The bishop of Knoxville (TN) has called into question claims by Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi that they are “faithful Catholics” given their public opposition to Church teaching.
“It really confuses me that both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi time and time again state that they are faithful Catholics and yet promote unlimited abortion as well as deny so many of the teachings of our faith,” Bishop Rick Stika tweeted Tuesday. “Nancy stated that she will no longer support the Hyde Amendment.”
“I guess they think it is ok to say they are faithful but yet support the ultimate child abuse and human rights violation of the death of the unborn,” the bishop added in a separate tweet. “I hope someday, her portrait will be removed from the Capital as she did of those who supported slavery. No difference.”
“From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the Catechism continues. “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.”
The Catholic Church considers abortion such a grave evil, in fact, that it is one of the very few sins punishable by immediate and automatic excommunication.
LGBT Jesuit Father James Martin rushed to the defense of Biden and Pelosi, insisting that a bishop has no right to question the “personal faith” of Catholic politicians.
Father Martin also said that the bishop’s characterization of the two Democrats was inaccurate, suggesting that the only point on which Biden and Pelosi dissent from Catholic teaching is the matter of abortion.
At this point a Dominican priest and canon lawyer leapt into the fray, noting that Biden and Pelosi’s defense of same-sex marriage is another key point on which the two part from Catholic belief.
Either Father Martin “doesn’t know the views of these politicians on the nature of marriage” or he believes their views on the nature of marriage “accord with Catholic teaching,” tweeted Father Pius Pietrzyk. “Both options are worrisome.”
In the past, Father Martin has argued that the Catholic Church should change its definition of families to include same-sex couples since “there are many ways to be a ‘family’.”
The priest suggested in 2018 that stable living arrangements that the Church considers to be objectively sinful should be given full recognition as families, since “gay couples can form families and are deserving of the term.”
In his criticism of Bishop Stika this week, Father Martin suggested that the bishop should have likewise criticized President Trump’s “unchristian” policies. He did not, however, explain why he believes the bishop is unqualified to judge the positions of Catholic politicians but is somehow qualified to judge the positions of a non-Catholic.