First Pete and then Re-Pete: Biden follows Pelosi down the slope on Meet The Press

Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) was on Meet The Press today with Tom Brokaw.

Two weeks ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was on MTP and committed scandal on a grand scale by her obfuscation of what the Church’s teaching is about the beginning of human life.  Also, she said that it shouldn’t make a difference when life started, insofar as abortion is concerned.  She and her spokesman later referred to ancient debates and quoted Augustine, etc. etc., despite the Church’s clear and well-known teaching about the sanctity of human life and abortion.

Now Catholic pro-abortion Senator and candidate Biden steps into the cage. Brokaw through him the necessary knuckler.

Here is the transcript and link to video.  My emphases and comments.

MR. BROKAW: You’re a lifetime communicant in the Catholic Church. You’ve talked often about your faith and the, and the strength of your feelings about your faith.

SEN. BIDEN: Actually, I haven’t talked often about my faith.  I seldom talk about my faith. [Ironically, when he is next asked about Sen. Lieberman, he says "We Catholics believe in redemption".  I think he might talk about it fairly often in some way or another.]  Other people talk about my faith.

MR. BROKAW: I’ll give you an opportunity to talk about it now.


MR. BROKAW: Two weeks ago I interviewed Senator Nancy Pelosi–she’s the speaker of the House, obviously–when she was in Denver. When Barack Obama appeared before Rick Warren, he was asked a simple question: When does life begin? And he said at that time that it was above his pay grade. That was the essence of his question. When I asked the speaker what advice she would give him about when life began, she said the church has struggled with this issue for a long time, especially in the last 50 years or so. Her archbishop and others across the country had a very strong refutation to her views on all this; I guess the strongest probably came from Edward Cardinal Egan, who’s the Archbishop of New York. He said, "Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being `chooses’ to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name." Those are very strong words. If Senator Obama comes to you and says, "When does life begin? Help me out here, Joe," as a Roman Catholic, what would you say to him?

SEN. BIDEN: I’d say, "Look, I know when it begins for me."  [When it begins… for him…] It’s a personal and private issue[Okay… for me, Sen. Biden, it begins, say… just after your next calendar birthday, whatever that may be.]   For me, as a Roman Catholic, I’m prepared to accept the teachings of my church. [Okay.] But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths–Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others – who have a different view.  They believe in God as strongly as I do. They’re intensely as religious as I am religious. They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life – I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society. [WHOA!  Wait a minute.  In a pluralistic society people can go to the polls and vote for representatives who will legislate and deliberate in a way that is harmonious with their views and the common good.  Who wins, wins.  It is not an imposition of a private judgment.]  And I know you get the push back, "Well, what about fascism?" Everybody, you know, you going to say fascism’s all right? Fascism isn’t a matter of faith. No decent religious person thinks fascism is a good idea. 

MR. BROKAW: But if you, you believe that life begins at conception, and you’ve also voted for abortion rights…  [In other words, you believe one thing and do another in a matter of great private and social consequence.]

SEN. BIDEN: No, what a voted against curtailing the right, criminalizing abortion. I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it’s a moment of conception. [First, you don’t have to depend only on religious views, on the teachings of the Church.  You can appeal as well to natural law and, simply put, common sense.  The other part of this how religious views are hereby to be shoved out of public discourse, out of the public square.  Religion is a matter of the private, not the public, sphere.]  There is a debate in our church, as Cardinal Egan would acknowledge, that’s existed. [Okay… what the heck was that.  There is a debate that existed.  But that debate doesn’t exist now.  This is not the 5th or even the 13th century.]  Back in "Summa Theologia," when Thomas Aquinas [+1274] wrote "Summa Theologia," [Summa Theologiae] he said there was no – it didn’t occur until quickening, 40 days after conception. [It is hard to beleive that, after all the holy hell raised in the last two weeks, Sen. Biden could put his foot so firmly in it, again.  For most liberal, progressivist Catholics, the history of the Church didn’t begin until Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council.  Now, all of a sudden, these CHINOs are quoting Augustine and Aquinas.  Do they seriously believe that the Catholic Church is debating whether or not "quickening" takes place at 30 days for males and 90 days for females?  Has Sen. Biden not read a single bit of what bishops have clarified in the last 14 days?  I think people should send him copies.]  How am I going out and tell you, if you or anyone else that you must insist upon my view that is based on a matter of faith? And that’s the reason I haven’t. But then again, I also don’t support a lot of other things. I don’t support public, public funding. I don’t, because that flips the burden. That’s then telling me I have to accept a different view. [So, it is okay to resist it when it is a matter of money, but not just because it is human life, as he says he believes it is.] This is a matter between a person’s God, however they believe in God, their doctor and themselves in what is always a – and what we’re going to be spending our time doing is making sure that we reduce considerably the amount of abortions that take place by providing the care, the assistance and the encouragement for people to be able to carry to term and to raise their children[Hmmm… :carry to term" … is this a slight modification of the "provide contraception" under the guise of health care?]


