Joe Biden’s Bishop: He’s Wrong on Catholic Church and Abortion Teaching

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 27, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Joe Biden’s Bishop: He’s Wrong on Catholic Church and Abortion Teaching

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 27
, 2008

Wilmington, DE ( — Joe Biden’s own bishop has had to correct the pro-abortion vice-presidential candidate again on his misstating the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church. In an interview last week, Biden claimed Catholics can support abortion and he understated the far-reaching effects of the Roe v. Wade decision.

In the interview with the Delaware News Journal, Biden continued to misrepresent the position of the Catholic Church on abortion in a way that has gotten him in trouble recently.

"But throughout the church’s history, we’ve argued between whether or not it is wrong in every circumstance and the degree of wrong. Catholics have this notion, it’s almost a gradation," Biden claimed.

Not so says Rev. W. Francis Malooly, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

He writes in a new letter to the editor that Biden "presents a seriously erroneous picture of Catholic teaching on abortion."

"This is simply incorrect," he says of Biden’s interpretation. "The teaching of the Church is clear and not open to debate. Abortion is a grave sin because it is the wrongful taking of an innocent human life."

"The Church received the tradition opposing abortion from Judaism. In the Greco-Roman world, early Christians were identifiable by their rejection of the common practices of abortion and infanticide," Malooly goes on to say.

"The Didache, probably the earliest Christian writing apart from the New Testament, explicitly condemns abortion without exceptions," he continues. "This has been the consistent teaching of the Church ever since."

Malooly said there was some uncertainty in previous centuries about the beginning of human life but science has confirmed that human life begins at conception and the Catholic Church has never wavered in supporting that view and that human life deserves protection from that point.

"Of course, we now know that a fetus is a living human being from the very start. Thus, abortions take innocent human lives no matter when they occur," he says.

Malooly also condemns the trimester framework Biden uses to justify his support for Roe, which allows virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy.

"Since there is no gradation in the Church’s teaching on abortion, there is no way the medically obsolete division of pregnancy into three trimesters by Roe v. Wade can have any bearing on the rightness or wrongness of abortion," the bishop explains. "Taking an innocent life in the womb is wrong at any stage of pregnancy."

Malooly calls on Biden to change his views on abortion and to conform to the pro-life teachings of the church.

He said all "statesmen and politicians" should be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life."

"We hope Sen. Biden will carefully listen to the Church’s 2,000 years of testimony on abortion and that he will join in the defense and promotion of the sanctity of life," he concluded.

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