We do not know inside details of the Pope’s meeting with President Biden today, but Biden himself did feel free to report that Francis had called him a “good Catholic” and encouraged him to keep receiving Communion (see, for example, this (“live” and subject to update) report from The New York Times. Ludicrous as it seems, it is no more surprising than the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the press over their exclusion from live coverage of the meeting.
Many hoped, perhaps, that the deliberate Vatican privacy imposed on the meeting indicated the Pope’s willingness to offer hard sayings for the President’s serious consideration. But there have been no precedents in this papacy which could have led anyone to that conclusion. Rather, all any of this proves (again) is that neither Pope Francis nor the Washington press is ever willing to be placed outside the warm limelight of the dominant culture.
It also means that Pope Francis is very serious about not pressing Eucharistic coherence into the political realm. Never mind that it is absurd that the behavior of Catholics in the political realm should be off-limits to pastors. Moral or immoral advocacy and action are not partisan political maneuvers outside the purview of Divine grace and Catholic teaching. They are first and foremost personal decisions by souls in need of the grace and the sanctifying ministry of the Church.
But in any case, the Pope’s views on this matter have been clear for a long time. In two Apostolic Exhortations he has chosen to emphasize that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (Evangelii Gaudium no. 47, in 2013; repeated in footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia, in 2016). That is not surprising, as it is perfectly true; what is surprising is that Francis has steadfastly resisted all efforts at clarifying when, in fact, the Eucharist must be withheld either for the good of the potential recipient or to avoid situations of grave public scandal.
Such concerns are consistent with:
1. The constant pastoral practice throughout the entire history of the Church;
2. The clarifications by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith given to the American bishops by Cardinal Ratzinger during the pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II; and
3. The requirements of the current Code of Canon Law
4. The Pope’s continuing emphasis on one aspect of Eucharistic theology, along with his deliberate refusal to comment on another theological aspect which demands Eucharistic discipline (as clearly expressed by St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians 11:27-30)—these precedents already suggested that this outcome was inevitable, and therefore, unsurprising.
Such an expectation does not lessen the scandal, of course, but it is nothing more (and surely nothing less) than the relentless scandal of an entire pontificate.
What is actually surprising (albeit, in these circumstances, in only a small way) is President Biden’s assertion that Pope Francis told him he was “a good Catholic”. There is reason to doubt this claim, since it is an extremely unlikely part of a discussion between a Pope and a President, and it does not even strike one as a normal papal remark. Moreover, even if the claim is false, it is a claim that the Vatican would be extremely unlikely to correct publicly. On the other hand, Biden has made the claim, and the sentiment is at least consistent with what we know of Francis’ personal interactions with everyone whose publicly-known sins are favored by the dominant culture.
I know I mention the “dominant culture” frequently enough to be annoying in my writing, but I do not know a better way to express the divide between honest Catholics and “Catholics” in quotation marks. Every adult man and woman knows from a kind of instinctive cultural osmosis what is approved and disapproved by the dominant culture, and Pope Francis’ known responses to persons have nearly always differed in accordance with this built-in calculus. I have remarked on this often enough, I think, as to make the enumeration of examples unnecessary.
The more important point is for every reader to understand that Joseph Biden cannot even remotely be considered a good Catholic when his social and political objectives include—indeed, with a special prominence—the expansion of abortion and the elimination of all personal, political and economic resistance to it; and the expansion of homosexual and transgender “rights”, by which I mean not the mere protection of all persons against violent attack, but a required personal and public approval of both the grave sins and the grave personal harm arising from these increasingly common sexual ideologies.
Here we have an agenda which not only champions serious objective evils but undermines both personal wholeness and the nature of the family, which is (and, in fact, must always be) the foundation of every healthy social order….
The above comes from an Oct. 29 posting by Jeff Mirus on CatholicCulture.org.
Have they ever explained how he married a divorced woman? Did she get annulment or was it civil marriage?
It was Joe Biden’s wishful thinking, and also one of those liquid lies that he’s so fond of.
At the end of the article, Dr. Mirus leaves us with this: “The correct response, I would say, is not ranting and raving; still less ought things like this to trigger a spiritual crisis. But there is a prayer of complaint in Scripture that is used frequently in such difficult situations, and therefore can still be used by all the faithful with the same combination of piety, sorrow and righteousness which it so well conveys. This prayer, just four words, ends appropriately with “O Lord”. But it begins with “How long?” “
From elsewhere in the article: “Whatever the Pope’s views on the wisdom of denying anyone Communion, Francis would not be able to call Joseph Biden “a good Catholic” without seriously altering the meaning of either the word “Catholic” or the word “good”. “
It came from a politician.
Many hoped, perhaps, that the deliberate Vatican privacy imposed on the meeting indicated the Pope’s willingness to offer hard sayings for the President’s serious consideration. But there have been no precedents in this papacy which could have led anyone to that conclusion.
The website took my post again.
What I was going to say was that if he never says anything critical or admonishing then it means nothing if he says nothing.
That happens to me too. So frustrating.
Biden shows his utter conceit and pride by claiming such things. Even if he accurately reported what Pope Francis said, Biden’s only motivation for disclosing those details of a personal conversation that the Vatican itself won’t confirm is to build himself up in the eyes of the media and among the US Catholic bishops and priests.
