Joe Biden is preparing a raft of executive orders to advance his anti-Catholic agenda. Numbered among his transition team are opponents of religious freedom, such as Chai Feldblum, an Obama-era secularist commissar, and Barbara McQuade, who, as the New York Post put it, “wanted to sink Amy Coney Barrett over Catholic faith.” But even as the outline of Biden’s anti-Catholic plans takes shape, he is receiving a defense from such “Catholic” publications as America and National Catholic Reporter.
A leading columnist for the latter, Michael Sean Winters, who is known for his close ties to Cardinal Blase Cupich and Cardinal Joseph Tobin, two of the most powerful prelates in the world, blasted Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez for his concerns about elements of Biden’s agenda.
The remarks of Winters serve as a barometer of what the bishops closest to Pope Francis are thinking. Winters called Gomez’s concerns, which he expressed at last week’s meeting for the U.S. bishops, “unfortunate”:
[Y]ou could almost cue the ominous music in the background, some of Biden’s stances were “against some fundamental values we hold dear as Catholics.” He mentioned the incoming president’s support for repealing the Hyde Amendment and restoring Roe v. Wade, which would “undermine our preeminent priority of the elimination of abortion,” echoing last year’s regrettable debate about labeling abortion the “preeminent” political concern of Catholics.
Gomez went on to list “restoration of the HHS mandate [on insurance that covers contraception], passage of the Equality Act [prohibiting discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans] and unequal treatment of Catholic schools.
Then the archbishop devolved into tired talking points conservative Catholics have been trafficking in for years. “When politicians who profess the Catholic faith support [these policies], there are additional problems. Among other things, it creates confusion among the faithful about what the church actually teaches on these questions.”
Does it? Could Gomez produce a single Catholic who does not know what the church teaches on these issues? Has Biden ever claimed he was speaking on behalf of the church when addressing these issues? It is nonsense.
Gomez’s statement was, if anything, understated. It should be further noted that he was speaking in his capacity of chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Yet for the prelates around Pope Francis, for whom Winters serves as a stenographer, even mild criticism of Biden can’t be abided. Cardinal Tobin had revealed during the campaign his preference for Biden over the “alternative.” Through Winters, Tobin and company are sending Gomez a message: serve as a cheerleader for Biden or keep silent.
To the bishops Winters represents, Biden’s heretical Catholicism isn’t a scandal; it is “change they can believe in.” They share his left-wing politics and left-wing theology. Biden is the product of a secularized reduction of the faith that they have been peddling for decades.
Largely unremarked upon in all the post-mortems on the McCarrick scandal is the path that deranged churchman helped pave for Joe Biden to the White House. McCarrick played a significant role in normalizing pro-abortion Catholic pols. He and Biden were close enough that Biden asked him to serve as a concelebrant at his son’s funeral. Contained in the Vatican’s recently released McCarrick Report is a note in which McCarrick complains that restrictions on his public life during retirement were putting a crimp in his friendship with Biden.
America, a magazine of the Jesuit order, also signaled this week that it intends to grease the wheels of a Biden presidency. “The U.S. Bishops should find ways to collaborate with Joe Biden (and not alienate him),” ran the headline on an article by J. Kevin Appleby, who is, notably, “a former director of migration policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.”
Falsely equating Democratic policies with Catholic “social justice,” Appleby writes, “His presidency will bring new opportunities for the government and the church to work together on issues important to Catholic social teaching, including immigration reform, refugee protection, anti-poverty measures, racial justice, climate change, international development and global peace.”
Appleby fears for this alliance if the hierarchy makes too much noise about Biden’s rejection of Catholic moral teachings. Appleby says, “I am proud that a fellow Catholic will soon occupy the Oval Office for only the second time in U.S. history. I am even more proud that the idea of a Catholic president is not controversial, as it was 60 years ago. As Catholics, we should try not to make it a controversial issue again — this time because of our own public disagreements.”
In other words, sell out the faith for political gain. It is from this corrupting counsel that the rise of Joe Biden became possible. He marks not the ascent of Catholicism but its erosion under the faithlessness of the age.