Former Vice President Joe Biden, the media-declared president-elect, will be the country’s first Catholic president since former President John F. Kennedy should he assume the White House come January 20.
According to The New York Post, while Biden’s victory was celebrated by top leaders of the Catholic faith, a growing number of those within the faith firmly believe that given Biden’s stance on abortion, he should not be eligible to receive the sacrament of communion.
Archbishop Charles Chaput, former head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, hit Biden hard on Friday in a popular religious journal in a piece suggesting Biden “gives scandal to the faithful” given his public stance on the issue of abortion.
Chaput argued that Biden partaking in the weekly sacrament ritual of the Roman Catholic church creates “the impression that the moral laws of the Church are optional.” The retired archbishop also took a subtle jab at his fellow church leaders for seemingly turning a blind eye to the glaring issue.
“Bishops give similar scandal by not speaking up publicly about the issue and danger of sacrilege,” Chaput said.
The issue is so concerning within the ranks of Catholic leadership around the world that a special task force was created by the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez. The group will work through how to deal with the “difficult and complex situation” presented by Biden’s faith and his political ideologies.
Like Chaput, Gomez’s primary argument is the potential confusion sowed among members of the faith, given Catholocism’s strict view on the matter of abortion.
“The president-elect has given us reason to think he will support some good policies,” while adding that some of Biden’s policies will “undermine our preeminent priority of the elimination of abortion,” Gomez said at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to earlier reporting by The New York Post.
Given that Biden received communion for the eight years he worked alongside former President Barack Obama, the chances of him being denied communion in the future are slim, but it’s definitely interesting that a number of influential Catholic leaders are talking about it.