An Episcopal priest on Monday condemned Catholic bishops who were reluctant to offer full-throated support for Democratic nominee Joe Biden because of his abortion views.
Rev. Randall Balmer, who also teaches at Dartmouth College, wrote in an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times that maintained Biden’s fellow Catholics should be more supportive of the second Catholic president.
“The election of the second Roman Catholic as president of the United States should be the occasion of great celebration among his coreligionists,” Balmer wrote. “Not all Catholics supported Joseph Biden, of course, though about half did.”
Balmer went on to criticize the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and its president, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, who at first congratulated Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on November 7. Gomez and the USCCB was later met with backlash from pro-life Catholics, and Gomez later nuanced what he described as the “difficult and complex situation” posed by Biden’s abortion views.
The apparent walk-back drew Balmer’s ire, who further hit at the bishops for considering denying Biden the Sacrament of Communion, as well for having “rushed to congratulate Donald Trump for his victory, even before the results were certified” in 2016.
“To pretend that there is anything approaching moral equivalency between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, let alone to decide the matter in Trump’s favor, represents an appalling failure to exercise ethical judgment,” Balmer wrote, before going on to list things Trump had done that he believes are wrong.
“In what moral universe does Joe Biden, devout Roman Catholic, public servant and family man, present the bishops with difficulties and complexities while Trump gets a pass?” Balmer continued. “Although the bishops and many Americans may disagree with his stand, Biden’s position on abortion rights is hardly unprincipled.”
Balmer then went on to suggest that U.S. Catholic clergy are “trying to bend Joe Biden to an absolutist antiabortion rights stance” in an attempt to restore the “great medieval synthesis” during which the Vatican had more power over political affairs.
After the USCCB congratulated Biden and Harris, a leader of a Catholic pro-life group accused the former vice president of “spitting at the face of Christ” for supporting abortion. As The Daily Wire reported:
Leaders of the American Life League (ALL), the oldest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the U.S., blasted the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) after they congratulated Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) for reportedly winning the election.
Judie Brown, the cofounder and president of ALL, responded in a statement earlier last week:
The USCCB has affirmed what many of us have suspected for many years, and that is that most Catholic bishops have no problem with a Catholic politician spitting at the face of Christ by supporting the vile murder of the preborn. Joe Biden is such a man; he claims to be Catholic, yet he gives 100 percent support for abortion every day of the week and in every manner of brutality against the innocent. The Catholic bishops have erred, and as a Catholic, I am ashamed of them.
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