What is so disturbing about this is the Senators eagerness to shove religion entirely out of the public square.

The problem is… what then is the basis of desiring to lower the number of abortions or help women carry children to term?  What is the basis of any of the social agenda they might have?  If there is nothing of religious conviction to it, then it must be some natural law basis for the agenda.  But if you can apply natural law to other social issues, then you can apply it to abortion as well, and not say you are imposing religious views.

No… his answer is just a slippery dodge without any foundation in truth.

Secondly, Senator Biden – absolutely incredibly – tracks back to the debates of the past about the "quickening" of the foetus, when the human soul is infused… whatever.  The mind reels. 

Regardless of what theologians said, and their teachings are not in fact the equivalent of the Church’s teaching, they always affirmed that abortion is gravely wrong.

And will Senator Biden, since he is living in the 13th century now, also debate with us such questions as whether women are fully human?  After all, those questions were raised!  Or how about… since the ancients wondered about quickening… do females come to be quickened only after 90 days? 

Hey!  There is a great question in the Summa Theologiae about whether heretics ought to be put to death.  Aquinas says, well… yes… we can burn them at the stake, but… we should remember mercy.  

Is Sen. Biden okay with that?

WDTPRS: Senator, since you are comfortable with a 13th century understanding of embryology and since you seem not to need to take modern pronouncements into consideration, what do you say to those who want Speaker Pelosi, such a powerful public individual, and possibily a heretic, to be burned at the stake if she doesn’t change her views?

BIDEN: Well… that’s outrageous!  She is a great civil servant!  What … what… who would suggest that could ever be tolerated?

WDTPRS: But lot’s of people have strong religious convictions that that is the right thing to do.  Take a look at Summa Theologiae II. q.10 a.3…. I happen to have a copy here….  And may I remind you that St. Augustine argued that heretics and schismatics should be compelled by force to reenter communion with the Church?  Speaker Pelosi quotes Augustine.  You quote Aquinas.   

So, Senator, if Archbishops Wuerl and Niederauer say Speaker Pelosi can’t receive Communion, will you advocate the use of force to compell Speaker Pelosi to alter her position or, barring that, she should go to the stake?

BIDEN: This is absurd!  What about the Vatican Council’s document on religious liberty?

WDTPRS: What about the Vatican Council’s Gaudium et spes 51, which calls abortion a heinous crime?

BIDEN: That’s different…. that’s …. that’s…. I don’t want to impose my views on anyone.  I don’t talk about my faith.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Ted Krasnicki says:

    Senator Biden’s argument like so many “Catholic” pols is that “I am personally opposed., but….”. Clearly the “but” is more important than one’s principles. To me that sounds hypocritical.

    Yet his argument goes further, that one’s religious views on abortion is a private matter. Extending his argument this would mean that homicide or any other evil that religions touch upon is a private matter, but he would surely not go that far. Why is abortion so special? Probably because he does not think that the baby in the womb is a “real” human being, having a soul (vivefication), definitely not a creature with a consciousness which today seems to determine whether a human life is a person. (Using this argument from consciousness, I wonder if killing a normal human being when he is asleep would be OK.) Of course, the issue is more than religious, and he purposely avoids the scientific problemata on this.

