Some of the head men of the Catholic cloth have formed a shy “working group” to quietly cancel the liberal Catholic who happens to be president of the United States. Here is some reporting via National Catholic Reporter:
“NCR has learned that the full constitution of the 10-person working group, which does not include President Joe Biden’s longtime bishop in Delaware nor his new local bishop in Washington, D.C., has met virtually on two occasions. The group has recommended that the U.S. bishops’ conference develop a document on the importance of “Eucharistic coherence or consistency,” according to a Jan. 19 letter from Gomez to all the U.S. bishops.”
In other words, the conservative bishops are not pleased with President Biden’s liberal attitudes in favor of legal abortion, contraception and civil rights for LGBT people. Because Biden is a prominent practicing Catholic, the bishops are concerned that the president is not acting in lockstep with the dogma of the Catholic Church, a concern that is certainly correct, but not informed by any views of the bishops that are closest to Biden’s life and faith. The working group bishops do not consider that Biden may be governing from principles broader than those of their strict Catholic faith– you know, liberal, democratic principles that a majority of the nation share. Liberal principles, actually, that a majority of U.S. Catholics share.
Readers in Wisconsin may like to know that the working group working to correct President Biden includes, according to the article by NCR, Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, who also holds the position of chair-elect of the Canonical Affairs and Church Governance committee. But while group members may be keeping a low profile, the man who is president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, issued a public statement on Inauguration Day which takes issue with some of Biden’s liberal Catholic beliefs. Here is a bit of the statement Bishop Gomez released:
“So, I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences…
For the nation’s bishops, the continued injustice of abortion remains the “preeminent priority.” Preeminent does not mean “only.” We have deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society. But as Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion…
Rather than impose further expansions of abortion and contraception, as he has promised, I am hopeful that the new President and his administration will work with the Church and others of good will. My hope is that we can begin a dialogue to address the complicated cultural and economic factors that are driving abortion and discouraging families. My hope, too, is that we can work together to finally put in place a coherent family policy in this country, one that acknowledges the crucial importance of strong marriages and parenting to the well-being of children and the stability of communities. If the President, with full respect for the Church’s religious freedom, were to engage in this conversation, it would go a long way toward restoring the civil balance and healing our country’s needs.”
Archbishop Gomez seeks full respect for Catholic religious freedom (which no Democrat in recent history has seriously sought to undo) but his respect for the religious freedom of more liberal Catholics, including Biden, is not in evidence. The president of the United States is not the president of the Catholic Church (thank God and the writers of the Constitution), and the communion of a diverse, multi-cultural and multi-religious/unreligious nation requires a fully democratic perspective from the person in the White House.
The bishops may now want to establish their version of the Church in Joe Biden, thus essentially establishing their religion in U.S. government, but the “pro-life” Trump was sent packing by American voters, including many Catholics. If the bishops are successful in removing Biden and other practicing liberal Catholics from full communion in the Church for failing to abide completely by Church doctrine, they will find the Catholic Church a much less catholic and populous place.