Biden Contradicts Faith, Reason — and Himself

A NOTE FROM OUR PUBLISHER: After the Supreme Court refused to block the Texas heartbeat law, our pro-abortion rights Catholic president further repudiated what his faith says about the sanctity of human life.

President Joe Biden returns to his car after attending service at  Saint Joseph's Cathlic Church in Wilmington, Delaware on August 7, 2021.
President Joe Biden returns to his car after attending service at Saint Joseph's Cathlic Church in Wilmington, Delaware on August 7, 2021. (photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty)

This month, in the immediate wake of the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to block enactment of Texas’ new pro-life heartbeat legislation, President Joe Biden moved a step further in contradicting what the Church teaches about abortion. 

In the process, our pro-abortion-rights Catholic president provided a pointed reminder of why it’s so imperative that the U.S. bishops continue to draw attention to his egregious repudiation of what his faith says about the sanctity of all human life and about the profound evil of abortion.

Responding Sept. 3 to a reporter’s question about the developments in Texas, President Biden said that while he “respects” people who believe life begins at conception, “I don’t agree.” In saying this, Biden wasn’t just contradicting the Church, which unequivocally proclaims that human life begins at conception. He was contradicting a basic and undeniable physical reality. 

Every sound introductory textbook on biology spells out the straightforward scientific fact that human life begins at the moment of conception. And this new person possesses a unique genetic identity that will be retained for the rest of his or her development in the womb prior to birth and throughout all the other stages of human life afterward. 

In fact, this is the same awe-inspiring process through which God creates life in every other earthly species that reproduces sexually. Yet it’s especially wonderful with respect to human beings, because in this case mothers and fathers cooperate with God in the creation of new individuals with immortal souls, made in God’s own image and likeness. This, in turn, illustrates why abortion is always such an awful act, because it intentionally ends the life of an innocent, newly created human being.

Pope Francis, in an in-flight press conference following his recent trip to Slovakia, confirmed again the Church’s position on the sanctity of the unborn. “Scientifically, it is a human life. … Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem?” he said of abortion. “That is why the Church is so hard on this subject,” he added, because if the Church accepts abortion, it is as “if it accepts a daily murder.”

Biden’s Sept. 3 comments regarding conception are a double contradiction of both scientific reason as well as his own Catholic faith. Indeed, the Church’s teaching about life beginning at conception is very specifically anchored in reason, not divine revelation, because it’s a fact whose truth can be discerned easily both by those who believe in God and those who don’t.

But, sadly, there is actually a triple contradiction in play: Biden is repudiating his own previous public pronouncements. At various times — notably including in his 2012 vice-presidential debate with fellow Catholic Paul Ryan and in his 2015 interview with America magazine — he has stated the exact opposite, asserting that as “a matter of faith” he believes that life begins at conception.

There’s nothing new, of course, about Biden tailoring his religious and political beliefs further toward abortion extremism, whenever he judges this to be politically expedient. And there’s no doubt that he is under enormous pressure from the abortion lobby, which holds enormous sway over his Democratic Party as well as over corporate America, including the news and social media, to go all-in for unrestricted abortion in the face of the continuing push by pro-life states such as Texas and Mississippi to craft new laws. 

Such laws have been crafted both to restrict abortions sharply, thereby saving unborn babies immediately, and also to induce the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the constitutionally untenable and politically unworkable Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood precedents that currently undergird legal abortion in our nation. 

As Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has succinctly stated, “Nothing in constitutional text, structure, history or tradition supports a constitutional right to abortion, nor is there a sound basis for the current viability guidepost that determines when states can enact limitations on abortion.” 

Many abortion supporters privately understand the legitimacy of the arguments being set forward by Fitch and other pro-life legal experts. That’s why they are ratcheting up their rhetoric so intensely at this moment, in hopes of derailing the increasing likelihood that the Supreme Court will acknowledge its earlier mistakes and strike down Roe and Casey and return abortion law to the purview of individual states. And the abortion lobby is demanding that political leaders who rely on their support, including Catholics like Biden and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, publicly disavow “inconvenient truths” that undermine America’s abortion-on-demand framework, such as its flimsy legal underpinnings and the incontrovertible fact that human life begins at conception.

Biden and Pelosi have once again proven only too willing to accommodate Big Abortion, with the president’s executive branch launching legal maneuvers intended to overturn the Texas law and the House speaker pledging to push forward with legislation intended to codify Roe into federal statutory law.

All of this brings into renewed focus the continuing discussion about whether Biden and Pelosi, and other pro-abortion-rights Catholics in public life, are fit to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist. At their spring assembly, a strong majority of the U.S. bishops voted in favor of drafting a new document on the Eucharist, including a component that would address this issue. 

But after Biden’s Sept 3. comments, even Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, who voted against the proposal and who has stated he won’t deny reception of Communion to Biden within his archdiocese, was compelled to acknowledge that Biden’s erroneous musings about when human life begins failed to “demonstrate” authentic Church teachings.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, a strong proponent of addressing reception of Communion by politicians who dissent from the Church’s teaching, responded much more strongly in a Sept. 5 Washington Post op-ed

Referencing the recent words and actions of Biden and Pelosi and other prominent pro-abortion Catholics who have organized against the Texas Heartbeat Law, he described this support as “a great moral evil” that parallels the actions of Catholic segregationists who fought against the civil-rights movement. And he cited the good example of New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel, who in 1963 excommunicated three prominent local Catholics who opposed the desegregation of archdiocesan Catholic schools. This action wasn’t a “weaponizing” of the Eucharist, Archbishop Cordileone pointed out, but instead a recognition “that prominent, high-profile public advocacy for racism was scandalous: It violated core Catholic teachings and basic principles of justice, and also led others to sin.” 

Similarly, in our own time, Archbishop Cordileone stressed, “You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings.”

The issue of Communion for pro-abortion politicians also came up in the Pope’s Sept. 15 press conference. Pope Francis said, theologically, “the person who is not in the community, he cannot take Communion because he is outside the community. And this is not a pain: You are out. Communion is uniting with the community.” But he was less clear about how to resolve the pastoral problem of shepherding those who are “outside of the community,” and he strongly urged the bishops to address the problem pastorally without condemning the person.

Based on Pope Francis’ words and the discussion that took place at the spring assembly, it seems increasingly unlikely the new USCCB document on the Eucharist will recommend that bishops should automatically deny Communion to Catholic public officials like Biden who overtly support abortion rights. Such decisions are likely to remain at the pastoral discretion of each politician’s local bishop. But it is hoped that the document will strongly affirm that pro-abortion-rights Catholics in public life need to be aware that because of their actions in support of legal abortion, they are in grave contradiction with Church teaching about this preeminent moral issue of our time, and therefore they shouldn’t judge themselves as worthy to receive Communion until they are willing to repent of that support.

For President Biden, this is particularly true. Courtesy of his presidential office, he has unmatched authority to impact the abortion issue. To date, deplorably, his presidential impact has been exclusively negative on the sanctity of life. And it’s hard to be more contradictory than he has now become. In denying the obvious truth that life begins at conception, and that consequently every abortion involves the killing of an innocent and defenseless human being, he is contradicting faith, reason and even himself.

It’s very painful for U.S. Catholics to observe this scandalous witness, carried out by only the second Catholic president in our nation’s history. We should pray fervently for a presidential change of heart about abortion. And pray that, if it doesn’t occur, the president at least will be willing to heed the guidance from our shepherds about the unfitness of Catholic politicians who support abortion to receive the Eucharist.

God bless you!

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