Biden’s Blarney: The Irreconcilability of the President’s

By S.A. McCarthy, published on March 21, 2024, The Washington Stand

On St. Patrick’s Day, much of the Western world pretends to be Irish — green t-shirts and shamrock socks, green beer and shepherd’s pie, often topped off with bagpipes and marching bands in the local parade. On this traditionally Catholic feast day, honoring the Apostle of Ireland and first bishop of Armagh, very few pretend to be Catholic, but that’s exactly what President Joe Biden did.

The Biden White House hosted an event on Sunday called “St. Patrick’s Day Brunch with Catholic Leaders.” The event was attended by pro-LGBT Jesuit priests James Martin and Thomas Reese, pro-immigration apostolic nuncio Cardinal Christophe Pierre, left-wing activist and religious sister Simone Campbell, ObamaCare advocate Sister Carol Keehan, and Taoiseach (Ireland’s word for Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, a homosexual-identifying ex-Catholic who attended the event with his “partner” Matthew Barrett. A real rogues’ gallery of left-wing subversives masquerading as “Catholic leaders.”

“You know, this has always been a special day for the Biden family and the Biden household,” the president said at the brunch. “It’s not just about heritage, but it really is about faith. So much of it being [sic] Irish means to be connected to the Catholic teachings I grew up with.” He continued, “And, you know, I like the belief that we’ve learned from the beginning: that we’re all created equal in the image of God, that every single human being deserves to be treated with dignity.”

Coming from Biden, this is what the Irish politely call “blarney.” The second Irish Catholic president’s rampant abortion advocacy places him squarely in opposition to the Catholic Church’s centuries-old moral teachings on human dignity. His deputy, Kamala Harris, recently became the first U.S. vice president to visit an abortion facility, and abortion has become not just a centerpiece but the chief priority for a potential second Biden administration. According to Politico, sweeping abortion “rights” legislation is the number one goal of Biden’s reelection campaign. The outlet wrote that the president is running “on what has been described as the strongest abortion rights platform of any general election candidate…”

Biden has repeatedly called for the provisions of Roe v. Wade to be enshrined as federal law (really, to be expanded through federal law, as the bill his administration has endorsed exponentially broadens the provisions of Roe) and for the Hyde Amendment to be repealed, which prohibits federal subsidizing of abortions. He has labeled pro-life laws and regulations as “extreme” and, through his Justice Department, prosecuted and imprisoned pro-life advocates. Biden’s Food and Drug Administration has also broadened access to dangerous abortion drugs and removed most safeguards originally emplaced around their use.

The Biden administration’s abortion advocacy has garnered the ire of Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Broglio said that Biden’s weaponization of the Department of Veterans Affairs to promote abortion “violates the dignity of the human person…” Broglio has also publicly corrected the president’s statements on how his abortion advocacy squares with his purported Catholic faith, reminding Biden in no uncertain terms that Catholic bishops have a moral obligation to oppose the barbarism of abortion and, contrary to Biden’s offhanded claims, do not endorse taxpayer funding of abortion. In 2021, as Biden ascended to the White House, the USCCB drafted plans to formally bar the president and other pro-abortion politicians calling themselves Catholic from receiving Holy Communion.

According to Catholic teaching, those who commit, procure, or endorse abortion are ipso factoexcommunicated. This means that they are officially cut off from the Catholic Church due to the gravity of the sin of abortion until they repent of their sin — publicly, in the case of pro-abortion politicians — and attend the Catholic sacrament of confession. This measure is not purely punitive but also preventative, warning informed Catholics of the tremendous spiritual danger of abortion, and remedial, calling Catholics who do engage in the sin to repent and return to the Church. Historically, only an ordinary (a bishop who leads a diocese) could lift an excommunication, but in an effort to combat the increasingly common sin of abortion, Pope Francis granted any Catholic priest the authority to lift excommunications incurred by abortion through the sacrament of confession.

It is for this reason that those who engage in what the Church classifies as mortal sin (including abortion) are barred from receiving Holy Communion, also called the Eucharist, which the Church declares is the Body and Blood of Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine. Catholic author and philosopher Peter Kreeft described the uniquely diabolical nature of abortion in relation to Holy Communion in saying, “Abortion is the Antichrist’s demonic parody of the Eucharist. That’s why it uses the same holy words, ‘This is my body,’ with the blasphemous opposite meaning.”

