By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – New Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden was blasted on Wednesday, in the wake of Nancy Pelosi’s much derided remarks to the same effect, for claiming that his radically pro-abortion stance is “totally consistent” with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Biden made the remarks in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) in August of last year, which has received renewed attention in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding Pelosi’s remarks. While discussing his desire to attract Catholics to the Democratic Party, Sen. Biden said, “My views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine.
“There are elements within the church who say that if you are at odds with any of the teachings of the church, you are at odds with the church. I think the church is bigger than that.”
In response, Carl Olson of the Ignatius Insight blog turned to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church to measure up Biden’s claim. He quotes the Compendium, which condemns all types of abortion: “The first right presented in this list is the right to life, from conception to its natural end, which is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia.”
Olson said, “As we well know, anybody trying to find where the Church says that abortion is morally acceptable, or can be allowed in certain situations, or is just another issue open to debate, is going to fail miserably. Which is probably why Biden and Co. don’t bother to quote from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.”
Regarding Biden’s statement that “the church is bigger than that”, Olson says that Biden misrepresented the real “line of tension” in the Catholic community. The Church’s struggle over doctrine is not between antiquated tradition and fresh ideas, he says, but “between those who accept and understand that certain matters of faith and morals are settled and those who think that it is one’s all-powerful conscience that makes the final decision . . . even while paying lip service to loving the Church.”
Olson concludes: “Perhaps Biden, Pelosi, and others do suffer from invincible ignorance. Or perhaps they are simply denying or ignoring what they know the Church does clearly teach.
“Regardless, any child receiving decent catechesis and anyone capable of reading the English language should recognize that Senator Biden’s beliefs are not ‘totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine.’”
Biden’s statements came a few months after a Meet The Press interview in April 2007, where he justified abortion according to supposed “debates” in the Church about unborn life – in a manner little different from Pelosi’s recent remarks. (See LifeSiteNews.com coverage: https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08082709.html).
Bishop Michael Saltarelli’s spokesman Bob Krebs told LifeSiteNews earlier this week that Bishop Saltarelli, Sen. Biden’s own bishop, will not allow the pro-choice Biden to speak at Catholic schools even if he becomes vice-president. (See https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08082606.html)
To read the Ignatius Insight blog post: https://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2008/08/biden-my-views.html
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Pelosi’s Theologizing on Abortion is a Repeat of Biden’s Own Quotes on Meet the Press
“Catholic” Speaker Pelosi Denies that Catholicism Condemns Abortion
Cardinals, Bishops and Congressmen Slam Pelosi on Abortion
Pelosi Spokeswoman About-face: Catholic Church “Clear” on Life Teaching After All – But Catholics Need Not Listen