Vice-President Joe Biden has put his foot in his mouth again, this time with regard to the controversy over his leading the American delegation to attend the installation of Pope Francis as the new Pope.
Never mind that Vice President Joe Biden has been rebuked by his own bishop over his pro-abortion views, President Barack Obama chose him to lead the delegation. That decision prompted an outcry from Catholics and pro-life non-Catholics alike because of Biden’s longstanding pro-abortion record. Some pro-life advocates have called for Biden to be prohibited from receiving communion at any ceremony for Pope Francis.
Now, Biden has said he plans to attend the celebratory Mass. He confirmed he will be attending a reception tonight with the presidential delegation to the inaugural mass with American officials based in Rome. Biden says he has to attend “or I’ll lose my soul.”
Biden’s comment came as he met at the Villa Aurelia with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, according to reporters on the scene.
“We invited the American cardinals to a reception,” Biden told Nikolic. “So unless I’m prepared to join the Eastern Orthodox Church, as a Roman Catholic, I’d better show up or I’ll lose my soul.”
According to Biden’s office: “This evening, the Vice President and Presidential Delegation to the Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis are attending a reception at Villa Aurelia hosted by Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See Mario Mesquita with U.S. Cardinals, U.S. Members of Congress, and officials from U.S Embassy Rome, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome.”
Biden’s own bishop has had to correct the pro-abortion politician on his misstating the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.
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.
“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, said Rev. W. Francis Malooly, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.
He wrote in a letter to the editor that Biden “presents a seriously erroneous picture of Catholic teaching on abortion.”
“This is simply incorrect,” he said then 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.”
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“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 went 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.”