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Biden meets the Pope – and what did NOT get discussed?

Biden meets the Pope – and what did NOT get discussed?

Presidents often meet popes.  Pope John Paul II was a key player in President Reagan’s successful plan to bring down the old Soviet Union.  Pope Pius XII was a key player in getting Jews out of Nazi Germany – although President Roosevelt blocked the refugees from entering the United States

Today we have the Peronist Pope Francis more devoted to pushing an international political agenda than a religious one.  He is a so-called liberal Pope.  He does not change the longstanding rules of the Catholic Church, but he does ignore them in order to pursue his secular agenda.

President Biden is only the second Catholic President in American history – the first being President Kennedy. Unlike Kennedy, Biden has not faced any concern over his religion.  The controversy surrounding Kennedy was that he might be too influenced by his religion.  With Biden, it is Catholics worried that he is not sufficiently devoted to his religion.

MSNBC’s resident liberal Democrat historian John Meacham said the meeting with the Pope has great meaning because he is a devout Catholic, who has worn his deep religious convictions on his sleeve.  On CNN they gave a similar assessment of Biden as deeply religious in the Catholic faith.

It is true that Biden often tells of the importance of his Catholic faith in dealing with life’s issues.  He often says “God bless” or “God love, ya” to voters – and to the Pope.  When he is hoping for a favorable outside in some matter, Biden occasionally “crosses himself.”  He is said to attend Mass religiously.  Biden has overtly used his religion as a political asset – wrapping himself in religiosity to appeal to the voters.  

There is a problem with his public displays and those media reports.  There is one issue that prevents Biden from claiming – or being described — as a “devout Catholic.”  It is his active private and political support for abortion-on-demand.  

In the initial news reports, there was no mention of abortion.  As the day proceeded, however, there was no way the issue could be avoided.  One analyst said that the issue of Biden’s proclaimed religious devotion and his stand on abortion will always dog the President.  There is no way he can escape the issue.

While Biden has never been officially excommunicated from the Church, many theologians and Catholic hierarchy argue that support of abortion – the killing of human life in the womb – is an automatic excommunication.  Several Catholic bishops have announced their refusal to give Biden the holy sacrament of Communion.  In other words, they do not consider Biden to be part of the communion of the faithful – the body of Christ.

Biden can be fairly called a “questionable Catholic,” a “fallen away Catholic” or even a “bad Catholic.”  What he cannot be called accurately, a “devout Catholic.”

I am not making any judgment about whether Biden will attain the “heaven” that Christians see as the happy afterlife – what I refer to as the great perhaps.  However, I do believe in an afterlife existence of some sort.  If the Catholic Church is correct, then it is between Biden and his God to make any judgment.  Not me.  But it is fair to have an opinion on Biden’s less-than-private claim of religious devotion to the Catholic Church – and the media’s failure to challenge that claim in view of the controversy it invokes.

What I can say in our temporal environment is that the Church has a rule – arguably a condition of membership — and Biden is breaking it continuously.  And has for many years.

Considering how important the abortion issue is to the Catholic Church – and the juxtaposition of Biden and Francis on that issue – you would think that would be a topic of discussion between them.  But noooo.

More surprising is the fact that the initial CNN and MSNBC (did not watch FOX) reports on the meeting between Biden and Francis completely ignored the 500-pound gorilla in the room.   The very fact that the networks praised Biden’s religious devotion begged the question:  What about abortion?  It is the key question that the networks did not want to ask or be asked.  And when they finally did address the issue, it was very gingerly – with a pro-Biden spin.

And if you expected Francis to raise the topic, you would be wrong.  He talks the talk of the Church but does not walk the walk.  The traditions of the Catholic Church are secondary considerations to Francis’ secular political agenda.  Where the two come into conflict, dogma loses.

If Francis were the protector of the Catholic Church, he would have voiced his criticism of Biden’s abortion-on-demand policies.  He might have even excommunicated him – and a few other Catholic politicians who promote abortion.  Hmmmm.  Did the name Nancy Pelosi come to mind?

The Pope could have – and maybe should have – refused to meet with Biden as a protest to the President’s pro-abortion policies.

Instead, Francis wants to talk climate control and welfare – even though the Pontiff has no real power to enact policies on those subjects.  He can only address them from his pulpit – which is not an insignificant power.

