From The Catholic League:
JOE BIDEN RIDICULED FOR WEARING ASHES
Fox News analyst Bob Beckel today criticized Vice President Joe Biden for wearing ashes on TV; today is Ash Wednesday and Biden is Catholic.
In the middle of a discussion on President Obama’s stimulus plan, Beckel gratuitously said, “Sorry about laughing, but I looked at Joe Biden’s forehead, and I know it is Ash Wednesday, but I’m not sure I would wear that ash on the air. Anyway….”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue wasn’t amused:
Bob Beckel’s admonishing remark, “I’m not sure I would wear that ash on the air,” makes us wonder whether it is the public display of ashes he finds risible, or the religion that sports them.
In any event, there is no record of Beckel ever lecturing a Jew about wearing a yarmulke on TV or a Muslim wearing a turban. Must be something about Catholicism that bothers this guy. We’d love to know what it is. At the very least, a clarification about what he meant is in order.
I am not a fan of Vice President Biden. I think his public record as a pro-abortion "Catholic" Senator and his risible comments about Church doctrine concerning abortion deserve all the beatings we can deliver. I think it is a scandal that his bishops would not deny him Holy Communion.
However, you do not have to be in the state of grace to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. You receive because you are a sinner.
At the same time, I remember something in the readings about washing your face and not being obvious as a penitent in public… yes… I remember reading that somewhere (cf. Matthew 6).
So…. ashes in public? Give witness to your Catholic identity in a world which needs it?
Wash them off because of what the Lord says?