    But he also defends his entire position, if one carefully listens to him, the way Pelosi did: how can one defend Church teachings to the public when even St Thomas Aquinas himself was not sure about the time of vivification, that there still is a debate in the Church over this matter?

    I hope the Character Bishops stand up to this character even more firmly than they did to Pelosi.

  2. Fr. Z, thanks for posting this and breaking it down with your comments. As far as Biden and Pelosi are concerned…” Some people are educated beyond their intelligence.” (Mother Angelica)

  3. Ted Krasnicki says:

    Sorry, I meant “Catholic” Bishops in my comment above.

  4. TNCath says:

    I’ve been checking back regularly today in anxious anticipation of your analysis of Senator Biden’s appearance on “Meet the Press.” Thank you once again, Fr. Z!

    The latest report is that Senator Biden is scheduled to be in attendance at tomorrow afternoon’s installation of Bishop Francis Malooly, the new Bishop of Wilmington, DE. This will put the Senator in contact with more than a few bishops. I wonder if His Excellency, Bishop Malooly’s first order of business will be a rebuke of Senator Biden’s comments? Will other bishops follow suit as they did for Speaker Pelosi? This will be intriguing to watch.

  5. Mark says:

    We should thank God for allowing these two emblematic politicians to air their views on when human life begins to a national audience. The poverty of their thought, and the ease with which they are shown to be wrong on this issue, is a great teaching opportunity for our Bishops and priests.

    Using these two politicians, God is giving our clergy a national pulpit. May they use it while it is granted to them.

  6. Thomas says:

    On the bright side, it seems that “pro-choice catholics” are running out of room to run.

  7. Fr. Angel says:

    At the beginning of the civil rights movement, many devout, religious people were strongly in favor of segregation in the Jim Crow South.

    Would Senator Biden believe that it was wrong of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other pastors to enter into the public debate about segregation based on their religious convictions? Would Biden say that the movement to desegregate was acting “inappropriately” for imposing their views in a pluralistic society?

    Condoleeza Rice is the daughter of a Presbyterian minister who strongly supported Dr. King. She has spoken very favorably, as did her father, of the role of faith as it entered the debate in the public square in regards to segregation. Would Biden say she and her family were wrong to pursue the implementation in law of their religious convictions.

    The fact is that although respect for the unborn child has staunch support in Catholc faith and the faith of others, this respect is not sectarian and therefore it is not the imposition of sectarian faith on the American public. It is rather the revival and retrieval of a great American legal tradition which previously recognized the humanity of the unborn child.

    What has actually been imposed upon the American public, by judicial fiat, by judges who were not elected to speak for the American people, is the “right” invented out of thin air, to kill children in the womb because we deny the biological proof in their cells that they are human and worthy of human respect. That was truly sectarian when it was imposed, a belief of the sect of atheism, and the public has been duped into seeing this as a choice for the good of women.

  8. Mike says:

    Many thanks Father Z for unpacking that – very helpful. You’ve shed light on how this poor man is consigning his faith to the private sphere in the hope of getting into power. As you say, if we live in a pluralistic society as he says, then he should stand up for his beliefs (if he really does believe them) and try to be elected that way. Anything less is dishonest.

  9. John Enright says:

    Senator Biden’s rational could be used for a whole host of different activities which are rightly condemned as criminal such as possession and use of dangerous controlled substances, and in a stretch, even “honor killings.” How sad that he really just doesn’t get it.

  10. Brian says:

    I hope that Archbishop Niederauer does not mind this slight editing of his words:

    “Authentic moral teaching is based on objective truth, not (personal religious beliefs). For instance, in 1861, as the Civil War began, a majority of the (religious people) of Massachusetts opposed slavery, a majority of the (religious people) of South Carolina approved of slavery, and in Missouri (religious people) were sharply divided on the issue. Does that mean that, in 1861, slavery was immoral in Massachusetts, moral in South Carolina, and something of a moral “wash” in Missouri? Sound moral teaching demands much more good sense than that.”

