A Catholic priest in South Carolina reportedly enforced the church’s code of canon law by denying former Vice President Joe Biden the sacrament of Holy Communion due to his stance on abortion.
“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Father Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church told SCNOW. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”
“I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers,” Morey added.
Biden attended a town hall meeting at Wilson High School in Florence over the weekend. His campaign did not confirm to the news outlet if he had attended the church, saying that he did so in a private capacity.
During every Mass, Catholic doctrine states that the wafer and wine become the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ when a priest consecrates it while still retaining its original form — a process known as transubstantiation. In order for a Catholic to receive Communion, they must be in a state of grace after having attended the Sacrament of Confession. If a Catholic, usually by way of conscience, determines that they are not in a state of grace, they must refrain from receiving Holy Communion. When it comes to individuals who publicly oppose Catholic teaching (such as politicians who support abortion) bishops and priests are given full license under Canon Law to deny the person Holy Communion until they repent, lest they commit the sin of sacrilege if they receive what Catholics believe to be the body and blood of Christ unworthily.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and has continued to maintain the “personally opposed but …” line regarding abortion. As his campaign kicked off this year, amid pressure from hardcore abortion rights advocates, he reversed his multi-year stance in support of the Hyde amendment by vowing to seek its undoing should he become president, thereby making it a taxpayer-funded institution.
“The problem is, when in fact there is this enormous pressure and even threat to close down clinics that were available in the past, for women who do not have the funds or are able to have them paid for privately, like they’ve been able to do. That was one thing,” Biden said in June. He explained:
But we now see so many Republican governors denying healthcare for millions of the most poorest [sic] and most vulnerable Americans by refusing even Medicaid expansion, I can’t justify leaving millions of women out of access to care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe healthcare is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code.
As the abortion argument in the United States has escalated during the Trump era, certain Catholic bishops have taken extra steps to warn pro-abortion politicians to refrain from Holy Communion. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, for instance, expressly forbid all priests under his governance to give Holy Communion to politicians that supported the “Reproductive Health Act” in Illinois.