Father Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in South Carolina denied presidential candidate Joe Biden Holy Communion due to his stance on abortion.
Biden, is reported to be a lifelong Catholic, and had attended the church’s 9 a.m. Mass.
He probably wasn’t expecting for it to become a big news story.
Biden’s abortion stance is clear.
Not only does he support Roe v. Wade, he has said he wants to codify it into federal law:
Due to this very public stance, which is contrary to church teaching, the South Carolina church had no choice but to deny Biden the holy sacrament of communion.
Take a look:
Breitbart had more:
Former Vice President Joe Biden was denied communion at a Catholic Church in South Carolina Sunday because of his staunch position in favor of abortion.
Biden, who earlier this year reversed course on his long held stance in favor of the Hyde Amendment, was attending a worship service at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, when he attempted to receive the sacrament. The former vice president, however, was rebuffed by the church’s pastor, Father Robert E. Morey, because of his support for abortion.
“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey told the Florence Morning News on Monday. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that.”
The pastor’s act comes as Biden, who identifies as a Catholic and has claimed to be personally opposed to abortion, has shifted his position on the practice to line up with the mainstream of the Democrat Party, under whose banner he hopes to be elected president next year.
In June, the former vice president set off a firestorm on the left by reaffirming his commitment to the Hyde Amendment, a federal rule banning tax dollars from being used for abortion except in cases of maternal health or if the pregnancy arose because of rape or incest.
Although Biden had voted for the rule continuously over the span of his 40-year political career, his public acknowledgment of such support drew the ire of pro-choice groups and activists. Some, like NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue, even claimed Biden’s support for the Hyde Amendement translated “into discrimination against poor women and women of color plain and simple.”
In the wake of such criticism, the 76-year-old Biden attempted to appease his detractors by saying he would only continue supporting the rule unless women were in a position to lose access to abortion. That waffle, though, did nothing to allay concerns from pro-choice activists, with many echoing Planned Parenthood by claiming continued support for the rule was “harmful” to women. After such denunciation and pressure from the likes of Hollywood starlet Alyssa Milano, Biden eventually acquiesced, expressing that “times had changed.”
While the shift may have worked in salving the ire of progressives, it only served to underscore the divergence between Biden and ecclesiastic officers, like Morey. On Monday, the priest asserted his decision to deny the former vice president communion was not personal, but stemmed from his responsibilities to the church and its teachings on life and conception.
“Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching,” Morey told the Morning News. “I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.”
SC Now confirmed the story:
Former Vice President Joe Biden, a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential race, was denied Holy Communion on Sunday morning at a Florence church.
Father Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church confirmed Monday afternoon that he had denied the presidential candidate Holy Communion because of his stance on abortion. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, had attended the church’s 9 a.m. Mass.
Communion is one of seven sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church. The others are baptism, reconciliation, confirmation, marriage, anointing of the sick and holy orders.
In communion, parishioners receive the Holy Eucharist, a wafer and wine that when consecrated become the body and blood of Jesus, according to Catholic doctrine. In order to receive it, a Catholic must be in the state of grace, have gone to confession since his or her most recent mortal sin, have a belief in the doctrine of transubstantiation (a belief that the wafer and wine become the body and blood of Jesus), observe the Eucharistic fast and not be under censure.
“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey told the Morning News via email. “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.”
Morey said that as a priest, it is his responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to his care and that he must do so in even the most difficult situations.
“I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers,” Morey added.
The Biden campaign would not confirm he had attended the church but said if he did attend he did so in a private capacity. A spokesperson directed the conversation to a public appearance at 11 a.m. Sunday at Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hartsville.
His position on abortion is unclear.
Biden has said he supports codifying Roe. v. Wade — the 1973 Supreme Court decision that allows a pregnant woman to have an abortion without excessive government restriction — into statute but also said at a vice presidential debate in 2012 that he is personally opposed to abortion but does not want to impose that belief on others.
In June, his campaign told NBC News that the candidate supported the 1976 Hyde Amendment that prevents federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger. This put Biden at odds with many of the other candidates for the Democratic nomination. Days later, he said at a gala in Atlanta that he did not support the amendment.
The position of the Catholic church on abortion is that human life must be respected and protected from the moment of conception.
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