Another presidential campaign is upon us, and so it’s time for another round of feisty debate on the time-worn topic: Should Joe Biden be allowed to receive Communion?
That debate, as practiced by American Catholics, was not always about Biden specifically. There was John Kerry before him, and Geraldine Ferraro behind that, and the same question has been asked regarding Nancy Pelosi and the late Ted Kennedy and many other Catholic politicians. But Biden himself has been the main topic at least since 2008.
That year, you may recall, Biden was candidate for the vice-presidency. When he visited Florida on the campaign trail, Bishop John Ricard of Pensacola issued an open letter reminding him that “all must examine their consciences as to their worthiness to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord. This examination includes fidelity to the moral teaching of the Church…” Lest Biden or any other reader fail to grasp the point, Bishop Ricard pointed to the senator’s “profound disconnection from your human and personal obligation to protect the weakest and most innocent among us: the child in the womb.”
Notice that Bishop Ricard did not forbid Biden from receiving the Eucharist, much less instruct priests to turn him away from Communion. He merely asked the candidate—as the Catholic bishops of the US have asked all candidates, and as perennial Church teaching has asked all Catholics—to make an examination of conscience before approaching the Blessed Sacrament.
But a few weeks later, when Biden was the vice-president-elect, another Florida prelate, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, said plainly that pro-abortion politicians should not be barred from Communion. In a revealing blog post, Bishop Lynch said that he took that position because “one keeps open a dialogue with the Joe Bidens of the world.”
And how has the dialogue worked out? Twelve years later Biden is just as firmly committed to legal, tax-subsidized abortion on demand. Yet the “profound disconnection” that Bishop Ricard spotted in 2008 is even more evident today. In the intervening years Biden has also embraced the cause of same-sex marriage—even officiating at one such union—vowed to rescind the legal protection extended by the Trump administration to the Little Sisters of the Poor, and now chosen a running-mate who views membership in the Knights of Columbus as subversive activity.
The Catholic bishops who say that Biden should still be allowed to receive Communion—and they are, apparently, still the majority in the US bishops’ conference—argue that it is wrong to politicize the Eucharist. That is certainly true. But when the issue of Communion has been politicized—by a candidate who trumpets his Catholic faith, who runs advertisements about the inspiration he receives from that faith—how should prudent bishops react?
Four years ago, during another presidential campaign season, I wrote:
The canon lawyers see the need for disciplinary action. The loyal lay Catholics see the need. Even the Protestants recognize the need. The only people who don’t see the urgency of the situation (aside from those confused people who don’t object to legal abortion) are the bishops—who are, unfortunately, the only people in a position to enforce the discipline that is so very necessary.
Why has Father James Martin been invited to address the Democratic convention at which Biden will be formally nominated? Is it because the Democratic leadership wants a blessing from a Catholic priest? No; it is because the Party wants a blessing from this particular Catholic priest, a Jesuit with an enthusiastic following among homosexual activists. Father Martin’s participation gives the Biden campaign a unique opportunity to push forward the gay agenda while simultaneously defending itself against well-earned charges of anti-Catholic bias.
If the ultimate goal of ecclesiastical leadership is, always and everywhere, to “keep open a dialogue,” then Biden and his ilk will continue to exploit their ties to the Church whenever it suits their political needs, while scoffing at Catholic moral teaching when they find that posture more popular. On the other hand, if the goal of the bishops is to preserve the integrity of the faith and the sacraments…
The debate over whether Joe Biden should receive Communion—whether Catholic politicians should face public discipline when they repudiate Church teaching—has droned on for more than a generation. The arguments are all on one side; the action (or rather inaction) all on the other. The American bishops have refused to accept the obvious implications of both canon law and their own public statements.
At some point, the willingness of Church leaders to maintain ties with politicians who work actively against the faith becomes a source of scandal. I leave it to my readers to decide when that line is crossed, and scandal occurs. Is it when a candidate votes to send taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortuaries? When he pronounces two men as legal marital partners? When he prosecutes nuns for living their faith? Or is there nothing that a political candidate could do, that would prompt bishops to admit that he had separated himself from the Church?
As it happens Bishop Lynch addressed just that question, in his blog post twelve years ago. “Does he give scandal?” the bishop asked, referring specifically to Biden. He answered his own question: “I would suggest that scandal is pretty hard to give in the Church at this time.”
