Biden reportedly denied communion at SC parish

Washington D.C., Oct 28, 2019 / 06:00 pm (CNA).- A South Carolina Catholic priest reportedly denied Holy Communion to  presidential candidate Joe Biden on Sunday, because of the candidate’s support for legal abortion.

Fr. Robert Morey, pastor of St. Anthony Catholic Church in the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina, reportedly denied Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Holy Communion at Sunday Mass for his support of legal abortion, the Florence Morning News reported Monday.

According to the Florence Morning News, Morey was a lawyer for 14 years before becoming a priest, practicing law in North Carolina and working for seven years for the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Biden, a former senator from Delaware and the former Vice President of the United States, was campaigning in South Carolina over the weekend, the Associated Press reported.

Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law states that “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote a memorandum to the U.S. Catholic bishops in 2004, explaining the application of Canon Law 915 to the reception of Holy Communion.

The memorandum stated that “the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin.”

The case of a “Catholic politician” who is “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” would constitute “formal cooperation” in grave sin that is “manifest,” the letter continued.

In such cases, “his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist,” Ratzinger wrote.

Then, he continued, when the individual perseveres in grave sin and still presents himself for Holy Communion, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it,” Ratzinger wrote.

While not supporting taxpayer funding of abortion as much as other presidential candidates, Biden’s campaign platform would seek to “codify” Roe v. Wade.

At a Planned Parenthood event this summer, Biden promised to “eliminate all of the changes that this President made” to family planning programs, according to POLITICO, and said he would increase funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

In recent months Biden reversed course on the Hyde Amendment, once supporting the policy that protects taxpayer dollars from funding abortions and now opposing it.

This story is developing and will be updated.


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  1. A brave priest. I pray that in the end he will not pay too heavy a price for following church teachings. I am sure that the Bishop of the diocese will have a word with him. I hope that CWR will follow up on this story.

  2. This is excellent news, I only wish this had taken place years ago, not necessarily with Biden, but with Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, et. al.

    I wonder what Biden has to say, as in – how will he spin it? Hopefully he will keep his mouth shut – for once.

  3. God bless this priest.
    You know according to a family member, Ted Kennedy had the humility to not present himself for Communion- at least at one Mass where they were present.
    Mr. Biden is either woefully ignorant or hugely presumptuous. Or a bit of both.

  4. Using the denial of communion as a political weapon is no virtue. Such an act of denial should have been done in private, not for public consumption.

    • Well, I agree those sort of things are always better handled in private but how does a priest have that opportunity when confronted in a public line of communicants?

    • Mr. Maglietta;

      This was no political act – Biden has been doing this for years and has certainly been warned. In any case Biden should not have presented himself for Communion – his doing so was a political act and has been for years. Accusing the Priest of using denial of Communion as a “political weapon” is inaccurate.

      If memory serves he was told by a Bishop in neighboring Pennsylvania a number of years ago not to present himself for Communion, I don’t know the result of that.

      His standard defense though the years has been “I don’t believe in abortion but I would never impose my beliefs on others.” Personally I wouldn’t ask him to impose his (our) beliefs on others, but I would expect him at least to DEFEND them, and at this he has been woefully remiss.

    • Politics be damned. This is a moral and religious issue that happens to have become a political football. The only part politics plays in this scenario is that Joe Biden has let his views on abortion become public knowledge. Read MrsCrackers comments. I would add this, if the priest gave him communion, he would put himself in a state of grave sin and give the appearance of approving of Mr. Biden’s views. Therefore the priest should feel no regret for refusing to let him receive communion during a public mass.

  5. Frank, when Biden presents himself during Mass for communion, this is a public act by Biden. By so doing Biden is challenging the priest in public, forcing the priest to take a decision for or against a fundamental teaching of the Church.
    The response by the priest is not a political point but is a defence of the truth and is to be congratulated. If you think communion should have been refused in private to Biden, why not also in public? Are you saying that we should hide the truth simply because there is likely to be some publicity?

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