Three questions on Biden's latest display of contempt for the faith

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 02, 2016

A Catholic who participates in a ceremony at which a woman claims priestly ordination is subject to the penalty of excommunication, because that ceremony is a parody of a sacrament. So what about a Catholic who participates in—in fact, officiates at—a same-sex wedding, which is also a parody of a sacrament?

The standard dodge for Catholic politicians who support legal abortion is that they are “personally opposed” to the killing of the unborn, but will not interfere with others who want to do the killing. That argument (weak as it is) would not be available, obviously, to someone who performs an abortion. So now let’s apply the same reasoning to the issue of same-sex marriage. A politician might claim that he personally does not endorse same-sex marriage. But when he acts as the minister to solemnize the union, Vice President Biden can no longer use that fig-leaf.

How long will it take America’s Catholic bishops to denounce Biden for engaging in actions that are incompatible with his profession of the Catholic faith, thereby creating scandal, demonstrating that he is not in communion with the Church and should not be admitted to the Eucharist?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Aug. 09, 2016 10:16 PM ET USA

    If I thought the hierarchy made up the Catholic Church, I would leave in a minute. It is difficult, but Jesus wants me to pray for the salvation of their souls, and I look to Jesus as my authority in the Church.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Aug. 09, 2016 6:32 PM ET USA

    I plan to ask my own bishop about this before he leaves for Rome in a month. He is orthodox in his thinking and would be the right one to lead the effort.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Aug. 03, 2016 11:44 AM ET USA


  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Aug. 03, 2016 7:00 AM ET USA

    How long you ask? Phil, don't hold your breath. In 2008, addressing Biden's position on abortion, Bishop Malooly told the Associated Press that he won’t ask Biden to withdraw from receiving communion even though several of his fellow bishops have done so. He said he would rather change Biden’s opinion on abortion. How has that worked out for him? How long, O Lord is indeed the question.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Aug. 03, 2016 1:39 AM ET USA

    America's Bishops are too busy studying how to be PC and inoffensive to call out those who give scandal though their actions. Unfortunately, they also think amnesty is a good idea; undoubtedly thinking it will instantly add numbers to the church and forgetting it will add numbers to the abortion party. And more unfortunately for them, they can't say they didn't know.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 02, 2016 11:29 PM ET USA

    If memory serves, on many media appearances before becoming Vice President, Biden would preface the interview by informing the interviewer of what a good Catholic he was and the fact that he had been an altar boy. It is the antithesis of Catholicism to boast of your presumed status before God and your sanctity when you were ignorant, while today you wink at the Dark-Ages mentality of the Church, shaking your head disapprovingly at the Church's "bigoted" stance in supporting Commandments 5-8.