Rough patch for Joe Biden. For a month, Biden has had to deal with continued gaffes, Hunter Biden’s dubious dealings with corrupt Ukrainians, and a distinct lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters. Now he has been declared persona non grata by his church. On Sunday, Father Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church refused communion to Biden over his stance on abortion. He declared that his support for abortion “places himself . . . outside of Church teaching.” With all due respect to Father Morey, I feel that he was wrong to deny Holy Communion. As someone raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools, I do not see why Biden’s political stance puts him outside of the sacraments. Biden has long said that he personally opposed abortion but that he believes every person should have the right to decide that question for herself. Unless that stance has changed, I fail to see why Biden should be turned away in this fashion at the altar.
Father Morey announced that “Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden. Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”
The problem is that Biden is not advocating for abortion. He opposes abortion. He is advocating for the right of every individual to make this decision in light of their own religious and personal values.
The reaction of the Biden campaign was interesting: silence. This is a problem for Biden who is trying to rally blue collar workers and the middle class. Not being able to receive communion could create another drag on his already less-than-enthusiastic base.
While he has been credited with opening up the Church and liberalizing some rules, Pope Francis recently reaffirmed that abortion under any circumstances, even for a sick or disabled fetus, is a sin.