by WorldTribune Staff, October 29, 2019
A Catholic Church in South Carolina on Sunday denied Joe Biden communion due to his staunch pro-abortion stance.
The former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate was attending a worship service at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, when he attempted to receive the sacrament. He was turned away by the church’s pastor, Father Robert E. Morey.
“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey told the Florence Morning News on Monday. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”
At a Planned Parenthood event this summer, Biden promised to “eliminate all of the changes” that President Donald Trump has made to family-planning programs and vowed to increase funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
In recent months Biden reversed course on the Hyde Amendment, once supporting the policy that protects taxpayer dollars from funding abortions and now opposing it.
Biden, who identifies as a Catholic, has in the past claimed to be personally opposed to abortion.
The National Catholic Register noted that Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law states: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote a memorandum to the U.S. Catholic bishops in 2004, explaining the application of Canon Law 915 to the reception of Holy Communion.
The memorandum stated that “the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin.”
The case of a “Catholic politician” who is “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” would constitute “formal cooperation” in grave sin that is “manifest,” the letter continued.
In such cases, “his pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist,” Cardinal Ratzinger wrote.
Then, he continued, when the individual perseveres in grave sin and still presents himself for Holy Communion, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it,” Cardinal Ratzinger wrote.
In his statement, Father Morey said that “As a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care, and I must do so even in the most difficult situations.”
Father Morey concluded: “I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.”