He is at least in apostasy. The next step to consider is the ecclesiastical punishment that would be excommunication in the case of the crime of apostasy.
This is how Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court described the Apostolic Signature, the US President Joe Biden’s situation when we speak of him as a Catholic, as he always declares himself.
Another important sound
Burke, another American bishop, spoke about the problem that has plagued American bishops since Biden arrived in the White House.
The crux of this problem is as follows: How to respond to the obvious fact that Biden is making political decisions that are completely inconsistent with Catholic doctrine. And this is one of the most important issues, not only Catholic but also general, that is, protection of the life of the fetus.
Let’s remind you that one of President Biden’s first decisions was about abortion. Biden lifted the US ban on supporting international organizations performing abortion procedures. This prohibition, the so-called Mexico City policy was introduced by President Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump returned to it. This means that an organization like Planned Parenthood, which has created a network of abortion clinics across the United States, will start pouring in $ 1 million again.
His administration is preparing for the worst when it comes to abortion. Biden has already promised to cancel Hyde Amandment. It’s a law passed in 1976 that prohibits federal funding for abortions. Abolishing it means that the state will pay for the abortion on demand, and the number of abortions will increase.
Meanwhile, throughout this time, Biden has been leading a regular, secretive life, which means he takes company. Thus, his regular participation in the sacraments becomes a dangerous counter-testimony. In fact, it becomes a scandal that the bishops have to deal with. Burke thinks the whole situation demands that Biden be disinherited. However, this option seems overrated, and the choice to turn down the company seems more realistic.
In the legal sense, the matter is quite straightforward. Law 915 of the Code of Canon Law clearly states that communion may only be accepted for persons who are in a state of holy grace and free from mortal sin. People who insist on gross sin which is apparent cannot do so. Biden’s decisions cannot be described as killing more unborn babies, other than – insisting on an apparent grave sin. Few want to deny it.
However, the situation begins to change when we move from the realm of spiritual and ecclesiastical life to this one – the political sphere. This is where various doubts arise about what he would look like if the US president, the first Catholic in the White House after 60 years, was truly deprived of communion wherever he goes? Wouldn’t that be an extra down payment for all who don’t yet like the church? This is the argument for opponents of Biden’s punishment, many of whom are American bishops. Some argue that other than these political reasons, making the decision to reject the company with Biden is not an easy task for pastoral reasons either. If the church begins to use the sacrament of the sacrament as a means of punishment or reward, will it not harm the true nature of this sacrament, which is above all the gift of Christ to its believers?
What signal are the bishops sending?
Contrary to these arguments, there is one more powerful of all of the above. If the American bishops allow Biden to behave as he does now, they are sending a powerful message, first to the church and then to the world, that respect for the magisterium is no longer a prerequisite for living a valid sacramental life.
And, as Archbishop Charles Chabot well noted, the bishops of his country would bear witness to the entire church. The direction this church takes will depend on what this testimony, positive or negative, will look like. The stakes are great and far more important than “negative public relations” and the political consequences of an episcopal decision.
It was recently announced that the Bishops of the United States would decide in June to draft a document that would address the issue. The document should be ready by November of this year. Exactly what will be written in it remains to be seen. We only know that a lot depends on the decisions of the bishops and that the church they lead will be authentic from an evangelical standpoint.
A similar dilemma may soon torment the Polish bishops. In Poland, we have parties like the Civic Forum, which recently declared legalization of abortion as a goal of its program, and still has a large number of Catholics in its ranks. If these Catholics make decisions in the future that will result in the death of thousands of unborn children – how will the bishops react?