Sad to say, that statement may well be true. Expectations are so low, standards so relaxed, the demands on the faithful so paltry, that we have lost our capacity to be shocked by outrageous behavior. But if the faithful are no longer scandalized by wayward politicians, it is because the men charged with preserving the Church from scandal—the bishops—have dithered for so long.
The above comes from an August 17 story by Phil Lawler on Catholic Culture.
If the divorced and civilly remarried are barred from Communion, certainly Joe Biden ought to be for his public acts and statements gravely contrary to Catholic faith. Bishops, get a spine. Where’s Archbishop Gomez’s leadership as president of the USCCB?
For decades bishops have been treating pro-abortion, “Catholic” politicians like incorrigible children. They wink and nod, laugh and guffaw with those they perceive as the cool kids, allowing themselves to be used as Catholic props to cover for shameful deeds. Enough! Politicians and Church hierarchy, presumably leaders, are failing the masses. leading them where all should fear to go. Hell is eternal, and contrary to one well known bishop, is brimming with the souls of the damned.
admin why a question mark in a box for every article headline.
imho, does not look good
According to Google:
For people with iPhones, the question mark inside of a box (as seen below) performs the same function that the little cartoon alien inside of a box used to: it’s a notification that your phone needs to be updated to the latest version of iOS in order to see whatever new emoji a friend is sending you.
Let s/he among you who is without sin cast the first stone. Ridiculous to think that anyone but Our Lord can decide who is worthy to receive Him.
Anonymous, read the Catholic catechism as you are in need of instruction. It’s called Holy Communion, and those in a state of mortal sin are NOT in communion, in fact, they are committing an additional grave sin by receiving while not in a state of grace. There are no participation trophies at the communion rail.
You forgot to finish the story. Jesus then told the woman, “Go, from now on do not sin anymore.”
Note: He did not say, “continue to sin as you have been.”
To reinforce what Kristin said: it is not throwing stones. It is stopping someone from harming themselves. It is the sin of sacrilege to receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin. Only God knows the state of the soul, but if one is aware of committing a serious sin, one needs to be absolved in sacramental Confession before receiving Communion.
It is a struggle to uphold the fundamentals of the Catholic faith for our children due to the subtly corrupt messages received from bishops, notably Robert McElroy of San Diego. At last year’s USCCB’s general assembly, he astoundingly asserted that “It is not Catholic that abortion is the preeminent issue that we face as a world in Catholic social teaching”. He went on to assert that climate change should be the “central priority” for the Catholic church. How can we persuade young people that a Catholic presidential candidate who publicly declares support for abortion on demand should be prohibited from receiving Communion? We can’t, because bishops such as McElroy undermine and subvert our core beliefs about our faith, to the point that young people now believe that environmental degradation is the most grievous sin, and we are left helpless to argue otherwise.
Silent Observer, you do not need to argue with them. You do not need to convince them. Whether Joe Biden or John Kerry or Nancy Pelosi can receive communion is really not the issue. Young people need to know that they cannot receive communion if they get an abortion or if they vote for a pro-choice candidate because they are pro-choice. Let them care about the environment. That is not bad. You should teach them truth not try to manipulate how they vote.
Yes…absolutely…have lost our capacity to be shocked by outrageous behavior? Taking children away from their parents, locking children up in cages, tweeting racists comments, illegally interfering in peaceful demonstrations, denigrating women, attempting to deconstruct the postal service, using the federal government to punish adversaries and reward supporters – YES…President Trump’s behavior is outrageous and it is shocking that conservative Republicans continue to support him.
Your side’s lies will no longer work. We have see what has happened in cities like Seattle and Portland where your “peaceful”protests took place. Denigrating women? ha you have Joe Biden whose sexual misconduct accusations have been totally forgotten by a complicit media. As for locking up children in cages you false messiah Obama started that policy. You are angry because you do not like the result of the 2016 election and are still trying to overturn it.
I thought you were referring to Obama/Biden, cages, which were funded and started by them; racist comments sounds like the Left with their Black faces and race baiting every night; peaceful….ha, ha, ha, demonstrations; denigrating women, yes all the time the Left engages in that; the post office scheme by the Dems to steal the election and lastly, the IRS scandal tells you all you want to know about the corrupt Dems. .
It is a terrible shock to me, every time Joe Biden is announced as “the Catholic Democratic Presidential candidate,” on “EWTN News Nightly!” Plus, Biden’s would-be presidency, is even viewed as a potential historical landmark– as “the second Catholic U.S. President, after JFK!!” Makes me SICK!! Biden, Pelosi, etc., should have long ago been clearly presented, to all the world– as EXCOMMUNICATED CATHOLICS, by the Roman Catholic Church!! Now, what?? A possible future “President Biden” fraudulently hailed by our USCCB– as our Nation’s “Second Catholic President”– and given all the Church’s Sacraments, for all the world to see??