Coming out of the meeting, Biden said that he is a “good Catholic” – and that he should “keep receiving Communion.”  As much as Francis wanted to avoid the subject, that does not sound like something he would have said.  When asked for confirmation, the Vatican declined to comment.

Nothing will come of the meeting between Biden and Francis.  They will have a nice discussion.  They both will agree on a progressive socialist public policy agenda.  There will be no substantive agreements.  No implementable actions.  Biden will enter the meeting as a strong advocate for abortion-on-demand.  And he will leave the meeting as a strong advocate of abortion-on-demand.  

For Biden, the controversy will continue unresolved.  He will still wear his Catholic religion on his sleeve.  He will continue to promote abortions and claim to be a good Catholic.  In that regard, the meeting was a win for Biden.

Not so much for Pope Francis.  He lost an opportunity to defend Catholic dogma.  As a result, he will lose respect from more of his sheep.  He will lose influence among more of the Church hierarchy.  He will show himself – again — to be a religious wimp.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Frank Stetson

    Thank God for small blessings.

    • Dan Tyree

      Two dumbasses met. So what? Both are communists

  2. Joseph S. Bruder

    Well, if this isn’t a holier-than-thou screed, I don’t know what is. You have claimed to be a non-practicing Catholic in past columns, so who are you to judge whether Biden is devout or not? There are an awful lot of Catholics who don’t agree with the Church about abortion. And for you to call the Pope not “walking the walk” of a Catholic is just unfathomable. Who made you judge and jury? The Bible specifically warns about judging other people.

    And you know what the Bible doesn’t say? “Thou shall not abort an unborn fetus”. The only mention of abortion in the Bible, as far as I know, is in Numbers, where a woman who has sex outside of marriage is told to go to the priest who will give her a potion (“cursed water”) to cause her to miscarry. That’s the Bible telling a woman to seek out an abortion! The Bible also has violent descriptions of what to do for not believing in the correct god, such as killing the women and children, and even (Hosea) “women with child shall be ripped up”. So the Bible is less than silent on the abortion issue.

    Larry, religion should be a private thing between a person and their God. If the fucking Pope himself chooses not to criticize Biden about his beliefs, I think it’s way out of your purview.

    • Harold blankenship

      Catholic Church is a cult

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        Maybe, but it’s Larry’s cult… For being an avowed “lapsed Catholic”, he doesn’t mind criticizing them for not being holy enough.

        • larry Horist

          Let me get this. The Catholic Church is my “cult” because I am a “lapsed Catholic.” So … in your twisted logic, I am a member of a cult of which I am not a member. Bruder, when you allow irrational personal animus ad hominin attacks drive the train this is the sort of nonsense that results. Get a grip.

  3. Frank stetson

    Bring back The Inquisition.

    We need to know who’s more Catholic.

    And Larry, don’t all Christians make heaven? You know, forgiveness and absolution. Enough hail Mary’s and Charles Manson can get in?.

    • larry Horist

      It would be interesting if you responded to the commentary, but your snarky comment about my religious beliefs — or disbeliefs — put youi back into commenting on something about which you now nothing. I like serious conversations — even a good debate — but there is must too much drivel. Pity.

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        Commenting on someone else’s devotion to their religion is the very definition of drivel, and you know it. We’re calling you out because you lack the moral authority to attack someone on the basis of their religion. And then you attack us just for pointing out the hypocrisy of a lapsed Catholic judging another Catholic.

        • larry Horist

          Bruder … When are you going to get in touch with really? I do not know your religious affiliation, but maybe Catholic? because you keep calling the Larry Horist in your mind an “avowed lapsed Catholic.” That was the Churches language. No one was an ex-Catholic or no longer a Catholic, but simple in the state of lapse. Just for the record, the real Larry Horist is NOT a Catholic — and has not been one for almost 50 year. You even said that the Catholic Church is a cult …and it is MY cult. Two disinformations wrapped in one statement. Whether you like the Church or not — are a member or not — it is not a cult. And certainly not my cult. Cannot speak for the fantasy Larry Horist in your mind, but ain’t me. And as far as opining on Biden, he has made his religious devotion part of his political resume. He claims to be a devout Catholic. I only point out that that claim his highly questionable — especially in view of the number of Catholic theologians who have argued that he is an automatically excommunicated Catholic and many clergy will not allow him Communion because of his support for abortion. I see it as a valid subject — much the same as he claimed to have been at the top of his class in law school as part of his political resume. That has also been proven to be untrue. You would probably be more credible if you were to dialogue with the real Larry Horist rather than shadow box the imaginary Larry Horist who occupies your brain. Hmmm. Maybe you are even dealing with an imaginary Joe Biden as a counterpoint. Most adults tend to give up their imaginary playmates around the age of reason.

