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Heretic-in-Chief?

Updated: May 17

Biden catches heat for abortion rally sacrilege, anti-life activism


A pair of prelates is denouncing President Joe Biden, a self-identified Catholic, for "invoking Jesus Christ in support of abortion."


At an April 23 abortion rally in Tampa, Biden took to the stage with Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried, who blasted a new six-week ban on abortions, signed into law recently by Catholic governor Ron DeSantis.


"Fifteen weeks wasn't good enough," Fried carped. "We had to go to six weeks."


As she spoke, Biden made the Sign of the Cross, incensing faithful Catholics — including some within the hierarchy — by his profane performance.


'Desecration'


In the wake of Biden's theatrics, Spanish prelate José Ignacio Munilla, head of the Diocese of Orihuela-Alicante, slammed the president's gesture as "sacrilegious" and a "desecration."


In a reflection for Radio María España, Bp. Munilla reminded listeners that the Sign of the Cross recalls "that Jesus gave his life for us, he gave his life for all the innocents, he gave his life to restore innocence and to make us saints.”  


But to use the gesture as Biden did, the bishop said, is to "invoke the cross in a sacrilegious manner," representing "an absolute desecration of his own, purportedly Catholic, values."


Bishop Munilla added that, "having made the cause of abortion, the spread of abortion throughout the world, almost his highest value," Biden is betraying the Faith.


'God Is Not Mocked'


Days after Munilla's denunciation, Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois issued a similar condemnation.


In a May 8 video statement, Paprocki described Biden's stagecraft as mortally sinful. Drawing from paragraph 2120 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, he explained that "Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin."


"Making the Sign of the Cross," he noted, "is one of the most profound gestures a Catholic can make in showing reverence for Christ’s death on the cross and belief in the Holy Trinity, as we sign ourselves in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."


"To misuse this sacred gesture is to make a mockery of our Catholic faith," Bp. Paprocki warned.


To emphasize his point, the prelate quoted Galatians 6:7-8, where St. Paul admonishes:


"Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit."

'Outside of the Church'


But he didn't stop there.


Referencing the president's obstinate defiance of Church teaching on abortion, Bp. Paprocki noted that "there are limits to what a Catholic can reject without falling into heresy, apostasy, or schism."


Though he did not explicitly declare Biden guilty of such offenses, Paprocki seemed to suggest that the commander-in-chief, owing to his unflinching war against the unborn, is putting his standing in the Church at risk.


Pointing to the Code of Canon Law, the bishop noted that, "According to canon 1364, paragraph 1, an apostate from the Faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs an automatic excommunication, which means that it does not need to be declared by any ecclesiastical authority."


On May 9, Bp. Paprocki went further, elaborating on the danger surrounding Biden. In an interview with Dive Deep, the Springfield diocesan podcast, he explained that the president, through his unrelenting abortion activism, is, in fact, veering perilously close to heresy:


"If a person says, 'You know what? I don't think adultery is that big a deal. I reject the teaching.' ... Well, now you're rejecting something that is divinely-revealed, and so ... you're entering into the area of something that ... would be considered heretical.
That's a big problem with what President Biden has been saying, because in effect he's rejecting at least part of the Fifth Commandment, which says 'Thou shalt not kill,' and he seems to be saying he has no problem with killing babies in the womb."

Returning to the subject of automatic excommunication, Paprocki stressed that a person who disdains fundamental Church teaching, even privately, can excommunicate himself.


"If you're rejecting some divinely-revealed truth, you don't necessarily have to tell anybody that," the bishop explained. "You can just say, 'I reject the Ten Commandments — I don't believe in any of them.' Well, then, in a sense, you're a heretic, because you're disbelieving something revealed by God."


"The very fact you're doing that makes you a heretic, and you don't need any Church authority to [excommunicate you]," he said. "In effect, you put yourself outside of the Church."


When asked whether Biden could be officially considered a heretic, Bp. Paprocki explained that such a determination would require the undertaking of "a canonical process" by Church officials:


"Let's say that person then goes public and starts making a big deal about this — 'I reject the Ten Commandments or ... I reject what the Church teaches about abortion.' Then the Church authority may be, in that case, required ... to step in and declare that person to be excommunicated, and that requires a canonical process which then should actually be done by the person's bishop."

