“’I’m personally opposed to abortion but would never impose my views on someone else” has been a popular position among many politicians concerned about upsetting potential supporters. Straddling the fence is not acceptable to most in the pro-life community including one priest in South Carolina who refused Joe Biden communion over the issue.
Father Robert Morey, pastor of St. Anthony Catholic Church in the Diocese of Charleston, denied Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Holy Communion last Sunday because of his support for legal abortion, according to Catholic News Agency.
“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the church,” he said. “Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of church teaching.”
According to the Florence Morning News, Morey was a lawyer for 14 years before becoming a priest, practicing law in North Carolina and working for seven years for the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Biden, a former senator from Delaware who first ran for president over three decades ago, was campaigning for the Democrat Party nomination in South Carolina over the weekend, the Associated Press reported.
Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law states, “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote a memorandum to the U.S. Catholic bishops in 2004, explaining the application of Canon Law 915 to the reception of Holy Communion. The memorandum stated that “the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin.”
The case of a Catholic politician who is “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” would constitute “formal cooperation” in grave sin that is “manifest,” the letter said.
At a Planned Parenthood event this summer, Biden promised to “eliminate all of the changes that this president made” to family planning programs, according to POLITICO, and said he would increase funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
In recent months Biden reversed course on the Hyde Amendment, once supporting the policy that protects taxpayer dollars from funding abortions and now opposing it.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice