Joe Biden is not a practicing Catholic. And practicing Catholics cannot vote for Biden for president in good conscience.
A Philadelphia basement blogger, among others, has pronounced negatively, as usual, on a recent tweet by Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, R.I., calling Biden’s Catholicity into question after he announced his fellow Planned Parenthood ally Kamala Harris as the pick for VP.
Bishop Tobin tweeted, “Biden-Harris. First time in a while that the Democratic ticket hasn’t had a Catholic on it. Sad.”
The blogger sub-tweeted Bishop Tobin’s remark with this rejoinder:
“While the sentiment expressed by Providence bishop — one of the few U.S. prelates who’s disclosed his party registration — is popular with conservatives, a hierarch has no authority to judge the status of a member of the faithful outside his jurisdiction.”
Wrong again, basement blogger.
Yes, Bishop Tobin could have avoided the obvious difficulty of making it sound like he’s calling Biden’s baptismal status into question. Those without a contrarian agenda, however, are willing to fill in the blanks and give Bishop Tobin credit for his point, which is that being Catholic does not entail merely being baptized and confirmed. It also doesn’t mean going through the motions of receiving Communion.
No, being Catholic means not receiving Communion if one is in need of making public reparation for public scandal against the faith and morals of the Church in addition to, of course, sacramental Confession. Being Catholic means full assent with the intellect and will to all the truths the Church teaches in matters of faith and morals. This Biden very publicly and with great frequency has not done for many years.
Whether or not a baptized Catholic has been absolved through sacramental Confession we cannot know unless the individual involved chooses to speak about it. It is not of this matter of the internal forum that Tobin speaks.
Biden’s long-term advocacy of abortion on demand, his connivance in a number of evil choices as vice president during the Obama presidency, and his officiating over a same-sex “wedding” at the vice-presidential residence are just some of the reasons that Biden is not a Catholic in the most fundamental sense. Calling oneself Catholic is not the same as being Catholic. In politics, however, mercurial superficiality is the stock in trade.