Tennessee Bishop Slams Joe Biden’s Selective Catholicism

Pope Francis waves, next to US Vice President Joe Biden, on a balcony after speaking at the US Capitol building in Washington, DC on September 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty

The redoubtable bishop of Knoxville has attacked Joe Biden for his selective quoting of Pope Francis that avoids the pope’s frequent condemnation of abortion.

“I would like to be a speech writer for Mr. Biden and Mrs. Pelosi, who both state they are faithful Catholics,” wrote Bishop Rick Stika on Twitter early Wednesday. “I know they also have used quotes from Pope Francis.”

The bishop goes on to offer his own citation from Pope Francis that underscores the horror of abortion.

“Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as ‘unnecessary,’” the pope said in early 2014. “For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.”

Pope Francis has been a vocal critic of abortion, which he has called a “scourge” and a “horrendous crime.”

In 2018, the pontiff famously compared abortion to hired murder, saying an abortionist is the “hit man” you hire to take someone out of the way.

Often the killing of human life in the womb is defended “in the name of safeguarding other rights,” the pope told crowds gathered in the Vatican. “But how can an act that suppresses innocent and helpless life in its beginnings be therapeutic, civil, or even human?”

“I ask you,” the pope continued, “is it right to ‘bump off’ a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? You cannot, it is not right to ‘bump off’ a human being, no matter how small, to solve a problem.”

“It is like hiring a hitman to solve a problem,” he repeated.

The pope said that “interrupting the pregnancy” is a euphemism, since it is “another way of saying, to bump someone off.”

Back in June 2015, Francis made a similar comparison, saying that the abortion mentality resembles the code of the Mafia, who “take out” a person when he gets in their way.

“No problem is solved by taking out a person. Never, ever. That is the code of the Mafia: ‘There’s a problem, let’s take this guy out.’ Never,” Francis said.

Bishop Stika has questioned Joe Biden’s standing as a Catholic several times, given Biden’s public stance against Church teaching regarding abortion.

“Don’t understand how Mr. Biden can claim to be a good and faithful Catholic as he denies so much of Church teaching especially on the absolute child abuse and human rights violations of the most innocent, the not yet born,” the bishop wrote last month.

The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is a grievous moral evil equivalent to murder, as it involves the intentional killing of an innocent unborn child. Being in full communion with the Catholic Church entails embracing its core teachings on faith and morals, something the bishop has questioned in Biden’s case.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “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.”

Abortion “is gravely contrary to the moral law,” the Catechism declares, and, therefore, a person who procures an abortion incurs excommunication from the Church “by the very commission of the offense.”

For his part, Mr. Biden has reiterated his absolute support for abortion on demand and has promised to work to repeal the Hyde and Helms Amendments that protect taxpayers from having to fund abortions.

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