In Biden's case, Paprocki noted, responsibility for excommunication would lie with "the archbishop in the Archdiocese of Washington."


In Gregory's Court


The archbishop of Washington, Cdl. Wilton D. Gregory, recently acknowledged that Biden is a rabid promoter of abortion.


During an Easter Sunday appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation," Cdl. Gregory branded Biden a "cafeteria Catholic" — a term, he explained, used to describe those who "choose that which is attractive and dismiss that which is challenging."


"Like a number of Catholics," the cardinal observed, Biden "picks and chooses dimensions of the Faith to highlight, while ignoring or even contradicting other parts."


"I would say there are things — especially in terms of the life issues — there are things that he chooses to ignore," Gregory conceded. "The issues of life begin at the very beginning. And they conclude at natural death. And you can't — you can't pick and choose. You're either one who respects life in all of its dimensions, or you have to step aside and say, 'I'm not pro-life.'"


Fine words, indeed. But because the cardinal leans unmistakably to the left, Catholics can expect little else from him on this matter. In his five years as head of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cdl. Gregory has done nothing to censure the president for his abortion advocacy, and there is nothing to indicate a change in tack anytime soon.


In fact, Gregory has gone to bat for Biden on more than one occasion.


After Biden claimed victory in the November 2020 election, for example, multitudes of faithful Catholics began clamoring for the president-elect to be denied communion, owing to his espousal of abortion.


But, just days before his elevation to the rank of cardinal, Gregory rejected such calls, noting that in Biden's eight years as Barack Obama's number two, no Washington priest had ever denied him the Eucharist.


"I'm not going to veer from that," Gregory vowed. Instead, he suggested, Church officials should focus on "dialogue" with the president-elect, "even in those areas where we obviously have some differences."


"I hope it's a real dialogue because I think that's the mantra of Pope Francis — that we should be a church in dialogue, even with those with whom we have some serious disagreements," Gregory added.


Taking its cue from the cardinal, in June 2021 Biden's Georgetown parish, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, issued a statement clearing the president to receive communion:


"Communion should be viewed 'not as a prize for the perfect, but as a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.' None of us, whether we stand in the pews or behind the altar, is worthy to receive it. The great gift of the Holy Eucharist is too sacred to be made a political issue.
We stand with our Archbishop, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, concerning the issues surrounding offering the Eucharist to American politicians. As a parish which has a long history of welcoming all, we concur with and support the pastoral approach of our Archbishop. Holy Trinity Catholic Church will not deny the Eucharist to persons presenting themselves to receive it."

Not surprisingly, Gregory allowed Holy Trinity's policy to stand. And so today, Biden continues to partake in communion unchallenged — heaping sacrilege upon sacrilege, week after week, as the priests and prelates of Washington stand aside, in silence.


Pleasing Precedents


In recent years, a handful of Church leaders have stepped up to publicly declare — not just in words, but through action — that Biden and other pro-death Catholic politicians are no longer in good standing with the Church. Though none has gone so far as to issue a decree of excommunication, these men have, by denying Catholic lawmakers communion, reinforced the sanctity of the Eucharist, as well as the wretchedness of those who openly flout Catholic moral teaching.


While on the campaign trail in 2019, Biden was denied the Eucharist at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina. Father Robert Morey, pastor of the parish, later explained why he refused to admit the presidential hopeful to communion:


"Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching. Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. As a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care, and I must do so even in the most difficult situations. I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers."

This was not the first reprimand that Biden incurred owing to his stance on abortion. In 2008, after the Scranton, Pennsylvania native was picked to serve as Obama's running mate, Bp. Joseph Francis Martino of Scranton announced that Biden would not be welcome at communion lines in his diocese.


And in this, the president is not alone — in recent years, other high-profile Catholic lawmakers have been refused communion as a penalty for their abortion activism.


In 2022, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco declared that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would no longer be admitted to communion in her home diocese, branding her public avowal of Roe v. Wade a "grave sin."


