On NBC’s Sunday Today show, correspondent Anne Thompson fawned over President Biden’s Catholic faith and suggested that the pro-abortion Democrat represented “A faith in many ways as divided as the country Joe Biden now leads.” While the segment at least examined the obvious conflict between Biden’s very public touting of his religion and his push for a left-wing agenda that runs directly counter to Catholic doctrine, viewers were left with impression that the hypocrisy just made the President more relatable.
“President Joe Biden has never been shy about his faith. Referencing scripture....teachings...and of course, nuns,” Thompson gushed at the top of the story, interwoven with soundbites of Biden promoting his Catholicism. Moments later, Thompson fretted that “what was a moment of triumph for Catholics in 1960,” when John F. Kennedy was elected, “is now one of tension.”
A soundbite ran of Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism director Kathleen Cummings, who explained that “tension”: “He’s becoming president at a time, though, when Catholics disagree about what it means to be a good Catholic. And it figures largely on the question of abortion, which is a question that John F. Kennedy didn’t have to deal with.”
Thompson bitterly lamented how “Some pro-choice Catholics fell victim to the culture wars” in past presidential campaigns, citing: “In 2004, several bishops said they would deny communion to Democratic nominee John Kerry.” Upset that Catholic Church leaders previously stood on moral principle, she reassured Democrats: “Washington’s new cardinal, who prayed at Biden’s COVID memorial event, says he won’t do that.”
The reporter turned to leftist Villanova University theology professor and Biden apologist Massimo Faggioli, who gleefully declared the new president to be more in touch with American Catholics than Church leaders: “It’s the first time they have this problem of Catholic at the White House who represents how Catholics feel on some issues much more than the bishops do represent.”
Thompson of course touted Faggioli having written a “new book on Biden and Catholicism,” which focuses on hammering pro-life conservatives and cheering pro-abortion liberals, like Biden.
Following her taped report, Thompson absurdly told host Willie Geist that somehow Biden would actually help reduce the number of abortions in the U.S.:
You see the impact of Catholic social doctrine on his policies regarding immigration, social justice, and the death penalty. But I think what is really interesting here is all the people I talked to for this story said they see an opportunity for Joe Biden to lead a dialogue on abortion and how to reduce the number of procedures in the country.
Given his commitment to abolish abortion regulations in order to appease the far-left base of his party, it’s hard to see how a Biden administration would ever be able to accomplish such a goal.
It doesn’t matter how much a Democrat like Biden contradicts the tenets of his own faith, for his liberal media allies, it’s just a sign of how devout he is to the religion of leftism.
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Here is a full transcript of the January 24 segment:
8:18 AM ET
WILLIE GEIST: On Wednesday morning, in the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden attended mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew The Apostle, a prominent Catholic Church not far from the White House, which was the site of the funeral for John F. Kennedy, the only other Catholic president in American history. President Biden later took the oath of office with his left hand on a Bible that has been in his family since 1893. The president always has spoken openly and proudly about his faith, but how does it line up with his policy proposals? NBC’s Anne Thompson has our Sunday Focus.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Joe Biden’s Faith; President Becomes the Second Catholic to Hold Nation’s Highest Office]
ANNE THOMPSON: President Joe Biden has never been shy about his faith. Referencing scripture...
JOE BIDEN: As the Bible says, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
BIDEN: I grew up with Catholic social doctrine, which taught me that faith without works is dead.
THOMPSON: ...and of course, nuns.
BIDEN: I guess I’m a Catholic school kid. You play by the rules, you know? What the nuns say, you do.
THOMPSON: Publicly sharing his faith in a way that wasn’t possible 61 years ago, when John F. Kennedy ran for president.
JOHN F. KENNEDY : I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, who happens also to be a catholic.
THOMPSON: Kennedy overcame religious bigotry, fears a Catholic president would be loyal to the Pope instead of the Constitution.
KENNEDY: I do not speak for my Church on public matters and the Church does not speak for me.
THOMPSON: Six decades later, Biden put Pope Francis’s picture in campaign videos and the Oval Office.
KENNEDY: I, John Fitzgerald Kennedy –
THOMPSON: Yet, what was a moment of triumph for Catholics in 1960 is now one of tension.
KATHLEEN CUMMINGS [CUSHWA CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF AMERICAN CATHOLICISM DIRECTOR]: He’s becoming president at a time, though, when Catholics disagree about what it means to be a good Catholic. And it figures largely on the question of abortion, which is a question that John F. Kennedy didn’t have to deal with.
THOMPSON: Why has it taken 60 years to elect another Catholic as President of the United States?
CUMMINGS: I think it’s interesting because Catholics have entered public life in record numbers in the last 60 years.
THOMPSON: Some pro-choice Catholics fell victim to the culture wars. In 2004, several bishops said they would deny communion to Democratic nominee John Kerry. Washington’s new cardinal, who prayed at Biden’s COVID memorial event, says he won’t do that. Still, the Bishop’s Conference formed a working group to deal with what it calls a difficult and complex situation.
ASHLEY MCGUIRE [THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION SENIOR FELLOW]: If there’s an area where Catholics are most confused, it’s how can you be somebody who’s so ardently promoting your Catholicity while at the same time adopting views that are so extremely divergent from where your Church is on the issue?
MASSIMO FAGGIOLI [VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY THEOLOGY & RELIGIOUS STUDIES PROFESSOR]: It’s the first time they have this problem of Catholic at the White House who represents how Catholics feel on some issues much more than the bishops do represent.
THOMPSON: Villanova’s Massimo Faggioli is an author of a new book on Biden and Catholicism.
What is the impact of seeing a president practice his faith every week?
FAGGIOLI: I believe that if anyone knows anything about Joe Biden’s life, we’ll see something of himself.
THOMPSON: A faith in many ways as divided as the country Joe Biden now leads.
GEIST: And Anne joins me now live. Anne, good morning, it’s great to see you. Joe Biden, as you point out, talks about his faith all the time, during the campaign especially. Now that he is officially president, will it intersect with policy anywhere?
THOMPSON: You know, Willie, I think you already see that. You see the impact of Catholic social doctrine on his policies regarding immigration, social justice, and the death penalty. But I think what is really interesting here is all the people I talked to for this story said they see an opportunity for Joe Biden to lead a dialogue on abortion and how to reduce the number of procedures in the country.
THOMPSON: Yeah, he represents that tension that’s happening in the Church on that issue right now. Anne Thompson, thanks so much, great piece.