Joe Biden’s statements continue to be a major problem for Americans and especially for Catholics.
We have seen this across the board with Biden, including crucial remarks about Vladimir Putin and Russia, where he constantly needs correction by his staff. But for Catholics, Biden has been particularly damaging on moral-cultural issues, where he is creating embarrassment and scandal for his Church. His destructive statements constitute a long list, but to make this article simple, let’s stick with merely the most recent.
On the matter of unborn human life, Biden just dropped this whopper on the general public and people of his Church: “Roe says what all basic mainstream religions have historically concluded, that the existence of a human life and being is a question. Is it at the moment of conception? Is it six months? Is it six weeks? Is it quickening, like Aquinas argued?”
This assertion from Biden is particularly egregious. Americans definitely don’t want this man speaking as an authority on where “all” mainstream religions define the existence of life, particularly given that, for starters, he evidently doesn’t know where his own religion stands. Go online and you’ll find numerous Protestants correcting Biden.
What Biden said is obviously not what Biden’s Catholic Church teaches. This is not theology according to the Catechism or the Scriptures. I have long accepted the suffering task of following Speaker Nancy Pelosi—another lifelong and “pro-choice” Catholic—and I can tell you that Biden is echoing here not the theology of his Church but the theology of Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi has long said the same thing, in her case invoking not Aquinas but Augustine. In August 2008, when asked, “When does life begin?” by Tom Brokaw on NBC’s Meet the Press, Pelosi authoritatively spoke for her Church and even the Church Fathers. “I would say that, as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time,” related a scholarly Pelosi to a national TV audience.
“And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator—Saint Augustine—said at three months. We don’t know. The point is that it shouldn’t have an impact on a woman’s right to choose.”
I would recommend to the Catholic president of the United States to listen to his Catechism rather than Nancy Pelosi.
Quite interestingly, then-Senator Joe Biden, back in 2008, was likewise asked by Tom Brokaw about when life begins. He was asked two weeks after Brokaw had asked Pelosi, as a follow up to Pelosi’s answer. Biden’s answer then was different, and it has been forgotten in the current outrage over his statement last week.
It was September 7, 2008, shortly before the presidential election. Biden appeared on Meet the Press, where he was asked by Brokaw: “If Senator Obama comes to you and says, ‘When does life begin? Help me out here, Joe,’ as a Roman Catholic, what would you say to him?” Here was Biden’s answer:
“I’d say, ‘Look, I know when it begins for me.’ It’s a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I’m prepared to accept the teachings of my church. But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths—Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others—who have a different view. They believe in God as strongly as I do. They’re intensely as religious as I am religious. They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life—I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society….’ ”
The above comes from a May 10 posting by Paul Kengor in Crisis magazine.