  11. Jennifer says:

    Unbelievable! Are we perhaps giving these politicians too much credit for being intelligent? Why, oh why would you even go there, Senator Biden? Where have you been hiding the last two weeks? What absolute arrogance to think you know more than the Church that Jesus founded. Unbelievable. However, these stupidities and the Palin addition have really brought back “life” to the forefront of this election. God will always use evil for good (I’m not referring to Palin being Evil).
    Here’s a post from Diogenes “off the record” from a year ago. Very fitting.

    Posted Sep. 10, 2007 12:19 PM || by Diogenes || category
    Tough to know what religious beliefs, if any, Michael Kinsley lays claim to. His article in the current Time (thanks to Douglas LeBlanc for the heads up) is a complaint against the level of God-talk in campaign discourse. He’s pro-abortion, a Democrat, and a non-doctrinaire liberal. While he often opts for the wrong one, Kinsley can see the alternatives clearly:
    The Roman Catholic Church holds that abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being. Catholic liberal politicians since Mario Cuomo have said they personally accept the doctrine of their church but nevertheless believe in a woman’s right to choose. This is silly. There is no right to choose murder. Either these politicians are lying to their church, or they are lying to us.
    Would it help, my lord bishops, if he said it slower?

  12. Jeff Miller says:

    His bringing up Cardinal Egan is like demanding to be corrected from the Cardinal who did quite a good reply to Pelosi.

    Funny how to his credit he voted against partial birth abortion and was able to “impose” his view in that case.

  13. Ted Krasnicki says:

    Just a thought about a possible conspiracy here. I wonder if indeed Mr. Biden is not inviting harsh criticism from the Catholic Bishops, so that they will be perceived as interfering in American politics. This would invite a reaction against the bishops and their positions not just from non-Catholics but from secular Catholics. I cannot believe Mr. Biden could lack such circumspection after the Pelosi ordeal on such an important culture wars issue, especially since he knew full well that the subject of his Catholicism and abortion would come up at the interview.

  14. Jerry says:

    Sen Biden only talks about religion occasionally–on those occasions when it is to his political advantage and when what he says about religion, factual or not, is to his political advantage. Sorry for my tough view but in light of all that has transpired with so-called Catholic politicians particularly over the past several weeks I think an excommunication or two are in order. Certainly the softer approach of trying to “educate” is not working!.

  15. Lindsay says:

    I’m was just sick to learn that Biden was *invited* to the new bishop’s installation mass. How is it “politicizing” the Eucharist to refuse it to a pro-abortion politician but not politicizing it to actually invite him to a mass and presumably give him communion? Of course, that happened before his statement this morning, but, well, what a mess! It just makes it worse…

  16. Carolina Geo says:

    “I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it’s a moment of conception.”

    What Biden does not understand is that the Church does not teach arbitrarily. The Church teaches what she teaches because it is the TRUTH. He must have a pretty low opinion of the Church to not believe that.

  17. LCB says:

    “I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception”

    Please note, he never says “I do believe.” He always states “I’m prepared to believe.”

    If he actually DID believe it, he would be forced to fight against abortion.

  18. TerryC says:

    I think a much more accurate answer would be:
    Biden: You have to understand Tom that pre-born human beings can’t vote, but pro-abortion liberals can. If I was to vote against abortion the Democratic leadership would never have allowed me to be selected as a vice presidential candidate. I wouldn’t be taken seriously by the party leadership. Heck they wouldn’t even have let me speak at the Democratic convention. No national party figures would help me raise money or allow me to hold a committee chairmanship in congress. Me career would be over. So you can see how that’d so much more important than the million or so babies that will die because I don’t live my Catholic beliefs.
    Besides it’s not like the bishops are going to call me on it. Why just next week the bishop has invited me to his installation mass and will personally give me Communion, so how big a deal can it really be?

  19. Paule says:

    Why does he want to reduce abortions? Some people do it even when they have the resources. If they don’t believe that it is a human life, why would you want them to reduce the number of abortions?… It’s a matter pf personal beliefs….
    Have you guys seen the track: ” Sing a little louder!”

  20. Paula says:

    It’s at moments like this that I begin to lose heart. Even if Roe were to be overturned (and, sorry, I don’t see that happening), the issue would just be thrown back to the states, and what would they do with it? My own mother, who left the Church after high school, said, “You even think abortion is wrong?”, as if only extremists actually believe what the Church teaches. Presumably Pelosi and Biden are the Catholic mainstream these days.

