The National Catholic Review

The moment Barack Obama chose a Catholic, Joe Biden, as his running mate, it was inevitable that the press and others would raise questions about communion and abortion. Readers will recall that in 2004 some bishops refused to admit John Kerry to communion in light of his pro-choice votes. Senator Biden, who is moderately pro-choice, may face a similar problem. His parish priest commented on it this morning, as Mr. Biden attended Mass near his home in Delaware.

 

Comments

Anonymous | 8/24/2008 - 9:39pm
I am Roman Catholic and I believe abortion is wrong. Also I think it is absurd to talk about abortion as a single issue. When we talk about abortion we also need to talk about povery and injustice and education and racism. We need to talk about poor women and poor children and what we can do for them. Also it is not up to me or any bishop to decide if somebody is worthy of Communion or not. I am a Democrat and I look forward to voting for Barak Obama and Joseph Biden. I also am Chicano so I especially hope that the undocumented immigrants living in our country can be freed from the bondage we have imposed on them through our unjust immigration system.
Anonymous | 8/28/2008 - 4:32am
Why did the ''communion wars'' only start in 2004? Or did they only start in 2004? It seems like a counter-offensive on the part of the bishops to reassert their moral authority which was deeply discredited by the surfacing of the pedophilia cover-up scandal in 2002, and an attempt to deflect attention from that.
Anonymous | 8/25/2008 - 3:48pm
Most of the ''communion wars'' commentary had focussed on Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, whose archbishop (Naumann) met with her repeatedly on the abortion issue and finally asked her to refrain from communion (note: he did not order her). There was quite a fuss over this, but Archbishop Naumann was following procedures in the Code of Canon Law about how bishops should deal with public officials who flout church teaching publicly. This is very different than Archbishop Burke summarilly announcing that John Kerry will be denied communion. It's clear from the comments made by his pastor that there is a dialogue between the church of Wilmington and Senator Biden. We should not intrude on that dialogue and let it run its course.
Anonymous | 8/25/2008 - 11:43am
With all due respect to Fr. Martin's comment above, why should Catholics feel a sense of heightened pride to see a Catholic in higher office? The days of ghetto Catholicism and an absolute filial devotion to the Church are over. After all, it was President Kennedy who repeatedly reassured a nervous electorate that we are no different than anyone else. Indeed, with our practice of American-style consumerism and materialism often stronger than the practice of our faith, it does seem that we are no different. So, then, why should a Catholic feel any special pride in a potential VP Biden? I am being rhetorical here, but it is clear that the dividing line in this election for most practicing Catholics will once again be abortion. For this particular Catholic, what would stimulate an enormous burst of pride is to see a Catholic (or Protestant, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, or gasp, an Agnostic or Atheistic) in any party to exhibit the courage to throw aside the ''personally opposed but won't impose my morals'' rhethoric and stand up for unborn life.
Anonymous | 8/24/2008 - 6:42pm
''Catholic enough.'' Don't you love it? After 2,000 years we still don't get it do we? That goes for the sanctity of life as well as God's unconditional love for us.
Anonymous | 8/26/2008 - 10:50am
Re: single issue 1. A Catholic must be pro-life. That's a fundamental belief. 2. A Catholic must care about the poor. That's a fundamental belief. It's not ONE OR THE OTHER. A Catholic must hold to both. The pro-choice position rejects fundamental belief #1. To emphasize, may I repeat, that position rejects the belief itself. Caring for the poor, fundamental belief #2, is subject to many different METHODS by which the fundamental belief is carried out. For example, one may hold that the best way to operationalize fundamental belief #2 is to (a) encourage private charity, (b) offer government welfare, (c) encourage the creation of jobs, (d) encourage of entrepreneurship, (e) leave it to private individuals (f) leave it to Churches(g) etc., etc, etc.
Anonymous | 8/24/2008 - 5:59pm
Matt: As ever, thanks for following the campaign so closely. Ironically, these days, rather than being elated about the possibility of a Catholic in high office, many Catholics are wondering if Senator Biden will be deemed Catholic enough.
Anonymous | 8/25/2008 - 7:01pm
How it that someone who embraces Roe v. Wade (and indeed willing to expend political capital in support of that position on more than one occasion) is deserving of the lable "modestly pro-choice"?