Biden gay marriage flap prompts response from Catholic bishops [CNA]


#1

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Joe_Biden_Credit_Drop_of_Light_via_wwwshutterstockcom_CNA.jpgWashington D.C., Aug 5, 2016 / 04:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Just days after United States Vice President Joe Biden officiated at a same-sex wedding ceremony, three leading bishops aimed for clarity: such actions counter Catholic teaching and aren’t a faithful witness.

“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. What we see is a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth,” said an Aug. 5 message on the U.S. bishops’ conference blog.

The statement was signed by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference; Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, who chairs the committee on laity, marriage, family life, and youth; and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, who chairs the committee on domestic justice and human development.

The message did not mention Biden by name; however, the vice president officiated at a same-sex ceremony Aug. 1

In their statement, the bishops affirmed the dignity of all people and the need to accompany 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,” the bishops continued. “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 said Pope Francis has been “very clear in affirming … that same-sex relationships cannot be considered ‘in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.’”

Acting under the authority of the District of Columbia, Biden presided at a same-sex ceremony for two men who are longtime White House aides. The ceremony took place at the vice president’s official residence, the Naval Observatory.

Biden is the first Catholic vice president of the United States. His 2012 comments approving same-sex marriage helped lead President Barack Obama to announce that he too believed such unions should be recognized as marriages.

The prominent solemnization appears to have prompted an episcopal response.

“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,” the bishops said.

“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,” they added.

Full article…


#2

**By Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop Richard J. Malone and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski **

Questions revolving around marriage and human sexuality are deeply felt in our homes and communities. 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. 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.

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. 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.”1 Laws that redefine marriage to deny its essential meaning are among those that Catholics must oppose, including in their application after they are passed.2 Such witness is always for the sake of the common good.

During our Holy Father’s remarkable visit to us last year, 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.”3 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].”4

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. And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses wherever we are called.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, is chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, is chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.


1 Amoris Laetitia (2016), no. 251.
2 USCCB, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (2015), no. 23; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons (2003), no. 5
3 Address to Congress, September 24, 2015.
4 Faithful Citizenship, no. 39.

usccbmedia.blogspot.com/2016/08/faithful-witness-to-marriage.html


#3

Surprised neither of the Bishops who have authority over Biden chimed in. I mean I obviously don’t have any problem with what Biden did. But it’s pretty clearly against Catholic teaching. Biden continuing to flout the RCC’s view on this being such a prominent Catholic would seem to be something they shouldn’t let pass. Unless of course they’re counseling him in private.


#4

I must agree with Padres1969; Biden did something that requires a response. It doesn’t have to be fire and brimstone, but the lack of much response does seem to indicate the bishops don’t care. I don’t get it.


#5

And you don’t know that they - one or the other or both - have not called and talked personally to Biden.- so you? Did you call and talk to both Bishops and ask them if they were in communication with him or not?

I think they both will speak with him - I don’t think they necessarily need to inflame the media even as its important to communicate to all Catholics that this is not appropriate faithful Christian witness - which we see in the news articles


#6

This is exactly what I said in the closed thread. We don’t know whether Bishop Malooly and VP Biden have spoken since he performed the SSM under civil law. Nor for that matter do we know if he or Cardinal Wuerl have spoken. Nor do we know whether or not VP Biden has received the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week or if he will this weekend or at what point that he may in the future. What we do know is the Catholic Church opposes SSM. We know neither of these 2 prelates in dioceses where he presumably attends Mass have chimed in publicly. But maybe they are handling it in a private manner. Given that the 2 men are Apostolic successors according to the Catholic faith, I would think the faithful Catholic laity could simply just respect how they’ve chosen to respond to the matter or not in so far a non-public manner.


#7

(I love Bishop Malooly! He used to be our Bishop!) :slight_smile:


#8

The problem here is that the event was very very public. So needs the response to be not behind closed doors and may or may not be happening . Transparency needed


#9

Joe Biden is a typical “CINO”. CAtholic in name only. He does not know what the catholic Church teaches, thinks he can pick and choose what he will and will not accept as Church doctrine based on his own personal whims. he needs our prayers first of all. Then, contact him any way that you possibly can and tell him of his error. Go to his website, his facebook, send him letters through his official govt email, etc. Not only is he wrong, he is giving scandal to all Catholics.


#10

It did get a very public response. Three bishops issued a letter explaining again the churches position on so-called same-sex marriage and made it very clear that what Biden did was very wrong.


#11

Making clear that something is wrong involves more than simply stating it; it requires acting as if one believed it. The bishops’ words are hollow if they do not follow them up with measures appropriate to the offense. I for one won’t be holding my breath.

Ender


#12

I disagree. I am guessing that VP Biden knows quite well what the Church teaches and I am further guessing he does not care. He had to know how many Catholics would respond negatively, but he also likely knew that “those” Catholics probably don’t vote for Democrats. In total, I am guessing that he did the math and saw no personal downside.

