Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. (Getty Images)
(CNS News) — In a virtual speech at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner on Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said the tenets of Catholic social doctrine have guided him throughout his career, even though he is a staunch supporter of abortion and so-called gay marriage, which are condemned by Catholic teaching.
“I know for me, my Catholic faith has helped me through the darkness, as I’ve had to bury pieces of my soul, deep in the earth, and eventually found purpose to live a life worthy of those I lost,” said Biden. “And throughout my life in public service, I’ve been guided by the tenets of Catholic social doctrine.”
“It cuts across all confessions of faith,” he said. “What you do to the least among us, you do unto me.”
“We have an obligation to one another,” said Biden. “We cannot serve ourselves at the expense of others.”
In late 1972, shortly after he had been elected to the U.S. Senate, Joe Biden’s wife, Neilia, and their one-year-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car accident. His sons, Hunter and Beau, were injured but recovered.
Hunter Biden and Joe Biden. (Getty Images)
Biden remarried in 1977. Beau Biden, who became Delaware Attorney General, died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46. Hunter Biden reportedly has had numerous problems over the years with drugs and alcohol but apparently is clean and sober now.
As explained by the Catholic news outlet EWTN, “Catholic social teaching is that part of Catholic moral teaching that deals with man’s social life — it suggests what society should look like in its social, political and economic aspects, based upon the ultimate purpose of temporal life in society.”
Some of the areas covered in the Church’s social doctrine include the dignity of the human person, the common good, and a preferential option for the poor.
A baby killed by saline-injection abortion. (Priests for Life)
When it comes to the dignity of the human person, the Church teaches that men and women are made in the image of God and are His children, so to speak, from the moment of conception until natural death. Once conceived, the human person has a body and a soul, and a right to life. To terminate that life is morally wrong.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “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.” (2271)
The Catechism also says, “From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a ‘criminal’ practice gravely contrary to the moral law. The church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.” (2322)
Pope St. John Paul II. (Getty Images)
In Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical letter, Evangelium vitae, he writes, “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law or vote for it.”
Joe Biden claims to follow Catholic social doctrine but his support for abortion and other social practices contrary to church teaching are well documented. As the Biden-Harris campaign website makes clear, Biden supports abortion across the board, even up to the moment of birth. https://joebiden.com/joes-vision/
He also supports in vitro fertilization; insurer-provided contraceptives; ending the Hyde Amendment; federal funding to Planned Parenthood; transgender “females” on sports teams with biological females; transgender “females” in biological females’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers; gay marriage; gay adoption of children; and LGBT education materials in the public schools.
The Catholic News Agency recently reported that Cardinal Raymond Burke, a cannon lawyer and formerly head of the highest court at the Vatican, said Biden “is not a Catholic in good standing and he should not approach to receive Holy Communion.”
“This is not a political statement,” said Burke, “I don’t intend to get involved in recommending any candidate for office, but simply to state that a Catholic may not support abortion in any shape or form because it is one of the most grievous sins against human life, and has always been considered to be intrinsically evil and therefore to in any way support the act is a mortal sin.”
The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner is a charitable event held every year which raises funds for Catholic Charities. Presidential candidates are invited to participate in the dinner in a non-partisan manner. Both President Trump and former vice President Joe Biden delivered virtual remarks to the dinner.