Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Catholic League: Joe Biden Stokes Divisions Between Catholics and Catholics in Name Only

Joe Biden’s rejection of key Church teachings is highlighting divisions between practicing and nominal Catholics, Catholic League President Bill Donohue noted Friday.

Baptized Catholics who do not follow their faith, Catholics in name only (CINO), have no problem with Biden’s opposition to the Church on central questions, Dr. Donohue observes, which sets them at odds with religious Catholics, who find Biden’s support of abortion-on-demand, his hostility to school choice, and his embrace of radical gender theory appalling.

In a recent survey, the Pew Research Center found that more than three-quarters of self-identified Catholic Democrats reject Church teaching on abortion. Seventy-seven percent of “Democratic and Democratic-leaning Catholic adults say they think abortion should be legal in all or most cases,” Pew noted on September 15.

In this regard, most Catholics who voted for Biden did so not despite his position on abortion, but in alignment with it.

“Most of the news stories on the alleged widespread division in the ranks of the Catholic laity are bogus,” Donohue writes, because most writers “fail to disaggregate on the basis of religiosity.”

“To be exact, those who do not make a distinction between practicing Catholics and non-practicing Catholics are intellectually dishonest. Lumping them together yields a distorted profile of the Catholic community,” he adds.

Most non-practicing Catholics “reject Church teachings on life, ordination, marriage, the family, and sexuality,” Donohue states. “To what extent can they be called Catholic? If their views are practically indistinguishable from non-observant Americans, why are they not classified as secularists?”

Left-wing Catholics have gone postal over a recent statement by the president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference (USCCB) showcasing Biden’s distance from the Catholic Church, Donohue notes, because they advocate for a Church with no clear moral teaching.

Catholics who oppose Church teachings are “hoping to press the bishops to fall in line with Biden (or at least not to challenge him),” Donohue observes.

One such critic is David Gibson of Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture, who has accused USCCB leadership of not being able to “embrace the idea of engagement and goodwill that Pope Francis has asked of them,” Donohue writes.

Over the last four years, however, Gibson and his cronies have doggedly opposed President Trump at every turn, rejecting any form of constructive “engagement and goodwill” and appear to think that dialogue is a good thing only now that a dissenting Catholic seems poised to occupy the White House.

It is not the bishops who want an antagonistic relationship with Biden, Donohue notes. “The truth is that Biden is at war with the Catholic Church: He opposes teachings on abortion, marriage, sexuality (he is a big transgender fan) and religious liberty.”

“That’s the cause of the antagonism,” Donohue writes. “Biden is the problem, not the bishops.”

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Thomas D. Williams Ph.D.

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