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Biden’s contradictory Catholicism misleading and confusing, Archbishop Naumann says

“I want to protect my people from being misled. His actions, right now, do mislead,” Naumann said in an interview with The Atlantic published March 14.

President Joe Biden delivers his first prime-time address from the White House in Washington March 11, 2021. (CNS photo/Tom Brenner, Reuters)

CNA Staff, Mar 15, 2021 / 02:11 pm (CNA).- It is a serious matter for President Joe Biden to profess Catholicism while publicly backing contradictory action on matters such as abortion, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas has said in an interview with The Atlantic.

“I want to protect my people from being misled. His actions, right now, do mislead,” Naumann said in an interview with The Atlantic published March 14. “They do create confusion for people in terms of what the Church believes and teaches.”

“Obviously, the president doesn’t believe what we believe about the sacredness of human life, or he wouldn’t be taking the actions that he is. And yet, he continues to receive the Eucharist,” said the archbishop.

“We can’t judge his heart. But we consider the action itself a grave moral evil.”

He compared the reception of the Eucharist to a profession of faith “in all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”

This makes Biden’s behavior a “point of confusion.”

For Naumann, this action from the president presents a challenge to the witness of the Church.

“To have a president who is an engaged Catholic, but who acts in contradiction to some of our most fundamental moral teachings—we haven’t really faced that kind of challenge before,” he said. He lamented that Biden takes certain actions that contradict Catholic beliefs and thought, and when questioned, Biden or his press secretary describes him as “a devout Catholic.”

“Whether he intends it or not, he’s basically saying to people, ‘You can be a good Catholic and do similar things’,” said Naumann.

Biden once backed some limits on abortion and abortion funding but his administration has come out strongly against abortion restrictions and the Hyde Amendment, which limits most federal funding for abortion.

Naumann suggested there is “similar moral gravity” between performing an abortion or assisting someone to get an abortion and some pro-abortion Biden policy, like ending the Hyde Amendment.

“They’re obviously not identical things. But he’s formally cooperating in abortion by his actions,” the archbishop said. “He intends to make abortion available and accessible, to promote it, even help pay for it. He wants to force everybody else to do this as well, even if it violates their consciences.”

Naumann reiterated the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ November 2019 statement that called abortion “the preeminent issue of our time.”

“It attacks innocent human life when it’s most vulnerable,” he explained. “It happens within the context of the family and attacks the most precious of human relationships: that between a mother and a child. And the sheer numbers of abortions—there’s no other issue in terms of the numbers of lives destroyed.”

The Atlantic asked Naumann if he believes that the Catholic bishops should more widely discourage pro-abortion rights elected officials from receiving Communion and should bar priests from giving them Communion.

“I do believe that we have an obligation as pastors to try to work for their spiritual good,” Naumann replied. “If it’s a member of public life doing things that are moral evils, then I or their pastor need to help them be aware of the seriousness of what they’re doing.”

In response to reports that some grieve that the pro-life cause has been too aligned with the Republican Party and President Donald Trump, Naumann said that he shares this grief. He cited his own upbringing in a Catholic, Democratic family.

“I firmly believe we’ll never really build this culture of life we want until we have members of both parties. It can’t be a single-party issue,” he said. “But that’s not something people in the pro-life movement have chosen. The political parties have chosen their positions on this. It’s a great sadness to me that the Democratic Party has become so intolerant of anybody who has pro-life convictions. They’ve driven a lot of people out of their party.”

Naumann serves as the pro-life chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and was a member of the bishops’ conference working group on its response to Biden’s policies. He told The Atlantic it was not the mission of the working group to make a final conclusion about what priests should do when Biden presents himself for Communion. He noted the responsibility of each bishop to teach the faith in his diocese.

In a Feb. 13 interview with Catholic World Report, Naumann emphasized the bishops’ responsibility to correct Biden when necessary.

“Although people have given this president power and authority, he cannot define what it is to be a Catholic and what Catholic moral teaching is,” he said, warning that Biden is “usurping the role of the bishops and confusing people.”

“The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching,” Naumann told Catholic World Report. “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.”

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  1. Biden is not the one misleading people.
    It is the Church hierarchy that looks the other way and gives Communion to everybody that is the issue.

    • Agreed, Kathryn. The hand-wringing and parsing of words is frustrating. Biden is pushing the bishops kicking and screaming to what they think is the edge of a cliff, and they’re looking for every way out of making a firm, principled decision about the long-standing confusion over Catholic identity. It’s not in fact a cliff but just a slope, and the answer is to stop cringing and to stand firm (come what may). Bullies read the nonverbal of their victims, and thus the bishops need to put on Christ—only the truth will win in the end. A little more Cardinal Mindszenty would be a tonic right now.