Biden is and always has been a known liar all his life in politics, he makes up stories and lies on a regular basis such as the Amtrack story he tells every week it is a complete and utter lie. He has to pull out of the running for President in 1988 when Biden plagiarized a speech by British Labour Leader Neil Kinnock, our country is in a death spiral in less than 8 months in of this radical Communist Biden, soaring gas prices, empty shelves, ships in Long Beach Harbor waiting to be unloaded, inflation like we have never seen before, and now just this week Biden is considering giving illegal aliens who were separated from their parents under Trump, now get this: $450,000 per person in reparations its all out there on Fox, The Gateway Pundit, Breitbart, Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson, Newsmax, Rubin Report, TImcast, you name it and you can read all about it. So we as American born and bred citizens are suffering from this Communist regime in D.C. illegal aliens are getting close to $100,000,000 or more for breaking the law and invading our country. folks y’all better wake soon because this country is not gonna save you it will destroy you. And for all of you who hated the Orange man and voted for Biden just think about what your hatred has done to this once great country.
More destruction of the Catholic Church from within.
He’s a good Catholic who believes we are endowed with inalienable rights by… you know… the thing.
Let’s go Brandon
I thought we were not doing anonymous posts anymore
Thank you Anon99.
Does anyone think that a guy who is all for abortion on demand is above telling a lie?
This from Bishop Thomas Tobin today: “I fear the Church has lost its prophetic voice. Where are the John the Baptists who will confront the Herods of our day?”.
Whatever does he mean?
Indeed Let’s Go Brandon
It is interesting that some of the U S Catholic Bishops beat up on President Biden for his position regarding abortion. Why is this interesting? Because these same Bishops give pro-choice republicans who are Catholics a pass. Senator Susan Collins is a Catholic and is also pro abortion yet have you heard from her Bishop that he is to deny her Holy Communion? Nope! There are many other Catholic Republican politicians who are also pro- abortion about whom the Bishops remain silent. By their actions the Bishops have revealed their politics…and their hypocrisy.
I think the focus is on the Democrats because abortion is written into their party plank and that Biden and Pelosi are leading national figures. Collins should get the same treatment as them to be sure but she is a relatively small player compared to the other two. I doubt even the other democratic senators etc. get nearly the attention from the bishops as Biden and Pelosi. So I am not sure the charge of hypocrisy should be carried too far. Said another way: focus on the big fish and the smaller ones will get the picture. That said, I think the bishop’s stance in general is timid and inconsequential toward even Biden and Pelosi. And that is a shame.
Cardinal Burke’s letter
If you are interested in homelessness:
Funny thing is Trump is more Catholic than Biden and Trump not even a Catholic yet. Melania Trump being a Slovenian who are 95% Roman Catholic was secretly baptized a Roman Catholic in the former Yugoslavia, I understand President Trump was corresponding with Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, I pray that he baptizes Trump into the Roman Catholic Faith when Trump is President again in 2024.
I need some cheering up. Today, Oct. 31st, Halloween– is Bishop Joseph Strickland’s birthday. He is age 63, today. I bet they had a birthday party (despite COVID-19 restrictions) for him, in Tyler, Texas. Will listen to his podcast for today.
News stories reported that Pres. Joe Biden and his group attended the Sat. Vigil Mass last Sat. evening, at St. Patrick’s Church in Rome, near the U.S. Embassy. Same church where Nancy and Paul Pelosi recently attended a Sat. Vigil Mass — and had to leave the church for security reasons, due to a potentially violent activity (not related to Rep. Pelosi) outdoors. Biden reportedly put U.S. currency into the collection basket, the news reports said, and received Holy Communion. Not happy with these news stories…
Oh yes…the former guy was a giant with regards to virtue, ethics and morality. His three marriages, philandering, consorts with porn stars, his scapegoating of people on the basis of race, locking up children in cages, mocking of people with disabilities and his disrespect for veterans are indicative of a fine, born again Christian man.
And there are reports out of Rome that the meeting between the pope and Biden lasted so long because Biden had a bathroom accident that had to be “cleaned up” before he left.
Biden should be in a nursing home and his wife should be in jail for pushing him to run for president. The country is in a shambles thanks to Obama or other Marxists running the show behind the curtain.
i just hope that pope francis did not inform him that he is making him a cardinal in pectore. lay cardinals are allowed.
Now you are letting your imagination run wild.
If there is anyone worthy of such an honor, it is jon. Listen to jon. Respect the Pope.
One of the great blessings of a democratic republic is that people can have opinions that differ from those of other people, and can express those differences without fear. Until a few years ago, those ideas were argued on the merits in polite discourse. Too often, it seems to me, we allow ourselves to be just downright mean in the way we speak of others. It is ok, my point, to disagree with Trump’s or Biden’s policies without the nasty name-calling. Just because someone is liberal doesn’t make them a communist any more than being conservative makes them a Nazi. Let’s stick to the issues, let’s hate the sin not the sinner.
Bob One always middle of road kind of guy, lukewarm, Our Lord was quite clear on how those types would be treated
bohemond, you just proved my point! You could have said: Bob One, you are too lukewarm on the issue. Our Lord was quite clear …. See the difference?