Former Vice President and candidate for the upcoming 2020 Democratic nomination in the presidential election, Joe Biden, was denied Holy Communion at a Florence, South Carolina church back on October 27, 2019.
Fr. Robert E. Morey, pastor at Saint Anthony Catholic Church confirmed he refused to give Holy Communion to Biden because of his public stance on abortion.
The reason is simple. Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, in a state of mortal sin, which Biden will be in as long as he publicly endorses abortion in any and all cases. Catholic teaching on abortion is that from the moment of conception, human life must be protected and valued. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
"Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law… Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes… Since [the preborn] must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2271 and 2274)
While it may seem “harsh” to some, according to Catholic teaching, Fr. Morey in fact helped Biden’s soul by denying him communion.
In St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul writes,
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)
By being a public figure and deliberately going against Church teaching, Biden places himself outside of the Church and therefore cannot in good conscience receive Holy Communion until going to confession and maintaining the state of grace.
Saying he is personally against abortion but will not inflict his beliefs on others does not save him; it still leaves him outside of Church teaching. As previously covered by Scott Neumman for Human Defense Initiative, “Either you believe a preborn child is valuable and ought to be protected, or you believe it’s valueless and can be discarded. Anything in between is akin to consciously supporting the murder of a human child.”
Father Thomas Petri wrote for USA Today,
“Nobody likes to say ‘no’ or to exclude, but the Church teaches that sometimes it’s necessary not only for the good of the person but also to be consistent with our teachings about communion.”
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.