    • So totally agree. The look the other way approach by the Church’s hierachy is a much, much bigger scandal IHMO. To me it in effect says that Catholic Hierachy for way too many don’t really believe in Catholic Doctrine. It’s only those deplorable Catholics that go to Church and take the sacrements and Church teaching seriously who are against abortion.

  2. Until his bishop starts a very public three step excommunication, Biden will continue go the way of Pelosi and the sin of scandal will put many more on the wide road.

  3. To be in Communion with the Catholic Church means that one accepts all that the Catholic Church believes and teaches.

  4. Biden is misleading people by calling himself a devout Catholic and parading his Mass attendance and holding up his rosary beads as evidence. The media push this act and a lot of the public, including some Catholics, buy it.

  5. Herein is my entry for this year’s ‘Captain Obvious’ award, in the form of a question:

    What is “confusing” about Biden’s ‘catholicism’?

  6. “Biden takes certain actions that contradict Catholic beliefs and thought, and when questioned, Biden or his press secretary describes him as a “devout Catholic”.”

    The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from this: Someone is lying.

    • “Oh, I wouldn’t want to be so uncharitable and judgmental as to accuse someone of being less than honest!”

  7. I guess it makes sense that in a nation where persons with 5 o’clock shadows and male genitals can describe themselves as attractive women, can also have the most powerful politician in the nation use his power to do everything he can to undermine the teachings of the Catholic Church in order to completely secularize Christianity and still have the gall to call himself a devout Catholic. Reminds me of when a friend of mine who was trying out for a role in a local production of ‘Cats’ decided to be a cat for a whole day – his wife told us that the boundary was drawn at him using the kitty litter box. These are silly times indeed.

  8. As usual, it is only our bishops who are “confused.” Their “confusion” is culpable, because if they were ever to acknowledge that they could clearly see good and evil, they would be shamed into acting like bishops. As it is, they maintain their D.C. friendships and financiers, the cash keeps rolling in, and they do nothing but express their “concern” and “confusion.”

  9. Archbishop Naumann says that Biden”creates confusion for people in terms of what the Church believes and teaches.” And, who’s fault would that be? Who are the chief teachers in the Church? I am not confused, but then I am old enough that I received good solid Catholic teaching.
    AB Naumann says that we haven’t really faced this kind of challenge before. Maybe not with a president, but certainly other Catholic politicians. A week or so ago there was an amendment before the Senate that would have required a doctor to try and save the life of an aborted baby if the baby was alive after the abortion. Twelve democrat Catholic senators voted against it. The AB says we will “never really build this culture of life we want until we have members of both parties (to build this pro-life culture). That sounds to me to be an excuse for inaction, because there is no reason to believe that the democrat party will become pro-life in the lifetime of anyone reading this.
    AB Naumann says that”some grieve that the pro-life cause has been too aligned with the republican party and President Donald Trump,” and that he shares this grief. He must have thought that it would cause him too much pain to state that Trump was the most pro-life president we have ever had.
    President Biden is doing what he did throughout decades of his pro-abortion political career. He is doing all the things he said he would do when he was campaigning. Why the apparent surprise that he is doing what he said he would do? Why the surprise that he is receiving communion now, when he was receiving communion when he was voting pro-abortion, and officiating at so called “gay wedding?”
    The last thing we need is a document from the USCCB on this. At the very least we need action by the bishops on Canon 15, to deny Biden and other pro-abortion politicians communion, not only for the sake of their souls, but to eliminate the scandal. I will try to remain a little bit hopeful, but I am not holding my breath.

  10. At this point I don’t believe Biden even knows what he’s talking about.
    But he still has a poor record before this.
    He has deceived Americans and the church hierarchy are a part of these intrinsically evil laws.
    I came from a Democratic family but that was when they were for the American family.
    I believe both parties should work together but that seems impossible at this stage of the game.
    President Trump may have come across rather crudely and his past was not squeaky clean but who in the political world is squeaky clean. NO ONE.
    President Trump was for the people and was the ONLY president to ever speak up for the rights of the unborn
    He also stood by our Constitution which contains all our inalienable right as Americans.
    We are in very deep trouble with this administration.
    With open borders for starters.
    May God bless America 🇺🇸 and grant us Peace.

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