The Washington Post has published an unexpected op-ed criticizing Joe Biden for not taking Catholic teaching on abortion seriously.
Thursday’s essay, written by Ramesh Ponnuru and Robert P. George, asserts that abortion is not wrong because the Church says it is wrong, but because taking the life of a human being is fundamentally unjust.
It “is science, not any catechism, that teaches us that at conception a new and distinct member of the species homo sapiens comes to be,” the authors observe. “What the Catholic Church adds is that we have a solemn obligation to do what we can to see to it that justice is done to all human beings — including those at the earliest developmental stages.”
Catholicism is quite “capacious,” the op-ed contends, and allows for a diversity of opinions and approaches to a number of issues, such as how to regulate immigration, how to combat poverty, and many others.
And yet there is no room in the Catholic church for abortion, the authors insist, because it is unjust and evil.
Abortion is “a grave injustice in the same way it is to perform any act designed to kill an innocent human being,” they state. “Laws allowing it, or treating it as a right, are gravely unjust, too, in the same way that it would be unjust for laws to allow the deliberate killing of any other innocent human beings, especially on a mass scale.”
Pope Francis has for this reason appealed to “all politicians, regardless of their faith convictions, to treat the defense of the lives of those who are about to be born and enter into society as the cornerstone of the common good,” the essay observes.
President Biden, however, only the second baptized Catholic President of the United States, “flagrantly rejects” the church’s teaching on this subject, we read.
Biden says he believes human life begins at conception, and yet he will not defend it, and thus, he is “among those Catholics who have contributed to confusion” regarding abortion.
Whether or not he is “personally opposed” to abortion, he “favors excluding a particular class of human beings from the same protection against homicide that he favors for everyone else,” the authors declare.
“He speaks in favor of that injustice, and he works to further it,” they add.
This week, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann, the head of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said President Biden should stop calling himself a devout Catholic because his actions contradict this claim.
“The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching,” Archbishop Naumann said. “It would be a more honest approach from him to say he disagreed with his Church on this important issue and that he was acting contrary to Church teaching.”
In their Washington Post essay, Ponnuru and George state that as Catholics, they are “obligated to tell the truth about abortion and what the church actually teaches about it.”
“We owe it to the unborn. We owe it to our fellow citizens of a nation committed to ‘justice for all.’ And we owe it, as well, to President Biden himself, who on this issue is guilty of profound injustice,” they conclude.