Biden invites congressional leadership to church service ahead of inauguration

By Kate Scanlon for CNA

Washington D.C., Jan 19, 2021 / 10:45 am (CNA).- President-elect Joe Biden invited both Democratic and Republican congressional leaders to attend a church service with him on Wednesday morning ahead of his inauguration, Punchbowl News reported on Tuesday.

The service will take place at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in downtown Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are all expected to attend.

Biden will be just the second baptized Catholic to serve as president of the United States, preceded only by John F. Kennedy. Pelosi herself is also a baptized Catholic.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the service, including whether or not the service was a Mass.

Punchbowl News characterized the invitation as an olive branch from Biden to Republicans, in an effort for him “to get off on the right foot with the congressional leadership, at least publicly” as he begins his presidential term.

McConnell and Schumer will switch Senate leadership roles after Democrats gained an effective majority in the chamber; Georgia’s two new Democratic Senators-elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock will be sworn in to the Senate on Wednesday, along with California’s Alex Padilla, who was appointed to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the Senate.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, will also deliver the invocation at a memorial service at the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday to honor the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. Biden and Harris are expected to attend.

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  1. When caught between a rock and a hard place on imperial edicts, Pope St. Gregory the Great (b.540-d.604 A.D.) explained: “I have thus done my duty on both sides. I have obeyed the emperor, and yet have not restrained what ought to be said on God’s behalf.”

    Today, regarding not edicts, but the absolute immorality of state-sponsored abortion compared to, say, other less “preeminent” priorities taken up by the perennial Church (and even the very nature of the Eucharistic Church), the more “restrained” (?) Cardinal Gregory simply splits the difference between power-broker positive law and contradicted natural law and divine law: “I hope that I don’t highlight one over the other.”

    One dare not ever highlight [!] “what ought to be said on God’s behalf…” Kitchen-blender homogeneity, anybody? Pope St. Gregory the Great, pray for us.

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