Former Vice President Joe Biden was in for a shock when he was denied holy communion at a Catholic Church in South Carolina on Sunday because of his staunch position in favor of abortion. The Catholic Church has always viewed abortion as a sin — good for this priest in taking a stand for his faith. Earlier this year, Biden reversed his stance on the Hyde Amendment and it caught up with him this weekend.
Biden was attending a service at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina when he went to receive the sacrament. The former vice president was denied such by the church’s pastor, Father Robert E. Morey, because of his support for abortion. “Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey told the Florence Morning News on Monday. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that.”
The sacrament of the Eucharist occurs when unleavened bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ through a process called transubstantiation. It is a re-creation of the last supper of Jesus Christ and his 13 apostles that occurs at every Catholic mass proceeding. Holy communion is one of seven sacraments ordained by the Roman Catholic Church. The others are baptism, reconciliation, confirmation, marriage, anointing of the sick, and holy orders.
“The pastor’s act comes as Biden, who identifies as a Catholic and has claimed to be personally opposed to abortion, has shifted his position on the practice to line up with the mainstream of the Democrat Party, under whose banner he hopes to be elected president next year.
“In June, the former vice president set off a firestorm on the left by reaffirming his commitment to the Hyde Amendment, a federal rule banning tax dollars from being used for abortion except in cases of maternal health or if the pregnancy arose because of rape or incest.
“Although Biden had voted for the rule continuously over the span of his 40-year political career, his public acknowledgment of such support drew the ire of pro-choice groups and activists. Some, like NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue, even claimed Biden’s support for the Hyde Amendement translated “into discrimination against poor women and women of color plain and simple.”
“In the wake of such criticism, the 76-year-old Biden attempted to appease his detractors by saying he would only continue supporting the rule unless women were in a position to lose access to abortion. That waffle, though, did nothing to allay concerns from pro-choice activists, with many echoing Planned Parenthood by claiming continued support for the rule was “harmful” to women. After such denunciation and pressure from the likes of Hollywood starlet Alyssa Milano, Biden eventually acquiesced, expressing that “times had changed.”
“While the shift may have worked in salving the ire of progressives, it only served to underscore the divergence between Biden and ecclesiastic officers, like Morey. On Monday, the priest asserted his decision to deny the former vice president communion was not personal, but stemmed from his responsibilities to the church and its teachings on life and conception.
“Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching,” Morey told the Morning News. “I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.”’
Well, Biden certainly needs someone to pray for him and he needs to get right with God. Biden has wrestled publicly with abortion policy for decades evidently. I would point out that either you are a devout Catholic or you aren’t. It should be easy to make that choice.
Father Morey, who is a former attorney who worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy before becoming a priest, did not elaborate in greater detail as to why he denied Communion to Biden. But at least one other member of the clergy threatened to do so many years ago.
In 2012, Bishop Michael Sheridan of the Diocese of Colorado Springs reportedly told the Gazette-Telegraph that if Biden happened to attend his Mass while touring during then-President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, “He should know, and I would do everything I could do to make sure that he knows, he ought not to be receiving Communion.” Good for him as well.
If Joe Biden prefers politics to his faith then so be it. But don’t expect that there won’t be repercussions for doing so in this life as well as the next.