In short order, Abp. Cordileone was joined by Bp. Robert Vasa, head of the adjoining diocese of Santa Rosa, California; Bp. Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas; and Bp. Michael Burbidge of the (Washington-adjacent) diocese of Arlington, Virginia — each of whom forbade Pelosi from receiving the Blessed Sacrament in their dioceses.


More than half a dozen other prelates publicly praised Cordileone for his action, including Archbishops Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas; Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, Colorado; and Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Joining them were Bishops Michael C. Barber of Oakland, California; David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin; Donald J. Hying of Madison, Wisconsin; James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska; Liam Cary of Baker, Oregon; Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, Washington; and Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois.


For his part, public censure of wayward politicians was nothing new to Bp. Paprocki. Upon his installation as head of the Springfield diocese in 2010, Paprocki declared that U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Springfield resident, was ineligible for communion in his home diocese, owing to his pro-abortion voting record. Paprocki's decree continued the precedent set by his predecessor, Bp. George Lucas, who in 2004 banned Durbin from receiving the Eucharist in Springfield.


Sadly, such reinforcements of Church teaching are rare in the United States today, and Catholics can expect continued inaction in the Archdiocese of Washington, as long as Cdl. Gregory holds sway.


Political Expediency + Catechetical Malpractice


For decades, Biden, Pelosi, Durbin and other self-identified Catholic lawmakers have been granted carte blanche to receive the Eucharist, even as they directly facilitate the slaughter of America's unborn.


This laissez-faire legacy persists because the issue of communion for pro-abortion officials — to say nothing of outright excommunication — is one of political expediency, as well as catechetical malpractice.


Simply put, a majority of U.S. Catholics want Biden and Company to continue receiving the Eucharist — a 2021 Pew Research poll confirmed this, with 67% of American Catholics saying that the president should be admitted to communion. Not surprisingly, a similar number — 69%, according to a 2019 Pew survey — don't believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.


All-too-often, wherever U.S. Catholics fail to adore Christ as King in the Eucharist, they nurture a slavish devotion to their political chiefs in Washington. How else can we explain the fact that even now, after three of the most destructive years in American history, Biden commands the allegiance of 35% of U.S. Catholics — more than 18 million in total?


What's more, for many self-identified American Catholics, allowing Biden continued access to the Eucharist allows them to shield their own consciences from bothersome pricking. After all, the majority align with the president on various moral issues, including abortion. According to a new Pew Research poll, 61% of U.S. Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Just 11% concur with the Church, believing that abortion should be illegal in all cases.


The politicians know this, and so do the bishops. And so, despite their open defiance of Church teaching — their reckless dalliances with heresy, as Bp. Paprocki has warned about — Biden and others of the quasi-Catholic political cabal are, by and large, allowed to persist in their "good Catholic" charade, aided directly, at times, by certain members of the hierarchy.


"I would say that he's very sincere about his faith," Cdl. Gregory said of Biden during his March 31 "Face the Nation" appearance. "He does attend church regularly with great devotion."


But it takes more than attending Mass, or brandishing Rosary beads before news cameras, or making the Sign of the Cross to be rightly crowned a Catholic. To live as a loyal son or daughter of the Church, it takes obedience to Catholic teaching — adherence to the precepts of God — and there is little of that to be found today, in the White House or on Capitol Hill.


Writer, editor and producer Stephen Wynne has spent the past seven years covering, from a Catholic perspective, the latest developments in the Church, the nation and the world. Prior to his work in journalism, he spent eight years co-authoring “Repairing the Breach,” a book examining the war of worldviews between Christianity and Darwinism. A Show-Me State native, he holds a BA in Creative Writing from Pepperdine University and an Executive MBA from the Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


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And Catholic Bishops in the U.S. continue to give communion to Biden, Pelosi and any other Heretic who funds them.

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I can know of those who were very sincere about their faith. I can read about them in a Catholic Bible. I can know they were truly devoted to THEIR faith. Some beheaded others, one threw his entrails into a crowd, another hung himself, one advised beating one's slave, others made piles of human heads, one called for the murder of children, another betrayed Christ by handing Him over to thugs. Yes, I can know of many who were quite sincere and devoted to THEIR faith. How could they not have been? They weren't all crazy persons who did not know what they were doing. If you searched for Joe Biden in the Bible you would not find hi…

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