Addressing a controversy among Catholic bishops about Joe Biden, Archbishop Charles Chaput said the presumed presidential winner should not receive communion because he supports the “great evil” of abortion.
In a column at First Things on Friday, Chaput said bishops who do give communion to Biden are doing a “serious disservice” to believers.
Biden has touted himself as a devout Catholic who cares about the most vulnerable in society. However, the Democrat also hypocritically champions positions that contradict the teachings of his faith and jeopardize the lives and freedoms of millions of Americans, the worst being his plan to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions and force taxpayers to fund their deaths.
This has renewed the debate among American Catholic leaders about whether to give communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
Chaput, the archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, is against giving communion to those who refuse to repent, according to the Catholic News Agency.
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“By his actions during the course of his public life, Mr. Biden has demonstrated that he is not in full communion with the Catholic Church,” Chaput wrote.
He criticized Biden for supporting abortion, a “grave moral evil” that has “resulted in the destruction of millions of innocent lives.”
“Mr. Biden has said that he will continue to advance those same policies as president, and thus should not receive Holy Communion. His stated intention requires a strong and consistent response from Church leaders and faithful,” Chaput wrote.
“When bishops publicly announce their willingness to give Communion to Mr. Biden, without clearly teaching the gravity of his facilitating the evil of abortion … they do a serious disservice to their brother bishops and their people,” he continued.
Chaput pointed to a 2004 letter from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the matter of the sacraments and Catholic politicians who support abortion. He said the document urges priests to instruct the politician about church teachings and warn them that they will be denied communion if they continue to sin “with obstinate persistence.”
“To my knowledge, that statement remains in effect,” Chaput wrote. “The implications for the present moment are clear. Public figures who identify as ‘Catholic’ give scandal to the faithful when receiving Communion by creating the impression that the moral laws of the Church are optional.”
However, the archbishop also said he does not think that publicly denying communion to a politician is always wise.
“Doing so in a loud and forceful manner may cause more harm than good by inviting the official to bask in the media glow of victimhood,” he wrote.
He said the matter is one of faith, not politics, and bishops have a “unique responsibility before the Lord for the integrity of the sacraments” as well as “pastoral concern for a man’s salvation.”
Some Catholic leaders, however, disagree. Last month, Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington, D.C. said he will not refuse to give communion to Biden, despite his pro-abortion stance.
Gregory said it is normal for Catholics to have disagreements; they are part of “being a family, a family of faith. The difficulty is too many people want to throw out of the family of faith people with whom they have disagreements.”
Biden and his vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris want to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions and force taxpayers to pay for them. They also oppose religious freedom protections for Catholic charities and other employers, and Harris has been accused of anti-Catholic bigotry. She also prosecuted pro-life undercover journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby body parts trade.
If Biden takes office and does what he promised, abortions could increase across America. Not only does Biden plan to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns it, he also wants to end the Hyde Amendment and force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions.
More than 800,000 unborn babies are aborted every year in America, and about 62 million have been aborted since 1973 when the Supreme Court forced states to legalize abortion on demand. Without the Hyde Amendment, researchers at the Charlotte Lozier Institute predict 60,000 more unborn babies could be killed in abortions each year.
In April, Biden went so far as to call the killing of unborn babies an “essential medical service” during the coronavirus pandemic. His health care plan would expand abortions as well by forcing insurance companies to cover abortions as “essential” health care under Obamacare.
He also promised to undo all of Trump’s progress for life, including restoring funding to the billion-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
On religious freedom, Biden’s position also is deeply troubling. Biden has endorsed anti-religious freedom policies that would force nuns, religious charities and hospitals to violate their deeply-held beliefs by funding the killing of unborn babies in abortions and potentially even by helping to facilitate their deaths. He also promised to restore an Obama-era mandate that would force the nuns with Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious employers to fund contraception, including types that may cause abortions, in their employee health insurance plans.