Author Topic: Joe Biden denied communion  (Read 7804 times)

mj4

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Joe Biden denied communion
« on: October 29, 2019, 07:11:49 PM »
Another related topic to clerical involvement in politics is how clergy should handle communing politicians whose public positions are contrary to church teaching. Take, for example, the recent case of Joe Biden who opposes abortion but doesn't believe he should impose his views on others.

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(CNN) - Former Vice President Joe Biden was denied communion Sunday at a Catholic church in South Carolina over his support for abortion rights.

Father Robert Morey, the pastor at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, told the Florence Morning News that he had denied Biden communion because "any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching."

"Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that," Morey said in an email to the newspaper. He said that "as a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care, and I must do so even in the most difficult situations. I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers."

Morey did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment on Tuesday. Biden declined to address the matter Tuesday on MSNBC.

"I am not going to discuss that. That is just my personal life," he said.

Biden has said he would seek to codify Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that established women's abortion rights nationwide -- a move that could protect that right from mounting legal challenges from Republican-led states.

He has also said he would seek to eliminate the Hyde Amendment, the federal law that bars federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions, except in the cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. Biden previously supported the Hyde Amendment but reversed his position earlier this year amid criticism from his 2020 Democratic presidential rivals.

Biden, in the 2012 vice presidential debate, said he personally opposes abortion.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/29/politics/joe-biden-denied-communion-south-carolina-catholic-church/index.html

Do you agree with Biden who makes the distinction between a personal position and public policy position? Or do you think his view of the issue is inconsistent and unworkable? Have you ever denied communion to a public figure for the same or a similar issue?

Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 07:34:20 PM »
I commend the priest of that parish in South Carolina.  He did the correct thing.  VP Biden isn't the only one flaunting the Roman Catholic Church's teaching regarding the sacraments and the sanctity of life.  And VP Biden isn't forced to be a Catholic if he doesn't agree with the teachings of the church.  There are plenty of other churches that he can join that align with his viewpoints. 

Jeremy   
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Eileen Smith

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2019, 07:43:35 PM »
I agree with the priest.  He was right to withhold the Sacrament as he deemed Biden was not "in a state of grace" according to the teachings of the church.  You cannot faithfully have one opinion in your personal life and another for your public life.   What I don't agree with is the priest something that i see as a matter between the Catholic church and Biden in a statement (to at least Catholic News Report).   "Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden. Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself Ö outside of Church teaching".

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2019, 09:04:15 PM »
I agree with the priest.  He was right to withhold the Sacrament as he deemed Biden was not "in a state of grace" according to the teachings of the church.  You cannot faithfully have one opinion in your personal life and another for your public life.   What I don't agree with is the priest something that i see as a matter between the Catholic church and Biden in a statement (to at least Catholic News Report).   "Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden. Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself Ö outside of Church teaching".

This happened in the course of a public Sacrament involving a public figure who has been publicly defiant of Church teaching.

There was nothing private about refusal of Communion nor any breach of pastoral privilege in offering this explanation.
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2019, 09:08:18 PM »
And to his credit, Biden, when asked about it, said that it was a private matter. He didn't rail against the priest and the church.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 09:16:49 PM »
And to his credit, Biden, when asked about it, said that it was a private matter. He didn't rail against the priest and the church.

I pray that this might be the first step to his repentance.

"Law and Gospel" can be proclaimed in many ways.
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

mj4

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2019, 09:43:18 PM »
And to his credit, Biden, when asked about it, said that it was a private matter. He didn't rail against the priest and the church.

Pr. Johnson, are you in agreement with Biden that this is essentially a private matter? If so, could you elaborate on why so? Pr. Shelley makes a cogent argument for why it is a public matter. Is it possible that it is both private and public?

Charles Austin

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2019, 09:45:20 PM »
You can personally oppose abortion, but still believe that making abortions illegal is not good public policy. That you was articulated by the elder governor Cuomo years ago, and a speech at Notre Dame.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Interesting things on the new administration and religion in the 1/24 newspapers. Douthat column, e.g. Posted link here, but it was deleted.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2019, 10:34:08 PM »
And to his credit, Biden, when asked about it, said that it was a private matter. He didn't rail against the priest and the church.

