Here’s one priest who practices what he preaches.
A South Carolina Catholic priest told news outlets he denied Holy Communion on Sunday to former Vice President Joe Biden because of Biden’s support for abortion.
The Morning News, based in Florence, South Carolina, reported that the Rev. Robert E. Morey of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Florence had refused Biden the sacrament at a 9 a.m. Mass.
“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey wrote in a statement, according to the Morning News.
“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that.”
According to the Morning News, Biden’s campaign refused to confirm the Democratic presidential contender’s presence at the Mass, but said that if he did attend, it was in a private capacity.
A campaign representative told the Morning News that Biden made a public appearance at 11 a.m. Sunday at Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hartsville, about 20 miles from Florence.
But for Morey, the distinction between private and public was not relevant to the sacrament on Sunday.
“Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching,” he wrote in the statement.
The issue of abortion and Catholic politicians is a fixture of American politics in general, and has come up before for Biden in particular.
As the Catholic News Agency reported in 2008, when Biden was named then-Sen. Barack Obama’s running mate in the presidential election just before the Democratic convention opened in Denver, then-Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput said Biden should refrain from Communion himself over the issue.
In order to receive Communion — bread and wine which the Church teaches becomes the body and blood of Jesus upon consecration during Mass — a Catholic must be in a state of grace, meaning the believer must be living in accordance with the teachings of the church.
Since the church considers abortion a grave sin, Democratic support for the destruction of lives in the womb puts Democratic politicians in a position where they have to choose between their faith and their political fortunes.
They tend to pick the latter, while remaining “personally opposed” to killing children, of course.
It’s a convenient straddle that has worked for decades, and Biden has apparently not had a problem adjusting what he says are his personal beliefs to the political needs of the moment.
Word of Sunday’s development spread quickly on social media — and while the issue is controversial even among Catholics, Morey had plenty of support.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden was denied the Eucharist at a South Carolina parish, reportedly because of his support for legal abortion: https://t.co/yawitOp0rw
— Catholic News Agency (@cnalive) October 29, 2019
You must present yourself in a state of Grace. Any Catholic supporting abortion, voting for abortion laws or against anti abortion legislation, has gone against the teachings of the Church.
— Phyllis Gibson (@NursGibson49) October 29, 2019
— Heather Morgan (@heather41495) October 29, 2019
Thank you Faithful priest.
— Rosa Scott (@scottfamforlife) October 29, 2019
As much as pro-life conservatives might cheer Morey’s stand, it was clear from his statement that the priest understood the gravity of his decision.
But he thought it was necessary — as much for Biden’s sake as anything else.
“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,” Morey’s statement concluded. “I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.”
American Catholics, including Catholic politicians like Nancy Pelosi who support abortion rights, need to remember this story.
Some priests practice what they preach. Pro-life voters should do the same.
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