Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Just how important is Joe Biden’s faith really?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Dec 17, 2020

We have yet another interview in which someone who knows President-elect Joe Biden apparently feels bound to affirm how much the Catholic faith means to him (see ‘He always carries a Rosary’: spiritual adviser to Joe Biden discusses Biden’s faith). Unsurprisingly, this fulsome testimony is given by…wait for it…a Jesuit leader of a Jesuit university.

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Interestingly, Biden’s faith is never referred to as the “Catholic faith”, but we do learn that he has relied on “Catholic” rituals to sustain him in difficult times. Still, a few observations:

  • If you support the increase of the license to commit abortion, a heinous act of murder which has been uniformly condemned by the authority of the Church over the centuries, then no matter how much you claim your faith means to you, you refuse to be formed by it.
  • If you support the right to gay marriage, and participate in and even officiate at gay marriages, which has been uniformly condemned by the authority of the Church over the centuries, then no matter how much you claim your faith means to you, you refuse to be formed by it.
  • If you publicly support artificial contraception, which has been taught as morally wrong down through the ages by the Church, and you seek to use the law to force those whose conscience it violates to pay for it, then no matter how much you claim your faith means to you, you refuse to be formed by it.
  • In short, if you are a slave to the attitudes which dominate the secular culture in which you live, and so you frequently advocate, as perfectly moral and good, serious sins which are clearly condemned by the Catholic Church, then no matter how much you claim your faith means to you, you refuse to be formed by it.
  • And finally, if you cannot see that these things strike at both human life and the stability of the family as the basis of society, thereby missing the fundamental realities which underlie even Catholic social teaching, then no matter how much you advocate some policies that are in accord with Catholic social teaching, you refuse to be formed by your faith.

Whatever “faith” may be important to Joe Biden, it is not the “Catholic” faith, and it is a mockery of God to try to convince others to the contrary—and a mockery of the Blessed Virgin Mary to let it be known that he carries a Rosary, as if this is evidence of a deep faith. Or let me put it this way: There is a huge disconnect concerning religion in the modern secular world. We tend to regard it as a sentiment, and rely on it only insofar as we are successful in pretending it is a sentiment which justifies whatever we think and do.

But the living God is most definitely not a sentiment, and even Jesuits should know not to aid and abet narcissism. Yet when we ascribe our own attitudes to God and His Church, and then claim that this “faith” is important to us, we are exactly like Narcissus, who looked at his own reflection in a pool, and found great consolation in his own beauty.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: secret squirrel - Dec. 24, 2020 8:59 PM ET USA

    Doesn't this also go for the Catholics who voted for Biden?

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Dec. 21, 2020 3:03 PM ET USA

    One wonders how many spiritual advisors have advised Catholics to dismiss Catholic moral doctrine. The mess that the Church is in these days suggest that the answer is many, many, many... In my youth (I am 78 years old), I had more than one Jesuit spiritual advisor, and these priests were faithful to Catholic doctrine. How things have changed since then!

  • Posted by: mary_conces3421 - Dec. 19, 2020 6:57 AM ET USA

    Well put!

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 18, 2020 6:59 PM ET USA

    Amen. I believe pagan religions practiced telling prayers on beads and other objects. To be a devout Catholic is to allow yourself to be discipled by Christ.

  • Posted by: edenjohnson364256 - Dec. 18, 2020 6:29 PM ET USA

    Jeff, it looks like Biden is going to be the President. What do we do now to safeguard our rights against socialism/comnunism? WHAT DO WE DO NOW????