Pr. Johnson, are you in agreement with Biden that this is essentially a private matter? If so, could you elaborate on why so? Pr. Shelley makes a cogent argument for why it is a public matter. Is it possible that it is both private and public?

I think that when he says it is a private matter, he means it is a matter between him and the church or him and God. In other words, what the priest did is, in a sense, a "public matter" because it is the public teaching of the church that he is reflecting. But for the communicant it is a "private matter" in that he has no need (rightly so) to discuss his own relationship with the church in the public eye. So yes, in a sense, it is both private and public.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

jebutler

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 10:36:48 PM »
You can personally oppose abortion, but still believe that making abortions illegal is not good public policy. That you was articulated by the elder governor Cuomo years ago, and a speech at Notre Dame.

Humble Correspondent Austin, you asked if a pastor could remain "non-partisan" these days. You made it clear that you could not. Welcome to your world.

Apparently, for HCA, its all about whose ox is being gored.
These are things that we can discuss among learned and reasonable people, or even among ourselves. (Luther, SA III, paraphrased).

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2019, 11:40:00 PM »
I say again, one can be opposed to abortion but believe that restrictive abortion laws are bad public policy.
I think the priest may have been out of line.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Interesting things on the new administration and religion in the 1/24 newspapers. Douthat column, e.g. Posted link here, but it was deleted.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2019, 02:04:43 AM »
I say again, one can be opposed to abortion but believe that restrictive abortion laws are bad public policy.
I think the priest may have been out of line.


I agree with you. There are religions that require special diets for their adherents, e.g. kosher foods for Orthodox Jews, vegetarian or vegan diets for Seventh Day Adventistís, but they donít insist that laws are passed to force everyone to follow their beliefs.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Richard Johnson

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2019, 08:24:56 AM »
I say again, one can be opposed to abortion but believe that restrictive abortion laws are bad public policy.
I think the priest may have been out of line.


I agree with you. There are religions that require special diets for their adherents, e.g. kosher foods for Orthodox Jews, vegetarian or vegan diets for Seventh Day Adventistís, but they donít insist that laws are passed to force everyone to follow their beliefs.

A new low in ridiculous analogies.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Eileen Smith

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2019, 08:59:30 AM »
I say again, one can be opposed to abortion but believe that restrictive abortion laws are bad public policy.
I think the priest may have been out of line.


I agree with you. There are religions that require special diets for their adherents, e.g. kosher foods for Orthodox Jews, vegetarian or vegan diets for Seventh Day Adventistís, but they donít insist that laws are passed to force everyone to follow their beliefs.

If folks like Biden and Pelosi were lapsed Catholics and made that public, well maybe - just maybe - I'd agree.  But call it one's faith, one's values - that needs to be consistent with what one publicly proclaims.  How can we trust a candidate that says, "well, in accordance with my church's teachings I believe in the sanctity fo life (or any other issue), but gosh, society is going in another direction so I'll cave to that. 

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Joe Biden denied communion
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2019, 10:27:39 AM »
I say again, one can be opposed to abortion but believe that restrictive abortion laws are bad public policy.
I think the priest may have been out of line.


I agree with you. There are religions that require special diets for their adherents, e.g. kosher foods for Orthodox Jews, vegetarian or vegan diets for Seventh Day Adventistís, but they donít insist that laws are passed to force everyone to follow their beliefs.

If folks like Biden and Pelosi were lapsed Catholics and made that public, well maybe - just maybe - I'd agree.  But call it one's faith, one's values - that needs to be consistent with what one publicly proclaims.  How can we trust a candidate that says, "well, in accordance with my church's teachings I believe in the sanctity fo life (or any other issue), but gosh, society is going in another direction so I'll cave to that.


Itís like the adage: ďI disagree with what you say, but Iíll defend to the death your right to say it.Ē


Why couldnít one say, in accordance with my churchís teaching only celibate men can be priests, so we should make it a law of the land that only celibate men can be ordained and consecrate the sacrament?


Upholding oneís religious beliefs doesnít require one to promote those beliefs and behaviors to all people through the legislative process.


There is also the issue that public servants are to uphold the laws of the land - not just the ones they agree with.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 10:29:11 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]