should-be-kicked-out-of-the-church. The how of the message is often as important as the message itself. I’ve seen him up close as he tackled major decisions. Give him some slack on this.
If you knew anything about Vigneron, you’d eat your words. The archdiocese of Detroit has endured this man for years, he is no knight in shining armor.
What does it matter? Didn’t the President tell us he won a second term? What, you don’t believe him??
More like Gomez of the Addams Family
A “committee?” What a big laugh. How about manhood? And responsibility? How about the work for Christ, of saving unborn babies from murder in their mother’s wombs?? Are these bishops committed to doing the work of Christ? Apparently, they are not mature enough! — they’re selfish, and want an “easy life.” Kick them all out, along with “Abortion Joe” Biden. I suppose these “dumb clucks” cannot even handle their work daily, in the confessional, with penitents. Repent– both bishops and Biden. Repent. And get rid of that false “hippie-freedom” you wrongly propagate– instead of the Faith— in the era of Vatican II. Shame on you all.
My above post was altered– my exclamation points (!) were replaced by periods (.).Why? What is wrong with saying, for example– “Repent!”– with an exclamation point– not a period!
mr. biden cannot run the country according to the laws of the church. the country is run by the laws of the country. mr biden will run his own life according to his values in the church. the two sets of values cannot cross in this circumstance. the united states is not a religious nor catholic country. it is a secular country and the morals of the catholic church do no and cannot govern the country. that does not make mr. biden a bad catholic. quite the contrary. he is a dedicated patriot who will govern by the laws of our country. the laws of the church to the country are irrelevant. no matter how much devoted catholics would love to see a catholic government it was never set up that way. so get over worrying about mr. biden’s personal religious preferences . they will not run the government. our constitution is what runs the government not angry vitriolic diatribes against a particular person.
ellen dayton– where have you been? Anerica was founded upon Biblical, Christian principles, by Christian believers of many different denominations! Our legal system, inherited mainly from Great Britain– was derived, originally, from Biblical as well as Roman and other secular sources! The entire foundations of our civilization are in the Judeo-Christian heritage! Modern man may have forgotten that! Our “unalienable rights,” described in the Declaration of Independence– come from God– not Man! Promiscuity and Abortion –Murder of unborn children– are evil, and un-Christian!– not just a “point of view.” Just as in Hitler’s Germany, murder of the Jews iwas a horrific sin– and our Church, plus the Lutheran Church, and many other churches, spoke out against the Holocaust– and lost their lives, in many cases, standing up for what is right!! The anti-Christian, un-American, immoral Biden-Harris ticket is a disgrace!
i do have a degree in American history and studied the social history and political history of the United States. Most of our founding fathers were deists or non believers. The declaration came from the writing of Thomas Jefferson, who took it upon himself to rewrite the New Testament leaving out any references to God. The Biden Harris ticket is very familiar with the functioning of our governmental system under the constitution. Unlike the exiting admin. So diatribe is sort of non factual and emotional rather than fact-based.
Real Catholics apply faith and reason to all aspects of their lives. Our glorious faith is never quarantined because secular fanatics want us to bow down. That’s fact, not emotion.
I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?
Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Congress
“Wishy washy” shepherds who failed to speak out from the very beginning about Biden’s pro abortion stance. Instead of standing at the foot of the cross with Christ, they ran the other direction.
The U.S., as E. Dayton pointed out, was not created by a bunch of Christians. Go read John Locke. The U.S. came about during the age of the enlightenment. It was not really based on England’s royal heritage although it used a lot of common law at first. The president and every federal employee takes an oath to uphold and safeguard the Constitution. That is the job of the president, to uphold the Constitution, not his own or anyone else’s religious beliefs. Read the Federalist papers if you want to know how this country was founded. Learn from people like Montesquieu in # 47. Madison and Hamilton were good teachers of this new experiment. Read the history of Maryland to learn of the “Christian’s” treatment of Catholics.
Don’t bother to go down the rabbit hole with ellen, an abortion fanatic whose goal is to spread evil and nonsense.
Bob One, the pilgrims did believe in the Holy Trinity in some form, and it is true that they did not want Catholics in that area as they even protested the Church of England. It was a Baptist preacher, Roger Williams if I remember correctly, who saved a Catholic priest from a mob in the area of the colonies. Roger Williams started the Baptist Church in America. I would have to look his name up to make sure.
You’re wrong ellen. Biden’s active support of abortion and homosexual unions mark him as an “in name only” Catholic. Patriots don’t sell their access to the highest bidder, as he did. If he is your cup of tea, take the portion of blame you earned in voting for him. How much baby blood are you willing to accept?
One can have a personal belief system and not have it interfere with secular governance. The abortion argument is sorely lacking in reference to respect for life. The child’s life extends way past just birth. Until you have known women who have been in that decision making situation do not judge me or them. Biden supports the laws which are secular because the courts have decided they are just. Those are not perhaps his own personal values. They are those of the country. Do not condemn the entire country on grounds of your personal value system. It is a way bigger country than you personally. Most of the country is in favor of personal freedom of choice of how to handle their own bodies and love lives. Not by your standards.
Now that you have embraced and defended abortion whole heartedly, perhaps fake Latin moniker Dona nobis pacem will rethink the reasonableness of your voice. Return to truth Dona. God’s standards are the ones that count, not man’s.
Most of the country favors restrictions on abortion. It is a minority who favor freedom of choice.
It is funny to have someone stand up for phoniness and lack of integrity. Especially in this age of being your authentic self. Selling your soul for power, fame, money is nothing new.
