Last week Joe Biden attended Mass at St. Anthony’s Parish in Florence, South Carolina. When it came time for communion, he was denied the sacrament by the parish priest Father Robert Morey due to his pro-abortion views.
Father Morey’s decision to deny Biden communion is just another indicator of the division among liberals and conservatives within the Roman Catholic Church.
Such division among Catholics has generally been about poverty, the environment, and immigration- issues that Pope Francis has continuously talked about despite the fact he is less informed on these issues than the average American who watches Fox News (according to The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism by John Zmirak). That’s because, as Zmirak points out, such issues are outside the pope’s area of divinely appointed authority. In other words, they are not spiritual matters, so his views are not binding on Catholics. In fact, Zmirak goes on to say in his book that Pope Francis is no more of an expert on such topics than a traffic cop who stops someone to offer them gynecological advice.
But let’s focus on the communion issue. Was Father Morey right to deny Joe Biden communion? The answer: yes. In the Catholic Church, anyone who is publicly in favor of abortion (even if they say they are pro-choice) is not allowed to receive communion until they have repented (i.e. been to confession, done their penance, and renounce their pro-abortion views). In addition, Catholics are directed not to vote for anyone with pro-abortion views. Unfortunately, for some Catholics, the issues of immigration and poverty take precedence over the abortion issue. So, whenever a pro-abortion politician who is also Catholic is in line to receive communion, they usually wind up receiving it (even though they are not supposed to be receiving it).
I spoke to my parish priest about Joe Biden being denied communion, and he said that such a decision is made by the local bishop. I should also point out that a couple of American bishops have warned Biden that he would not be given communion over his pro-abortion views.
Such a matter now brings up the following questions: will other priests deny Joe Biden communion? Will other pro-abortion politicians (e.g. Nancy Pelosi) be denied communion? And will liberals (both Catholic and non-Catholic) try to force the Roman Catholic Church to change its views on abortion? Only time will tell.