Anyone who was expecting Pope “abortion is murder” Francis to criticize Joe “abortion is health care” Biden was either naïve, or sorely disappointed last week when the two most powerful living Catholics met at the Vatican.
According to Biden, the pope told him he was happy that our president was a “good Catholic” and that he had his permission to keep receiving Communion. Of course, there were no cameras, so it could just be Joe doing that plagiarism thing he’s perfected.
Personally, however, I don’t doubt that Pontiff told POTUS that he could continue doing what he had every intention of doing anyway, shoving his unrepentant pro-abortion politics in the face of practicing anti-abortion Catholics. Despite the opposition of American bishops and many conservative faithful like myself who are deeply troubled by this façade of piety, Biden and his many supporters (a large portion of which calls itself Catholic) think his advocacy for abortion rights should be brushed off like some annoying flake of dandruff on the wings of St. Michael.
Given his public comments, I believe that the pope was willing to forgive this lost sheep from Wilmington. I know I’m not going to change hearts, minds and eternal souls with my words. That’s not my intention, nor is it within my power to tell someone how to approach their relationship with God and their conception of morality.
But silence is not an option when it comes to the hypocrisy of people who regularly attack others as immoral, and we’ve seen how both of the two most powerful Catholics have done that. Francis talked about the evil of “building walls,” a distinct dig at Trump, while Biden has gone after everyone, including and most especially Republicans who stand in the way of his agenda.
What I cannot do is sit idly by while the leader of my faith and the leader of my country live out this elderly bromance for the world to see without expressing how depressed, how disrespected and how very, very angry it makes me.
Among all faiths, Catholicism has been the most vocal in its opposition to the destruction of human life in utero. It has also been outspoken against the death penalty, fiercely supportive of immigrants and refugees, cognizant of our stewardship of the earth and concerned with the welfare of the disabled and the dispossessed. As Cardinal Joseph Bernardin described it in terms more poetic than any bible verse, it is all about the “seamless garment of life.”
So when two extremely high profile members of that faith seem to excuse the ripping and tearing and destruction of that radiant garment at the hem, at the beginning where life takes hold and becomes manifest in the fertilized embryo, I have a big problem with the messaging.
Women like the acolytes of Planned Parenthood can get out there with their “I’m Glad I had An Abortion” T- shirts and parade their obscene pride in this barbarity on social media, and I just wince and scroll by. People like Nancy Pelosi can act like theologians and talk about how abortion is actually permitted by the church, and I just laugh and excuse the octogenarian’s little mental blip. But if the pope doesn’t draw the line in the sand when that “good Catholic” deliberately flouts a core principle of our faith, I don’t know why I should obey any of the rules myself.
What does it even mean to be a Catholic anymore?
Don’t answer, I think I already know. We apparently get to write our own rules now because “Who is he to judge?”
Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times in Philadelphia and can be reached at email@example.com.