Ellen thank you for a clear and concise explanation of American government. You should expect many of the regular posters here to attack you personally from now on. Please keep on being a voice of reason.
Dnp, you and your fellow badly catechised friends have your false and misleading posts challenged and corrected. It’s not personal and you do not earn a merit badge by getting called out. The informed orthodox Catholics who post on this site are much more likely to be insulted and ridiculed, to which we say, so what!
Dona nobis pacem, trust me to be a voice of reason, willing to bring you back from the brink. You’re welcome.
Am I reading this correctly? Someone named “H**l” is going to make a better Catholic out of someone named “pacem”?
The hell unleashed is due to fake Catholics, some of whom use Latin monikers to confuse the gullible. The person using ” Dona nobis pacem” as a name is an abortion apologist who claims to be Catholic. Don’t judge the book by the cover, Alfonso.
The truly faithful know she/he or it is “gaslighting”.
by the use of the word “it” in my last post, I meant those confused about their gender. There are really only two sexes — he and she.
Fresh ** it sounds to me like you are the one only claiming to be Catholic. Your name comes from your true heart and I must ignore any of your comments from now on.
Thankfully, there are millions of faithful Catholics fighting for the Church, that’s what gladdens my true heart! The hell unleashed on her comes from weak fearful people who claim the name but work for the other side. The good news is that we know which side wins in the end, don’t be afraid to join me!
It’s not pleasant to think that hell has been unleashed, but you don’t do yourself any favors by ignoring ignoring the fact of it. Man up!
I am descended from some of the American founders who came over right after the Mayflower, and the Statue of Liberty as a product of the French Revolution means nothing to me. I do not worship the goddess liberty; whereas, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, which came a long time before the statue, with its quote from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy is a whole different matter. That means a lot to me as the quotation expresses the liberty to do that which is right, good and holy: whereas the statue of Liberty has come to mean to many “Do whatever you want” — licentiousness.
Correction to my last post; The quotation on the Liberty Bell is actually from Leviticus 25:10, not Deuteronomy.
In my last post, I was not in any way suggesting that anyone vandalize the statue, nor any other. All I was saying is that not all Americans love every supposed symbol of this country. Fourth generation and more Americans may not fell any sentiments whatsoever about that statue, as most of our ancestors did not come through that area.
dona nobis pacem– Why do you use a moniker from our Church that is holy? You are shockingly illiterate about America and her history, and government! And uneducated about your religious Faith and responsibilities! You have a big moral and religious duty to God, as an American citizen! America was founded as a decent Christian nation, with Christian Morality– never intended to degenerate into a violent, irresponsible, immoral, filthy, atheist “hippie” slum!
This person is a fake Catholic hiding behind a Catholic sounding name. You will be exposed, fake Catholics, whatever name you use.
I am guessing that many of you know the real identity of “dona” and you all have a long history together. Else you are just bullies using your supposed dedication to the Church to unload your hate onto the world. This whole thread has lost focus from the topic. Loosen your diapers and try civil discourse.
Nothing civil about accepting abortion. People who pretend to be Catholic while approving of baby killing do not deserve to be left unanswered. That includes you Annette, as you embrace a pro abortion position.
Sorry, Annette– but it looks like you, ellen dayton, “dona,” and your pals, have been making some rude, offensive remarks regarding the teachings of the Catholic Church — and this happens to be a Catholic website. Do you all want to come join 40 Days for Life, the March for Life, and Walk for Life West Coast– and try to save some poor, helpless, unborn children from Baby Murder– under “Abortion Joe and Kamala’s” new policies– after their inaugurations?? Their lives are worth saving!
What a strange reference Annette, loosening a diaper would let all the icky stuff out. Makes me agree Fresh Hell has a point about the horribleness that has been unleashed.
Annette, your support of abortion is hateful. Disagreeing with you is not. Time for you to change teams.
Bob One– Yes, Abp. Vigneron seems to be very devout, and he may perhaps have good strategic and organizational skills. But he is trapped in a Church that made a huge change (Vatican II) and now refuses to recognize the necessity of order and good discipline– and correct procedures, already well-formulated and established by the Church, in her Catechism and Code of Canon Law! These bishops today, fail to even recognize the enormously serious nature of extremely serious sin (mortal sin)– sexual sins are extremely serious!– and Abortion is Murder! In the pre-Conciliar Church– such a thing as a Biden/Harris ticket would have been unthinkable– even for Protestants! Harris would have been viewed as a dangerous, radical, lawless harlot– unelectable, even for City Dogcatcher! And the Catholic vote for such a horrific ticket– would have been zero!! Biden would have been known worldwide– as an excommunicated Catholic!
There are a few elite and truly evil beings running this world. I do understand that matters will get much worse before the 2nd coming. Before, during and after birth abortion all in disguise by my body my choice, child trafficking, men are women and women are men, god is you and you are god. True Christianity is intolerable to most people of the world, they hate the creator but worship the creation. The people of this world have sold their souls along with their children’s for simple pleasures and feel good speak that is all meaningless. Biden, Trump, Obama, no matter who you call Mr. President, there is no man or woman on this earth that can save it, that can save us. We as a people, as Christians, as the bride of Christ belong to Christ. The Lord speaks about evil and horrible times when we will rejoice in the murder of our own children and hate God, the conclusion is the beings running this world are not Godly in any way and we the sheep are willfully deceived.
What’s there to study Biden supports Abortion Trump is Pro-Life