Fundamentalism: As Biden prays for healing, Catholics clash over president’s faith

President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend services at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle with Congressional leaders prior the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Source: ABC

President Biden’s support for abortion rights is at center of Catholic debate.

On his quest to heal a divided America, Joe Biden may first have to confront bitter division over his presidency from within his own church.

“I’m saying to our people, let’s use this teaching moment. Let’s come together and become more, if you will — use the questions of faith and respond to them in an intelligent way,” said the Rev. Kevin Gillespie, pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown where Biden has worshipped twice since becoming president.

“They applauded for a fellow parishioner, a fellow Catholic and the president of the United States,” Gillespie said of the welcome Biden received. “People were very happy, not that they all agree with his views, but he’s one of us.”

While millions of Catholics have celebrated the ascension of one of their own to the White House, some have been publicly questioning whether Biden should be considered a model of their faith.

“You might have heard that the president is Catholic. Perhaps you heard that. Perhaps you heard that he went to mass,” said the Rev. Brian Lynch of Transfiguration Catholic Church in Oakdale, Minnesota, in a sermon posted online Jan. 22. “I don’t care! That does not impress me!”

The Rev. Jim Gigliotti of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Fort Worth, Texas, told parishioners last month that Biden is a man “without value.”

“You don’t like it, well that’s your problem,” he said in a livestreamed homily.MORE: The significance of the Bible Joe Biden is using on Inauguration Day

Many Catholic clergy and faithful are passionately fixated on Biden’s support for abortion rights, which the church staunchly opposes and considers an issue of “preeminent” importance.

“Some of you I know voted for someone who is now going to suffer and persecute the church for the next four years. That, on top of the fact that he supports the slaughter of the unborn,” the Rev. Jeffrey Kirby admonished members of his congregation at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Indian Land, South Carolina, last month. “What have you done? What have you done to your church?”

A majority of Catholics, 52%, backed Biden for president in the 2020 election, according to a national exit poll of voters. Many admire Biden’s sincere religious practice, which he has described as a source of solace and purpose.

Read further

Suggested reading for living in the image of the Loving and the Most Merciful God by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:

Thirty Plus Quotes from the Poet of Love

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man

‘Love Hormone,’ How it works in Hospitality?

‘Love Hormone’ Oxytocin May Enhance Feelings Of Spirituality

I am a Jew, a Catholic, a Christian and a Muslim; I am Zia H Shah

1 reply

  1. WASHINGTON — President Biden — only the second Roman Catholic in U.S. history elected to the country’s highest political office — keeps a picture in the Oval Office of himself with Pope Francis.
    No doubt Biden can count on partnership with the progressive pope as he reverses many Trump-era policies to battle climate change and reform immigration.

    But support within his own country’s Catholic Church looks more tenuous, and Biden has been given a surprisingly hostile reception from the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference under the guidance of Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez.

    In the intersection of religion and politics, nowhere does the division between conservatives and progressives in the Catholic Church cleave more deeply than in the United States, as Biden’s election reveals.

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