  21. Jennifer says:

    LCB: If he actually DID believe it, he would be forced to fight against abortion.

    Exactly. Real belief requires action.

  22. Andreas says:

    What is so disturbing about this is the Senators eagerness to shove religion entirely out of the public square.

    I don’t think that’s what he’s doing at all. Instead, he is equating faith with “viewpoint”. To him there are various “faiths” (viewpoints) – each group has its own, one of them being the catholic viewpoint. This is very common these days among catholics. Many, and I’m afraid perhaps a majority of them think of faith that way. For them, it is not the Faith of the Church, they profess, but their own faith, i.e. a personal viewpoint.

  23. William says:

    This is NOT a Catholic issue! This is a HUMAN BEING issue. The Church teaches us that we have an immortal soul and it teaches us how immortal souls are heirs to the Kingdom of God–that’s religion. It happens that human beings and immortal souls are one and the same thing in the Church’s view–and in God’s view! Religion apart, human life is human life all the same; and for us to go about deliberately depriving each other of it is unacceptable, criminal. So then: Politicians who cannot or will not see that abortion is the deliberate destruction of innocent human life are unfit for public office. And if you believe in the immortality of the soul and vote for such politicians, you are either profoundly ignorant or damnably dishonest.

  24. Our country appears to be approaching the greatest period of evil in its history.
    The solution–prayer, prayer and more prayer.

    God bless America.
    Jo Ann Reilly

  25. Hettie B. says:

    What a stunning bit of moral relativism and self-loathing! A Catholic who throws his own beliefs under the train in favor of allowing non-Catholics and non-Christians to dictate his public policy. He’s out to make himself and all Catholic Americans second-class citizens who have to subject ourselves and our beliefs to others, in the name of a “pluralistic society.”

    That’s what it sounds like, anyway. I don’t think he actually cares for anybody or their beliefs; the fact is, lots of non-Catholics and non-Christians believe in the same things Catholics do. He just cares about pandering to the radical liberals and their “messiah,” Obama.

    Lord help him.

  26. Lyle says:

    Seems a bit of an each-way bet to say “I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment.” Is he making a judgement, or accepting a view on faith?

    More seriously, even if you can in some way discount your own view as “merely” based on faith, how does that authorise you to act as if you believed the opposite?

    Either foetuses are people, or they’re not. Even if you can somehow convince yourself the view that they are – which you hold! – is not authoritative enough to vote on, ythat doesn’t mean you can vote as if the OPPOSITE view WERE authoritative.

    This seems to amount to saying “I believe we’re dealing with human beings, but there’s some doubt about that – so let’s assume we’re not, and let people kill them anyway.”

  27. Kradcliffe says:

    If he’d just stuck to “I’m personally opposed, but…” he would probably have flown under the radar of a lot of bishops. But, he went and misrepresented Catholic Doctrine, which means that he’s gone and tread firmly on their territory. I hope the response to him is as strong as it was to Pelosi. I worry that it won’t be because it would basically just involve them repeating themselves. But, it’s apparently necessary.

  28. TNCath says:

    Having re-read Senator Biden’s comments, I noticed that he said, “For me, as a Roman Catholic, I’m prepared to accept the teachings of my church.” Notice he didn’t say that he “accepted.” There is a big difference between being “prepared to accept” and “accept.”

  29. EDG says:

    What in the world is with the confused non-sequitur about “fascism” at the end of the first section of his remarks? Is he implying that making abortion illegal is fascism? Good grief. Aside from the illogic of this, it’s clear that he doesn’t even know what fascism is (other than a bad thing that scares people).

    I see that his devoted reading of Aquinas has given him absolutely no concept of natural law. He sees all of this in terms of the mean nasty Church trying to impose some piece of religious doctrine on the free world. This is because, essentially, the “personally opposed” position is based on the rejection of natural law.

