The intrepid archbishop of Philadelphia has denounced Joe Biden’s support for taxpayer-funded abortion, likening his abandonment of Catholic belief to a “silent apostasy.”
“The unborn child means exactly zero in the calculus of power for Democratic Party leaders, and the right to an abortion, once described as a tragic necessity, is now a perverse kind of ‘sacrament most holy,’” Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote in his weekly column Monday.
Abortion “will have a candidate’s allegiance and full-throated reverence . . . or else,” he noted.
The archbishop was reflecting on Biden’s latest flip-flop on the Hyde Amendment barring the use of federal funds for abortion, which the senator publicly backed until last week.
In his column, Archbishop Chaput observed that Mr. Biden’s caving to pressure from his party is not a new thing. Biden, along with other leading Democrats, has abandoned his principles time and time again for the sake of political expediency, selling his birthright for a plate of pottage.
The price of the entry of Catholics into the American leadership class has been the transfer of “real loyalties and convictions” from the old Church of Jesus Christ to the new “Church” of “ambitions and appetites,” Chaput said in address at Notre Dame University back in 2016.
“People like Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Kennedy, Joe Biden and Tim Kaine are not anomalies,” he said. “They’re part of a very large crowd that cuts across all professions and both major political parties.”
Citing emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, Chaput said at that time that many Catholic laypeople today and even many priests have fallen into a “silent apostasy,” trading the convictions of their faith for positions that will make them well liked and popular.
“Apostasy is an interesting word,” the archbishop said. “It comes from the Greek verb apostanai – which means to revolt or desert; literally ‘to stand away from.’”
Catholics do not need to publicly renounce their baptism to be apostates, he noted. “They simply need to be silent when their Catholic faith demands that they speak out; to be cowards when Jesus asks them to have courage; to ‘stand away’ from the truth when they need to work for it and fight for it.”
Mr. Biden cannot hide behind his record as a veteran public servant and “a well-intentioned, decent man trying honestly to balance his religious faith with the demands of a complicated political terrain,” Chaput suggested, because “complexity is never an all-purpose excuse, especially on matters of principle, and most especially when the innocent and voiceless stand to pay the price for a bad choice.”
In a sharp rebuke, the archbishop ends his column by citing the character of Thomas More from the film A Man for All Seasons and applying it to the current political climate.
“When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their own public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.”