South Carolina Priest Rightly Refused to Give Joe Biden Holy Communion
Reverend Robert Morey, pastor of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, withheld Holy Communion from presidential candidate Joe Biden (D). Father Morey takes the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist so seriously that his parish has a 24/7 adoration chapel.
Matthew Christian of SCNewsNow reported:
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. …
“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.
Mr. Christian wrote that Joe Biden’s stance on abortion is “unclear,” but during his long career as a politician, Biden repeatedly stated his support for abortion and as a lawmaker he voted for the heinous crime against humanity.
Biden also violates the non-negotiable Catholic ban against same-sex marriage. For one dramatic example, in 2016 when Biden was vice president of the United States, he acted as a wedding minister for two male White House staffers.
On October 23, four days before going to Father Morey’s parish, Biden decried South Carolina’s bill to ban abortion for unborn babies with heartbeats. The proposed law is written to protect little ones allegedly conceived during rape or incest too.
As shown in the photo above, on Facebook Biden proudly vowed: “Let’s be clear, this ban is dangerous and directly violates a woman’s constitutional right to choose. We must stop it. As president, I will codify Roe into federal law and ensure this choice remains between a woman and her doctor.”
Andrea Mitchell found Matthew Christian’s report. On October 29, she interviewed Joe Biden via phone and surprised him by asking if there was any truth that he was refused Holy Communion for his stance on “abortion rights.”
“I’m not going to discuss that. That’s just my personal life and I’m not getting into that at all,” said Biden.
She rephrased the question by asking: “Do you think that in a general election campaign you’re going to face some of these cultural issues?”
Biden replied: “Sure I will, and everyone will. I’m a practicing Catholic. I practice my faith and, um, but I’ve never let my religious beliefs, which I accept based on the purest doctrine, they call it de fide doctrine, to impose that view on other people.”
In 2008, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pennsylvania, described as Joe Biden’s hometown diocese, informed him that he was banned from Holy Communion. And surely Biden’s current campaign advisers have informed him that this year Cardinal Raymond Burke publicly warned him not to take Holy Communion.
The Catholic Church condemns abortion because it is the murder of a unique and unrepeatable child. Hence, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly says that the penalty for procuring or cooperating in abortion is excommunication.
As I understand it from canon lawyers, including Cardinal Burke, an abortion politician’s own bishop should begin the formal excommunication process by banning him from Holy Communion and calling him to repent. The term latae sententiae below means the offender excommunicated himself and when a Church official bans someone from Holy Communion it is, at first, a corrective measure to stop the sinner from committing sacrilege; avoid misleading people; and bring the sinner back into full communion.
Until an abortion politician’s own bishop begins the formal process, priests and other Eucharistic ministers may and should refuse to give Holy Communion to known abortion politicians. If a sinner’s own bishop bans him from Holy Communion, he is banned in the universal Church. Meanwhile, bishops of all dioceses may publicly ban abortion politicians from Holy Communion in their dioceses.
Now here are key Catechism paragraphs explicitly naming the penalty for the crime and mortal sin of abortion, and everyone’s political duty to protect the unborn:
- 2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a “criminal” practice (GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.
- 2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
- 2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
- 2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” “by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
- 2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”
“The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”
- 2274 Since it 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.
Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.”
Did you find this useful?
Anita Crane is an analyst, writer and editor for Human Life International. She earned a B.A. in Catholic Theology from Christendom College and is certified by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia in VIRTUS training called Protecting God's Children. She lives near Washington, D.C. and her background includes working as a promo producer and scriptwriter for the C-SPAN Networks, and working as senior editor of the national pro-life magazine Celebrate Life. She has written many articles about the Catholic stance on faith, human rights, politics, movies, and other media for internet publishers, some with millions of readers.