    • Mark ashLey

      Yes. Charles Manson went to Heaven if he accepted Jesus. Everything Manson or any of us have done was nailed to the cross and paid for by the blood of Jesus

    • larry Horist

      In view of Bruder’s obsessive trolling — predicated on the mythical Larry Horist of his own creation — I though I would more fully respond to your comment, Frank. You exaggerate, of course, by claiming that the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion as a determinant of membership is in any way a fair comparative to the Inquisition. If you reference had any validity, the Catholic Church would be running the country, and I am afraid Biden would be put to death. Let’s keep things in perspective.

      As far as I can recollect, not all Christians go to heaven in Catholic teaching. You mock the believe by saying that enough Hail Mary’s would get Charles Manson into that great perhaps. What happens after death, I do not know — although I do have my opinions But as I recall in the Christian religion one most meet the test of forgiveness. Which mean you must recognize what you did was bad. You must be SINCERELY sorry … and you must beg for God’s forgiveness with a promise to never so sin again. You just cannot flip off a few prayers . I am sort of agnostic on all that, but that seems to be the process. If you want a more authoritarian answer, you should ask a devout Christian. That probably should not be Joe Biden.

  4. Feank stetson

    Jeez Larry, i shoulda put the happy face on indicating a funning. With a bit of serious. Who is anyone to judge how Catholic a Pope or parishioner is. But if the Church stood fast on birth control and abortion, there would be no Church. I, for one, don’t judge anyone on their abortion stand, nor so I believe does the Church, at least in practice or else there would be millions of lapsed Catholics.

    That’s all and thanks for the illumination but except for God’s judgement, the Churches forgiveness seems a pretty low bar. But again, who am I to judge.

  5. Joseph S. Bruder

    Larry, enough of the “imaginary mythical Larry Horvist” horsecrap… Regardless of who you think you are, or what your bio says, you tell us every day exactly what you are. You don’t think you’re a Catholic, vehemently protest being called one, but you’re taking the Catholic Church’s official view on abortion and applying it to all Catholics. You’re judging Biden by the Church’s official policy, something that even the Pope wasn’t willing to do (and that JC himself preached against). And, what, only Catholics have heard the Church call ex-Catholics “lapsed”? Puh-leeze… If you’re going to judge other Catholics on what the Catholic Church supposedly requires for membership, then obviously you still haven’t been “deprogrammed” from your Catholic cult days.

    According to a Catholic World Report poll (googled it, not something I subcribe to!), 51% of Catholics believe abortion should be legal. According to, a study showed that the abortion rate for Catholic women was 22 per 1,000 women; the rate for Protestants was 18 per 1,000. Catholics, despite what the Church says, also universally use birth control. The stereotypical Catholic family with 10+ kids is now more likely to be a white evangelical Christian family, scared to death of the “gubmint”, and attending a megachurch with an extremely wealthy pastor.

    The very word catholic means universal – it’s a big tent, but Catholics sure as hell don’t agree on everything. Just like any organization, religion, or political party, there are conservatives who believe in the old ways, and others who believe in the intent of the old ways but not the absolute letter of the law, and still others with entirely new thinking. And in the US, where we have relative freedom from religion, people are able to ignore the rulings of the Church, and it has to live within those bounds. In other places, Poland, for example, the state is (still) inextricably bound to the Church, and renouncing your membership in the Church doesn’t get you out from under their rules. I’m sure there are still a bunch of old-timer Catholics in the US complaining about the reforms made in the 1960’s… Pope Francis would qualify as one of them new-fangled liberals, but I have no doubt that his Trumpian counterparts are waiting in the wings to take power and crack down, and drive another generation of Catholics out.