Biden called ‘counter-witness’ to Church teaching for presiding at wedding

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A newly married couple hold rosaries in their hands as they leave Pope Francis' general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 24. Three U.S. bishops wrote issued a joint statement reaffirming the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and the obligation of Catholic polititicans to uphold their faith in public, following a tweet sent by Vice President Joe Biden officiating a same-sex wedding ceremony. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
A newly married couple hold rosaries in their hands as they leave Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Feb. 24. Three U.S. bishops reaffirmed the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and the obligation of Catholic politicians to uphold their faith in public in a blog post published following a tweet sent by Vice President Joe Biden officiating a same-sex wedding ceremony. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — By officiating at a same-sex wedding, Vice President Joe Biden as a prominent Catholic politician has created confusion over Church teaching on marriage and “the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics,” three U.S. bishops said Aug. 5.

“Questions revolving around marriage and human sexuality are deeply felt in our homes and communities,” said the bishops. “We join with our Holy Father Pope Francis in affirming the inviolable dignity of all people and the Church’s important role in accompanying all those in need.

“In doing so, we also stand with Pope Francis in preserving the dignity and meaning of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was joined by two USCCB chairmen in writing a blog post about Biden presiding at a same-sex wedding of two longtime White House aides Aug. 1.

Signing on to the blog were Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

“The two strands of the dignity of the person and the dignity of marriage and the family are interwoven. To pull apart one is to unravel the whole fabric,” they wrote.

Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnize the relationship of two people of the same sex, confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics,” the prelates said. “What we see is a counter-witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.

“Pope Francis has been very clear in affirming the truth and constant teaching of the Church that same-sex relationships cannot be considered ‘in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,’” they continued, quoting from Amoris Laetitia, the pope’s apostolic exhortation summing up two synods on the family.

Referencing “Faithful Citizenship,” the bishops’ quadrennial document on political responsibility, the three prelates also noted that “laws that redefine marriage to deny its essential meaning are among those that Catholics must oppose, including in their application after they are passed.”

“Such witness is always for the sake of the common good,” they added.

Archbishops Kurtz and Wenski and Bishop Malone also quoted from Pope Francis’ address to Congress last September: “He reminded us that all politicians ‘are called to defend and preserve the dignity of (their) fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.’”

“Catholic politicians in particular are called to ‘a heroic commitment’ on behalf of the common good and to ‘recognize their grave responsibility in society to support laws shaped by these fundamental human values and oppose laws and policies that violate (them),’” the three added, again quoting from the pope’s words to U.S. lawmakers.

According to AP, the wedding of Joe Mahshie and Brian Mosteller took place at the vice president’s official residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory. The two asked Biden to officiate, AP said, adding that the vice president had to get a temporary license to do so from the District of Columbia to make the marriage legal.

This photo showing Vice President Joe Biden officiating the same-sex wedding between two White House staffers went viral this week. Biden obtained a special temporary license to perform the ceremony at his official residence. In a tweet accompanying the picture, the vice president said, "Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house. Couldn't be happier, two longtime White House staffers, two great guys." (Photo taken from Twitter)
This photo showing Vice President Joe Biden officiating the same-sex wedding between two White House staffers went viral this week. Biden obtained a special temporary license to perform the ceremony at his official residence. In a tweet accompanying the picture, the vice president said, “Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house. Couldn’t be happier, two longtime White House staffers, two great guys.” (Photo taken from Twitter)

In 2012, Biden said as a Catholic he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex couples marrying, adding they should get “the same exact rights” heterosexual married couples receive. Shortly after that President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage. In a June 2015 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in the nation.

Biden also has long-supported keeping abortion legal.

In their blog post, Archbishops Kurtz and Wenski and Bishop Malone said that “faithful witness can be challenging — and it will only grow more challenging in the years to come — but it is also the joy and responsibility of all Catholics, especially those who have embraced positions of leadership and public service.”

“Let us pray for our Catholic leaders in public life, that they may fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage and offer a faithful witness that will bring much needed light to the world.” The three bishops said. “And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses wherever we are called.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. An official excommunication is warranted, apparently these Prelates cannot bring themselves to do that. It is their obligation to all Catholic’s to issue the excommunication for this grievous offense against Our Lord!

  2. To the 3 bishops,

    Have some balls. VP “c”atholic Biden “married” two men. When is Canon 915 going to be enforced? By this very action, Biden has excommunicated himself. Have some balls. Tell Joe that he is at this point, outside of the church – not because the Church kicked him out but because he, by his very actions, place himself there. Have some balls. Tell him that he is on his way to hell because of this mockery, he has mocked a Sacrament and has laughed at the very action of what God intended when he ordained what true marriage really is. Have some balls. You are supposed to defend the faith and lead the faithful into heaven, not calling a spade a spade and whitewashing issues like this deteriorates the faith, questions your resolve as shepherds and, MAKES IT HARDER FOR REAL CATHOLICS LIKE MYSELF to constantly have to do YOUR JOB by defending the faith against secular onslaught and, sadly, against my fellow Catholics in the pews who are confused do to the mixed signals sent from the USCCB. Have some balls. What are you going to lose? What are you so scared of?

    In not issuing and putting forward Canon 915 against pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, pro-gay “marriage,” pro-embryonic stem cell research and, anti-religious freedom politicians YOU are directly violating the teachings of the Church (CCC #2235-2237) and the words of Christ Himself (LK 12:48b). Have some balls. It is time for examples to be made and for the Church to take on the backlash of defending Christ and the Truth. Nothing that any of you put forth in this statement describes the horrible truth that comes with such grave sin, nothing. Have some balls. Tell Catholics that if they approve of, participate in or acknowledge gay “marriage” as being valid or even equal to the Sacrament of Marriage, they are twisting the truth to justify evil in order to appease their personally held beliefs. Have some balls. Tell Catholics that by legitimizing gay “marriage” they are promoting homosexual acts that will lead homosexual couples to hell. Have some balls.

    Prepare us for spiritual battle. Defend our faith. Stand up to evil regardless of the consequences and, most importantly, HAVE SOME BALLS.

  3. If the Church wants to keep its tax exempt status, the bishops (except these few) remain silent. It’s a win-win for anti-catholic liberals— either they have no opposition or (if the bishops speak) they take away Catholic schools and hospitals so all children can be indoctrinated by the state and all hospitals must perform abortions. Note: Trump is pushing to overturn the 60-year-old Johnson Amendment that made this situation possible.

  4. Vice President Biden continues to live his faith and his oath of office.
    Apparently he has more charity and love than any of the above. Which one is our Lord smiling on?

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