President Joe Biden managed to mostly avoid the conflict between his professed Catholic faith and his political position on abortion during last year’s campaign, thanks to a compliant corporate media and a gentle touch from Catholic leadership. Abortion has become a central political issue in recent days. However, Biden’s standing among his fellow Catholics is becoming more troubled.
The new Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect last week, with the Supreme Court refusing to block its application amid liberal outrage. The Supreme Court is also preparing to hear and rule on a case in its next term that explicitly challenges the long-standing Roe v. Wade decision that effectively prevents states from regulating abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Biden’s abortion positions during the campaign did cause some friction with conservative Catholics. There was a public call for Biden to be restricted from receiving Holy Communion.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has also recently considered denying communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion advocacy. The conference is scheduled to take the issue back up in November and has publicly referred to Biden’s abortion positions as “difficult and complex.”
Biden has relied on calling his position on abortion “a private matter,” he has nonetheless been a stalwart abortion advocate while leading the Democratic Party.
Biden usually attends mass at his Delaware Parish St. Joseph on the Brandywine. This summer has seen increasing protests from devout Catholics from beyond the gates. One of the protestors, Moira Sheridan, said that her “number one” concern is Biden’s soul. Another protestor, David Williams, said that if Biden receives communion, his group does not want him “comfortably going in.”
Last week, a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki why Biden supports abortion even as he attends his church that teaches morally wrong practice. Psaki responded by not answering the question but by attacking the maleness of the reporter, explaining to him that he had “never faced those choices” and had never “been pregnant.” Perhaps fearing that the reporter might retort, “no, but I have been a fetus,” Psaki quickly moved on to another reporter.
Amid the growing protests from his fellow Catholics, Biden continues to attend mass and clamors for federal legislation to enshrine the rule of Roe and pledges to do everything he can to fight states that pass pro-life legislation.