The Catholic Church has long held that abortion is an absolute moral evil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law…” In other words, even willing an abortion constitutes a grave sin. The Catechism further states, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”

These are not new stipulations in the life of the Catholic Church, reactionary measures formulated in the face of growing progressivism. The moral gravity of abortion has been proclaimed, explained, and reiterated throughout the history of Christianity — from early Church Fathers like Tertullian, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, and St. Augustine to medieval scholastics and early modern theologians like St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine, and St. Alphonsus Liguori, all the way to Pope St. John Paul II and the late Pope Benedict XVI. Biden’s abortion policies are not a rejection of a recent novelty in Catholic thought but of 2,000 years of clear, consistent moral instruction.

In fact, Biden’s own political life bears out this fact. While the 81-year-old president is currently the highest-ranking government official to advocate abortion and his is arguably the most pro-abortion presidency to have ever plagued these United States, there was a time, a half a century ago, when Biden actually accepted the Catholic Church’s position on abortion. One year after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its disastrous Roe ruling, then-newly-minted Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) quipped that “when it comes to issues like abortion … I’m about as liberal as your grandmother.” Referring to Roe, he explained, “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far.” And, at least when he said it, he meant it.

Just a few years later, Biden voted for the Hyde Amendment, the very same Hyde Amendment he now reviles and rails against, tasking crafty government lawyers with skirting the federal statute in the Veterans Affairs Department and anywhere else a loophole can be found. Biden also backed the Helms Amendment, prohibiting foreign aid for abortions, and even wrote the Biden Amendment, which blocks the federal government from spending on foreign abortion research. In 1982, Biden was one of only two Senate Democrats to back a constitutional amendment undoing Roe.

For decades, American Catholics were predominantly Democrats. A number of factors contributed to this phenomenon, including the Democratic Party’s support for the poor and the working class, but Roe changed all that. Ever since Democrats began embracing abortion advocacy in the wake of Roe, Catholics began shrinking back from the Party. While historically Catholic regions like Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland are still deep blue strongholds, polling indicates that Catholics are increasingly aligning themselves with the GOP, in no small part due to the Republican Party’s devotion to pro-life principles. It was, after all, a majority Catholic Supreme Court that undid Roe v. Wade. The only non-Catholic justice to rule in favor of reversing the calamitous 1973 decision was Neil Gorsuch, who was educated by Jesuit priests.

Unlike the majority of his fellow American Catholics, it seems that Biden chose allegiance to the Democratic Party and its abortion worship over devotion to the ancient principles of the Catholic Church. For the president, his Catholic faith seems to be much akin to his Irish lineage: something merely inherited, something accidental, as opposed to essential.

Countless American Catholics live out the tenets of their faith, truly choosing to be Catholics and making their devotion to the Catholic Church a core aspect of their identity, in both private and public life. It influences and even dictates how we interact with our fellow men, it shapes our political philosophies, it demands that we live our lives according to the will of Christ, not of man. The famous Catholic statesman and martyr St. Thomas More is reputed to have said, “I do not care very much what men say of me, provided that God approves of me.” A few years later, the Jesuit priest St. Edmund Campion would declare, “I am a Catholic man and a priest. In that faith have I lived and in that faith do I intend to die, and if you esteem my religion treason, then I am guilty,” shortly before being led to the gallows.

Biden has clearly rejected this rich religious patrimony and abandoned the principles that saints have chosen to die for throughout the centuries. The president has demonstrated that he cares more what his Democratic Party colleagues think of him than whether God approves of him. He has not faithfully or fully lived in the Catholic faith and is more than unlikely to give his life for that faith. Instead, he has given the twilight years of his life and career to lesser gods: to political power, to the Democratic Party, and to abortion. Would that the gospel message of moral truth preached by St. Patrick in the Emerald Isle some 1,600 years ago still coursed in the veins of Biden, who prides himself on his Irish heritage. Instead, the president is, quite simply, full of blarney.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.