In courting Catholic voters, Joe Biden never fails to mention his friendliness with Pope Francis. He boasts that he knows him “as well as anybody” and that they share the same spin on “social justice.” “We need to create a culture which, as Pope Francis reminds us, cannot just be based on the worship of money,” Biden has said. “We cannot accept a nation in which billionaires compete as to the size of their super-yachts.”
Biden’s ruminations on wealth haven’t stopped him from chasing it. He is now a multimillionaire. As his bank account expands, so do his thoughts on the dangers of “income inequity.” His tax policy is straightforwardly socialist, based not on the legitimate needs of government but on wealth redistribution: “And the fact of the matter is, there is plenty — plenty! — of money to go around.”
In Pope Francis, whose musings run along the same course, Biden finds an ideological ally. Indeed, the pope’s latest encyclical on fraternity, Fratelli Tutti, reads like one of Biden’s campaign speeches. Published on the eve of the American election, the encyclical is a compendium of the pope’s greatest liberal hits: climate change alarmism, calls for open borders, opposition to the death penalty and even life sentences, the promotion of “international institutions” and pacifism, the demotion of “populism” and any notion of “just war,” and plenty of capitalism-bashing and religious relativism. All of it should set Biden’s heart aflutter. The pope’s reduction of Catholicism to liberal politics with a dash of holy water on top gives Biden an out whenever his baldly anti-Catholic positions come under scrutiny. He can portray himself as a “Pope Francis Catholic” whose disagreements with Church teaching are mere trifles. Unlike Obama and Hillary Clinton, who supported the death penalty, Biden opposes it and holds up that opposition as proof of his Catholicism. In truth, it derives from his liberalism and his need to pander to the ACLU Left.
Should he win, he will preside over the most anti-Catholic presidency ever. Picking up where Obama left off, he will resume harassment of the Little Sisters of the Poor, force Christians to pay for the contraceptives and abortions of their employees, court-martial orthodox chaplains, and generally use the power of the federal government to discriminate against anyone who objects to the immoral positions of the Democratic Party. One would think this looming showdown might concern the pope. But it doesn’t. The bishops most aligned with him have rationalized support for Biden, saying the “single issue” of abortion shouldn’t determine Catholic votes. Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, an intimate of Pope Francis, has indicated that he plans to vote for Biden.
Treating friends as enemies and enemies as friends is one of the hallmarks of FrancisChurch, which shunned Trump even as he recovered religious freedom for Catholics. Biden, if he wins, will suffer no such shunning, even as he crushes their liberty.
From faithless bishops come faithless pols, who find common cause not only in the promotion of leftism but also in the persecution of the orthodox. Just as Biden calls Catholic opponents of the LGBTQ agenda the “dregs of society,” so Pope Francis dismisses them as “rigid.” Just as Biden endorses China’s repressive population control policies — he “fully understands” them — so the pope tells Catholics not to procreate “like rabbits.”
In persecuting the orthodox, Biden will do the liberal bishops’ work for them, targeting the very Catholics they find deplorable, too. What do they care if he re-imposes Obama’s contraceptive mandate? They don’t support the Church’s teaching on contraception anyways. We may hear a few quibbles from them on abortion, but they will sound faint next to their excitement over Biden’s Green New Deal, open borders, and redistributionism.
Corks of champagne will pop in Vatican offices if Biden wins. Recall the cozy relationship between Obama’s White House and Francis’s Vatican. Together they snowed Catholics by treating political issues as religious and religious issues as political. Gina McCarthy, Obama’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency, received red-carpet treatment at the Vatican. While Vatican officials gave her a tour of the Holy See’s solar panels and the Sistine Chapel’s air filtration system, she burbled about the pope’s power to “de-politicize” climate change activism: “Everybody is just looking for the pope to continue to make signals that this is an issue that is important to the Catholic Church and should be important to all of us.”
Gird yourself for similar charades under a Biden administration. From the same secularists who renounce “religion in politics” will come praise of a pope who inserts liberal politics into religion.
George Neumayr is author of The Biden Deception.