WASHINGTON, D.C., November 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Washington, D.C., affirmed he will not deny giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion former Vice President Joe Biden, saying he hopes for a “conversational relationship.”
Speaking to Catholic News Service – which is funded by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – Gregory, who is currently in Rome to be made a cardinal on Saturday, expressed his support for Biden’s wish to receive Holy Communion, despite being an ardent supporter of abortion. Jesuit-run America magazine reprinted the interview.
Referring to his relationship with Biden, the archbishop said, “I hope it’s a real dialogue, because I think that’s the mantra of Pope Francis — that we should be a church in dialogue, even with those with whom we have some serious disagreements.”
The archbishop noted how Biden had received Communion during his eight years as vice president under President Barack Obama, and that “I’m not going to veer from that.”
Gregory added that Catholics knew the Church’s teaching regarding the “sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.” Accordingly, he does not think that he would be giving scandal in giving Holy Communion to Biden, who denies Catholic teaching on that point.
Gregory even inferred that giving Holy Communion to Biden was part of his pastoral duty: “On my part, it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”
Continuing, Archbishop Gregory called for “the capacity to have civil disagreements — serious disagreements, you know, really pointed disagreements — but done in such a way that the focus is on the argument, not on the demonization of the people with whom we disagree.”
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is always wrong, because it kills an innocent human being, thus violating the Church’s prohibition on murder, and that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2270-2272; CCC 2357).
After Biden was denied receiving Holy Communion by a priest last year, in accordance with canon law, he stated, “It’s not a position that I’ve found anywhere else, including from the Holy Father, who gives me Communion.”
Cardinal Raymond Burke, former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, gave an interview in September in which he referenced Biden, saying that “a Catholic may not support abortion in any shape or form because it is one of the most grievous sins against human life, and has always been considered to be intrinsically evil.”
Cardinal Burke gave another interview just days prior to the presidential election, in which he condemned Biden’s positions on life, marriage and the family.
Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.
Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).
As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.
In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.
Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:
"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."
It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.
Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.
Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."
Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."
And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."
But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.
We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/cardinal-burke-on-popes-homosexual-civil-union-remarks-contrary-to-the-teaching-of-sacred-scripture-and-sacred-tradition
'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/cdl.mueller-popes-words-on-gay-civil-unions-purely-private-expression-of-opinion-which-every-catholic-can-and-should-freely-contradict
'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/archbishop-vigano-and-bishops-tobin-strickland-respond-to-popes-approval-of-homosexual-civil-unions
'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/deepest-sadness-cardinal-burke-condemns-pope-franciss-remarks-supporting-civil-unions
“I can’t imagine that he would present himself as a devout Catholic,” Burke said. “He has a record which is unfortunately perfect in promoting the attack on the innocent defense of the unborn … He is also not correct on the issues with regard to marriage and the family. The great darkness in our nation comes from the wholesale slaughter of the unborn, the attack on the family, all this gender theory … and now the attack on religious freedom.”
Archbishop Gregory has been at odds with Catholic teaching on several occasions.
Earlier this year, he claimed that a person’s “human dignity” begins at birth, instead of at conception. “Birth is only the first moment of a person’s human dignity, which is never lost throughout the journey of life,” Gregory stated in an email, according to the Associated Press.
In 2019, Gregory told a woman pretending to be a man and claiming to be a practicing Catholic that as a transgender person she belongs to the “heart” of the Church and fits right in “the family.”
Following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2015 to effectively legalize homosexual “marriage,” Gregory refrained from forcefully condemning the ruling, calling it “a decision that confers a civil entitlement to some people who could not claim it before. It does not resolve the moral debate that preceded it and will most certainly continue in its wake.”
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Archbishop Gregory made headlines for issuing a stinging rebuke to the John Paul II National Shrine for “allow[ing]” President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to go through with a long-planned visit the day after Trump infuriated liberals by standing outside of St. John’s Episcopal Church with a Bible. The church had been set on fire the night before. Many in the media falsely claimed that the protestors outside St. John’s had been teargassed rather than pepper sprayed to clear the way for the president.
“I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” said Gregory.
In 2019, however, Gregory offered a funeral Mass for the repose of the soul of pro-abortion journalist Cokie Roberts. Pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gave a eulogy from the lectern in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in the nation’s capital as the archbishop looked on.
In spite of these actions and positions, Pope Francis decided to make Gregory a cardinal.