  30. Midwest St. Michael says:

    TNCath says:

    Having re-read Senator Biden’s comments, I noticed that he said, “For me, as a Roman Catholic, I’m prepared to accept the teachings of my church.” Notice he didn’t say that he “accepted.” There is a big difference between being “prepared to accept” and “accept.”

    Great question! How does the good senator square “prepared to accept” with what the Church says in the following paragraphs from the catechism?

    “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful—who confirms his brethren in the faith—he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,”and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “MUST BE ADHERED TO WITH OBEDIENCE OF FAITH.”This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself. (CCC 891, caps added)

    Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful “ARE TO ADHERE TO IT WITH RELIGTIOUS ASSENT” which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it. (CCC 892, quoting LG 25, caps added)

    Faith is the theological virtue by which WE BELIEVE IN God AND ALL THAT HE HAS SAID AND REVEALED TO US, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith “man freely commits his entire self to God.” For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God’s will. “The righteous shall live by faith.” Living faith “work[s] through charity.” (CCC 1814, caps added)

    If the senator cannot understand those quotes, then Fr. Joseph is right — he has to be both bizarre and stupid.

  31. CarpeNoctem says:

    Wow, I’m amazed. One might think it takes a special brand of stupid to go dancing in the same minefield that Pelosi was in a couple weeks ago. But in a practical way, I am talking more time to consider what an appropriate response might be at this point might be.

    As a pastor, I took Pelosi’s comments as an opportunity to teach vigorously on Catholic values in the voting booth, and I was able to be very direct… calling her out by name, naming her error, criticizing it, and telling the people not to consider any candidate who follows her wicked path.

    I suppose I could run this whole response again for Biden, but at what point is it overdone? Already any effort to speak of this will be less effective than it was with Pelosi, who isn’t even up for election before my people. Such a response may even begin to discredit me (wrongly) as a political hack. I don’t want to give this politician any kind of a pass… he needs to be called out and held accountable, but we have been so focused on Pelosi for so long and spent so much energy on her, it almost seems anti-climactic to go after Biden now. I am still thinking that we have all been used by the democratic smoke-and-mirrors machine.

  32. It’s interesting:
    If a politician says he Catholic, but then doesn’t act according to his beliefs, then why do voters expect him to keep his campaign promises which he supposedly believes in?

  33. geistesswiesenschaften says:

    If Biden truly accepts Catholic teaching, then he would accept that Catholic teaching is revelation, that is, inspired by the Holy spirit so that the fullness of Truth should subsist in the Church, and therefore, he would recognize that what the Church teaches concerning matters of a non-spiritual nature such as abortion and sodomy can be verified by science as natural law. When it comes to issues concerning natural law, Biden, as an elected official has the duty, the obligation to vote not according to public opinion, but according to the data. You can’t say, “excuse me, I don’t want the facts to interfere with my constituency’s rights to believe the lie.” Yeah, sure, don;t let science get in the way. Life, in all its forms, begins at conception, be it a plant, an animal or a human being. The only ones which we should have humanly concern for are the human beings, the others are underfoot, but not to be regarded as trivial or insignificant, but to be respected for their contribution to the thinking thing, the human being.

  34. Nick says:

    It really is so wonderful and refreshing to read such intelligent and above all soundly Catholic opinions, especially on a subject of such gravity as abortion. I just wish my fellow Catholics here in Europe were as ardent in their expression and understanding of our common Faith as you, dear brothers and sisters in America.

    God bless you all, and keep fighting the good fight!

  35. Phil Steinakcer says:

    I wonder if indeed Mr. Biden is not inviting harsh criticism from the Catholic Bishops, so that they will be perceived as interfering in American politics. This would invite a reaction against the bishops and their positions not just from non-Catholics but from secular Catholics. I cannot believe Mr. Biden could lack such circumspection after the Pelosi ordeal on such an important culture wars issue, especially since he knew full well that the subject of his Catholicism and abortion would come up at the interview. ~Comment by Ted Krasnicki

    Ted, Senator Biden just isn’t bright enough to engage in such deviousness. I intend no lack of charity here; I’ve been following him for years (he’s in the adjacent state) and he’s only of average intelligence. He so frequently puts his foot in his mouth that with him it’s “Open mouth, change feet!”

