Catholic Church Loses Moral Authority Over Abortion
President Biden is one of the more religiously active presidents in modern times. He often speaks of the importance the Catholic Church is to his moral compass. He attends mass frequently – and as the expression goes, wears his religion on his sleeve.
Being only the second Roman Catholic president – 60 years after President Kennedy – the issue of abortion has slipped off the back burner for Biden.
There has long been a simmering debate over what the Catholic Church should do about public officials who support abortion. It is, after all, one of the serious of mortal sins according to Catholic dogma. In fact, for generations, support for abortion was an automatic excommunication from the Church. This led to the withholding of the sacrament of Holy Communion from the sinners.
The Catholic bishops are currently considering how to deal with politicians who promote abortion – politicians like Biden. But if the Church takes a hard line on the issue, a lot of politicians will be facing convoluted explanations – folks like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The decision of the bishops should be quite simple.
You have an abortion or support abortion-on-demand, and you are exiled from the Catholic Church. That is the rule, the only issue is whether the Church will enforce it.
Catholic politicians have frequently faced cardinals and bishops who refused Communion to them. It happened to former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry when he was running for President.
Some Catholic bishops have already announced that they would not allow Biden to receive Communion were he to drop by a church in their archdiocese. Other bishops will not institute such a ban. And that is why the Catholic Church is losing relevancy as a religious institution.
No matter one’s view of abortion, a church claiming to be founded on immutable moral principles must stick to those principles. Or, they become just another institution of internal debate. It cannot lead or guide parishioners when the Church, itself, cannot stand on a basic principle. The strength of a Church depends on it not being too easily swayed by the winds of contemporary conventions.
Washington’s liberal Cardinal-designate Gregory has noted that Biden has been receiving Holy Communion in the archdiocese for the eight years he has served as Vice President. “I am not going to veer from that,” he said.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco – who will not refuse Communion to abortion proponents– illogically argues that as long as the various bishops respect each other’s personal decisions on the issue, it will minimize the confusion. What? The archbishop should know that only clarity minimizes confusion. Having different policies on a profound moral principle only creates confusion.
When asked about his receiving Communion, Biden said it was a settled issue with the Church. He even claims to be in compliance with the Pope. But that would only be the case if the Pope were willing to vacillate on this issue. And this Pope just might.
When a religious institution bends to political power, it loses its moral authority.
We saw that in the old Democrat southland when “religious people” burned the very symbol of their religion in a sinful expression of hatred. We saw some of that in Nazi Germany – and see it today in China where the government controls the so-called Catholic Church in that nation.
Just for the record, I was raised Roman Catholic but have long ago separated from all organized religions – but I do consider myself a person of faith. I am prolife, but I did not come to that position based on religious indoctrination. For me it is purely a secular moral decision – which I occasionally write about in my commentaries.
At the bottom line, I believe that neither Biden nor the Catholic Church should be playing moral charade in which both sides claim moral superiority when there can be only one standard.
So, there ‘tis.