Answering to Anonymous, August 22, 10:02 PM… Wondering where you heard and saw this… on EWTN News Nightly… Joe Biden is announced as “the Catholic Democratic Presidential candidate,” I am a daily listener to EWTN New Nightly and I have not heard Joe Biden announced as “the Catholic Democratic Presidential candidate.” The Democrat Party Platform condones Abortion. That is not acceptable and can not be sanctioned or condoned by any person of good will, let, alone a Catholic! No Catholic of good faith can support and/or vote for a candidate who supports abortion and/or support a political party that condones abortion in its Party Platform. Also know that all human life is a gift from God and is Sacrosanct until when God, alone, the Author of Life calls us home.
Yes, Joana, the host of “EWTN News Nightly” indeed routinely refers to Joe Biden as a “Catholic Presidential candidate!” Of course, this is done as a quick and factual news broadcaster. At other times, she has had guests on the show, and they have discussed Joe Biden’s problems with the Catholic Church.
It is so tragic, for Catholic school children to potentially see a “Catholic President Biden,” hailed by the USCCB– supporting abortion-up-to-birth, (at taxpayers’ expense!) contraception, promiscuity, and the sick, perverted “LGBT agenda,”with gay sex acts, gay “marriage” and adoptions, sick gender ideology– and supporting filthy Planned Parenthood, including their filthy sex-ed programs in the schools—- and completely destroying Religious
Liberty, ending the fine work of good religious orders, like the Little Sisters of the Poor– and corrupting and destroying the Faith of little Catholic school children, promoting all the diabolic evils of the sick, leftist liberals!! May God have mercy!!
You go on and on about Biden’s acceptance or outright support of abortion (remember when we talked about the evils of birth control, or “the pill”), gay marriage and all things related, but you fail to mention his marriage to Dr. Jill Biden whose ex-husband is very much alive. Back in the days when we practiced our faith, such a marriage was grounds for immediate excommunication. In spite of your diluted observation, the Word of the Lord prevails. The most important lesson of all, I think, is to restrain from judgment, which is the child of pride.
The Bishop Lynches will have to answer to God for not only their sins, but also for leading all those under their care to perdition.
BTW: Biden is also living in sin with a divorced woman.
The details of Biden’s second marriage– though apparently damaging– are nowhere near as potentially harmful, as the extremely immoral issues which Biden (and Harris) champions– a total horror for America!– at taxpayers’ expense! Abortion, same sex “marriage” and adoptions, wrongful “LGBT” “gender ideology,” destruction of Religious Liberty, destruction of religious orders like the Little Sisters of the Poor, etc.– are a horror for America! Plus, the wrongful, taxpayer-funded support for Planned Parenthood– abortion, contraception, baby body parts trafficking (and wrongfully sending David Daleiden to prison!) and extremely morally-harmful sex-ed in the schools, starting in kindergarten.
The above reply is to Anonymous– who mistakenly thinks I am “judgmental.” We have a big responsibility to God, to call out those in power, doing tremendous harm! This is not so-called petty, personal, bigoted “judgment.” Big difference!
glad to hear Joe is the
I make a daily choice in my life to live Catholic. I am also an American who was taught that the separation of church and state is fundamental in our Constitution. I find it amazing to read so many “holier than thou” comments on this thread. What did Jesus say about the Pharisees?
Yes, what did Jesus say about the Pharisees, the modern day Democrat party.
The Constitution says nothing about separation of church and state, look it up.
Annette, the Pharisees were ” ‘A’ okay” with divorce. They had no problem with it. It was the Lord Jesus and St. John the Baptist who forbade it, “except for fornication”, meaning the marriage was not valid from the beginning and the two in the invalid marriage were thus fornicating, and they should separate, remain celibate, or reunite with their lawful spouse. If Biden married a divorced woman who was validly married to her first husband, she was off limits to Joe Biden.
There is also what is called “the sin of silence” when we should speak out about evil, and not to do so.
Are you talking about the woes? It is always good to review them. They are in Matthew 23. “Do what they tell you but don’t be like them.”
not in the constitution
try a letter from jefferson
“holier than thou ???”
did u hear sleepy joe’s speech ??