    I’m not exaggerating when I say such machinations are above his pay grade.

  36. Phil Steinakcer says:

    Even if Roe were to be overturned (and, sorry, I don’t see that happening), the issue would just be thrown back to the states, and what would they do with it? ~Comment by Paula

    The pro-life movement would be split into 50 separate campaigns, and its effectiveness diluted. It should be preparing contingency plans to devise methods to compensate for that dilution now, while still working to overturn Roe. They also need to be psychologically prepared for the depressing letdown that will occur.

  37. Phil Steinakcer says:

    I’ve always appreciated Alan Keyes response to a Biden-type comment. He suggested 20 years ago to see how it sounds when you substitute “slavery” for abortion in such statements:

    I’m personally opposed to slavery; I think it\’s reprehensible. However, it’s a personal and private issue so therefore I won\’t impose my personal morality on others.

  38. Fr. Shawn says:

    The Democratic platform does call for a repeal or at least a more stringent application of the death penalty, which the Republican candidates support. Is human life sacred or isn’t it…or is some human life more sacred in God’s eyes than other human life? There are Orwellian’s on both sides of the aisle – best to keep Christ at the center of the debate and respect one another more.

  39. Jordanes says:

    Fr. Shawn said: The Democratic platform does call for a repeal or at least a more stringent application of the death penalty, which the Republican candidates support.

    And which the Church allows Catholics to support:

    For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, . . .

    I’d be more impressed with the Democrat’s platform plank expressing opposition to the death penalty if I didn’t suspect that oppositon was motivated by a lack of belief in the sanctity of human life.

  40. johnny says:

    I’m shocked that anyone is still willing to trot out the whole seamless garment argument. What nonsense. 40 million abortion deaths and counting? Probably its obvious from my posts that I am a political partisan, but I could do a lot better than that if I wanted to rationalize voting for the bad guys. Maybe its better if I refrain from posting here till post elections :) Thanks for your work Padre.

  41. Maria says:

    Once you accept life begins at conception – as Biden says he does-
    abortion becomes a Human Rights issue, not a religious one.

  42. Charles spivak says:

    This is an e-mail I sent Senator Biden. Wonder if he will actually see it?

    Senator Biden,

    Please who ever reads this pass this on to Senator Biden.

    I watched you yesterday on To Meet the Press. When Tom Brokaw asked you about when life began at least you consented to your Churches belief that life began at conception (at least you did better than Congresswomen Pelosi did on this question). You went on to discuss why your personal beliefs can not affect how you vote as this would be imposing your personal beliefs on other persons of good will and their beliefs. How is this different than someone in the 19th century saying that they PERSONALLY don’t believe in slavery but they don’t want to impose their beliefs on other good willed persons who think that slavery is moral? Or today saying that they are PERSONALLY opposed to adults having sex with children but they don’t want to impose their beliefs on person of good will that believe in pedophilia? Why have ANY laws at all? Why not leave any action up to each person, their good will and their god?

    Senator Obama stated at the Saddleback debate that his favorite Bible verse was in Matthew when Jesus said “what you do to the least of my brethren”. Who is more least than the unborn?

    A faith that is not lived out in action IS NO FAITH AT ALL. If you believe that life begins at conception then it is your duty as a Catholic Christian to act on that belief!

    I became a Catholic 12 years ago after reading the writings of the early Church Fathers (Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Justin the Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyon, the Didache) and saw that what they believed in, at this, the very earliest stages of Christianity was the same as what is taught by the Catholic Church today. That Church has ALWAYS taught that abortion was wrong. When Augustine and Thomas Aquinas speculated that life began at quickening they did not have the advantages we have today. They did not have a microscope to know of the egg and the sperm and they did not know that when the egg and sperm united that a NEW genetically unique human was formed. Their speculation did not change the belief that abortion (at any stage) was immoral!

    The fact that the Democratic Party has become a party that radically supports the destruction of the unborn leaves me as a Catholic Christian morally unable to EVER support a Democratic candidate. You will once again lose this election because you leave me and a very large number of Americans NO choice but to support the Republican candidate. This is truly sad that you leave us but one choice.

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