Of course, if he and others understood that they might be placing their souls at risk, he and others might have chosen differently.

I firmly believe we are living in a time during which very few people take faith seriously. I believe most people think faith is a “nice thing to have,” but that in the end it is all just fairy tales and myths and that God loves everyone, so everyone is fine. In that context, whether one sins or not means nothing. It all reminds me very much of the Protestant, “once saved, always saved,” beliefs…in that, since God loves us, and since God created us, there is nothing we can say or do that can take us from God–nothing. If one believes that there is nothing they can do or say to hurt their relationship with God, then they WILL do many things that were historically considered sinful.


#13

I have personally come to a difference place with all these tension filled issues. It seems to me that the majority of Catholics DO know what the Church teaches, especially in the more impactful social areas, like marriage, abortion, contraception, divorce, etc. I do not believe it is a matter of Catechesis–I believe we are living in a time when people in general (including Catholics) truly believe that faith is to be used in a highly private manner and not in public at all. This allows people to disconnect their public lives from their personal life, while concurrently believing they are very good Catholics. VP Biden certainly knows what the Church teaches, and if he believed what he did placed his soul at risk, I doubt he would have done it. This modern pov started with JFK and has escalated through the years–it is the, “if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t get an abortion” mantra.

There are no absolutes.

There are no consequences.

There is just personal faith that should be kept away from the mainstream population.

Therein, imo, is where the Biden’s of the world stand and they all firmly believe that there are no consequences for them since they do none of those things in their personal faith life.

The concept of having continuity of life seems lost today.

One last thought: holding the Catholic faith and trying (every day) to follow all it teaches, is a choice. It cannot, and must not, be coerced. Other faiths have spread by conquest, yet not Christianity. One must follow Christ because they choose to follow Christ. Remember what the Lord said, "And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomor′rah than for that town.


#14

And that’s the point: he doesn’t believe he places his soul at risk. The more significant question is whether the bishops believe he places his soul at risk, because if they really believed that wouldn’t you expect them to act to save it? Issuing (yet) another missive from the headquarters of the USCCB that doesn’t even mention him by name really doesn’t capture the gravity of his situation. It is difficult to express my disappointment with the non-action so far taken without getting myself in serious trouble with the moderators. They are very sensitive to the criticism of bishops, whether it is merited or not.

Ender


#15

They might have tried to speak with Biden–we don’t know. But faith cannot be forced and I suspect that’s how many Bishops see things. Either one chooses to follow Christ, or they do not.

People today are their own mini-Popes. If they were open to change, they would not need a Bishop to point out their error. Everyone is their own final arbiter over what is right and wrong, and that includes the faith realm–that is the world we live in.

We see this in action when so many people say things like, “God made me that way,” as a means to justify whatever action they are doing. There is a serious loss of respect for authority and the sacred.


#16

We also know that Biden has not come out and stated that he has changed his position which he has publicly stated over and over again for a decade … Very Publicly … right at the same time he very Publicly professed his Catholic Faith …

If in fact Biden has repented and confessed and has brought himself back into Communion with his Church and his faith - I would expect him [not his Bishops] but Biden himself to just as publicly set the people of this nation straight with his positions on same sex marriage and abortion … until then - we have nothing but Biden’s own publicly professed positions by which to judge his actions …

He can ‘Tweet’, hold a press conference, write and OpEd, address his parish … he has used many means to let the world know of his opposition to the Church … he loves to profess his Catholicity publicly …

Biden cannot have it both ways …


#17

Yes, he can have it both ways, and he has had it both ways for many years.

I do not believe that the VP thinks he needs to come back into communion with the Church. I believe he thinks he is 100% in communion with the Church in his private and personal life–and today that is how many people justify any number of things.

If one thinks they are doing nothing wrong, then why would they think they need to repent?

IMO, all a Bishop can do is to speak to people privately, and ensure those people know what they teachings really are–and the rest is up to the person and the Holy Spirit (and that is how it has always been from the start).


#18

Mr. Biden does not only place his soul at risk [and we have free will - so its his choice] but by publicly advocating and acting in opposition to the Church’s teaching while at the same time professing his fidelity as a faithful active practicing Catholic and publicly receiving [Papal photo ops are common with Pro-abortion Catholics of both parties but far more common with Catholic Democrats - well there are dozens more of them :confused:] equates to Mr. Biden leading others to place their souls at risk … it is serious to sin - but it is also bad to lead others into sin by your actions …

Satan is the master of lies … and Mr. Biden has fallen into his trap … That is what the Bishops need to fear … and that is one reason the Church struggles … if high profile ‘respected’ Catholics can support abortion on demand - how can the Catholic teenager know and understand that abortion is an intrinsic evil :shrug: or why two men or two women cannot be married in their local parish :confused:


#19

A Catholic teenager should have been taught what the Church teaches. They either choose to believe and follow, or not.


#20

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