BIDEN BREAKS WITH THE CHURCH
Catalyst December Issue 2008
In the October 19 edition of the News Journal, Joe Biden offered his thoughts on faith and values. The Delaware daily also printed a 2007 interview with Biden on the subject of abortion; it was not previously published.
In his latest interview with the News Journal, Biden said, “I accept my Church’s teaching on when life begins. But we live in a society where a large number of people don’t agree with that position.” This is true and much the same could be said about racism: The Catholic Church calls racism “intrinsically evil” and supports laws to criminalize it. Biden agrees with this Church teaching and has no problem imposing his view on “a large number of people [who] don’t agree with that position.” But when it comes to abortion, which the Church also labels as “intrinsically evil,” Biden objects. This is a glaring contrast to what Biden said in his earlier interview with the newspaper.
In 2007, Biden declared “my church has wrestled with this [abortion] for 2,000 years.” Wrong—the Catholic Catechism clearly states that “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and is unchangeable.”
Biden also said, “throughout the church’s history, we’ve argued whether or not it [abortion] is wrong in every circumstance and the degree of wrong.” Wrong again—as the U.S. bishops recently said, “Modern science has not changed the Church’s constant teaching against abortion, but has understood how important and reasonable it is….”
Biden dug himself in even deeper when he opined, “One of my avocations is theology,” boasting that “I’m a John XXIII guy, I’m not a Pope John Paul guy.” Apparently Biden had no idea that John XXIII was every bit as anti-abortion as was John Paul II.
He followed this theological gaffe by appearing on “Ellen” and telling Ellen DeGeneres that “if I lived in California, I would vote against Proposition 8,” the initiative defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Despite this claim, during his debate with Gov. Sarah Palin, Biden said, “Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage.”
The approved Proposition 8 secured marriage as an institution that is exclusively between a man and a woman, so in other words, Biden did not tell the truth in his October 2 debate with Palin. He cannot logically be opposed to both gay marriage and Proposition 8, but that is exactly what he was trying to get away with.
Last year, in Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict XVI pointedly said the following about people like Joe Biden: “Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter…it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman….These values are not negotiable.” (Our emphasis.)
Last year, the U.S. bishops issued Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenshipwherein it said that the family based on marriage between a man and a woman “should be defended and strengthened, not redefined or undermined by permitting same-sex unions or other distortions of marriage.”
After Biden’s defiance of the pope and the bishops and his misrepresentation of the Catholic Church, we dubbed him, “Joe the Theologian.”