Old Joe Biden says he is a Roman Catholic; he even claims to be a devout, committed, observant believer. “The new president,” the New York Times propagandists bubbled three days after Joe started pretending to be president, “elevates a liberal Catholicism that once seemed destined to fade away.” By “liberal Catholicism,” the Times means an ostentatious, external piety emptied of all its content and cynically designed to win Catholic votes, and on Tuesday, Catholic Joe was finally called on his game. Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas denounced Biden’s “fake Catholicism.” Will woke Pope Francis rush to Old Joe’s aid? This time, that’s unlikely.
Owen Jensen, the White House correspondent for the Catholic network EWTN, asked Biden about the fact that “Catholic bishops are demanding that federal tax dollars not fund abortions.” Biden responded: “No, they are not all doing that, nor, nor is, nor is the pope doing that.” The putative president did not, of course, offer any evidence for his claim that the pope was just fine with federal tax dollars funding abortions, and he would have been hard pressed to do so, as even the famously Leftist and only marginally Catholic Francis has spoken out strongly and consistently against abortion, saying that it “suppresses innocent and helpless life in its blossoming.” The pope added: “Is it right to take a human life to solve a problem? It’s like hiring a hitman. Violence and the rejection of life are born from fear.”
President Biden cites Pope to claim federal funding for abortions should continue.
Pope Francis: ”Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem? Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?”
— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) January 31, 2023
Strickland responded to Biden’s assertion by tweeting: “Mr Biden can’t be allowed to twist the words of Pope Francis in this way. I implore the Vatican press office to emphatically clarify that Pope Francis rightly calls abortion murder. It is time to denounce Biden’s fake Catholicism.”
Mr Biden can’t be allowed to twist the words of Pope Francis in this way. I implore the Vatican press office to emphatically clarify that Pope Francis rightly calls abortion murder. It is time to denounce Biden’s fake Catholicism. https://t.co/RBEbWmczsl
— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) January 31, 2023
Boom! There it is. “Fake Catholicism.” At last someone has said it. Biden has been trotting out his pious Catholic act for years now, and it appears increasingly manipulative and dishonest as he makes ever wilder claims. Back in May 2022, Biden criticized the Supreme Court for even considering overturning Roe v. Wade, saying: “Look, think what Roe says. Roe says what all basic mainstream religions have historically concluded — that the right — that the existence of a human life and being is a question. Is it at the moment of conception? Is it six months? Is it six weeks?”
In reality, the Catholic Church of which Old Joe claims to be a faithful member teaches that “human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” There is simply no equivocation in his own Church’s position on this.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church adds: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.” While there are other religious traditions that do allow for abortion under some circumstances, it is striking that Biden would so casually misrepresent the teaching of his own religious tradition.
But of course, Joseph Strickland is the bishop of Tyler, Texas, and not the pope of Rome for a reason. Even if Pope Francis has himself made strong pro-life statements, he has been less interested in calling ostensibly Catholic pro-abortion politicians to account. Old Joe met with the pontiff in Oct. 2021, after decades of abortion advocacy, and happily announced: “We just talked about the fact that he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion.” So the denunciation of Biden’s “fake Catholicism” is unlikely to go beyond Tyler, Texas, or be echoed in the halls of the Vatican anytime soon.
Still, Strickland has performed a valuable service in calling out one of the most visible opportunists who use their alleged Christian faith as a political prop while hollowing it out of any meaning or importance whatsoever. For that, all people of faith and principle, inside and outside the Catholic Church, owe him a debt of gratitude.