Politico Feels Biden's Pain in 'Very Public Clash' on Abortion with Catholic Hierarchy

September 7th, 2021 11:59 AM

On Sunday, Politico treated readers to yet another article on how President Biden is troubled by those pesky conservative Catholic bishops and laymen. The headline on Ruby Cramer's article

‘A Private Matter’: Joe Biden’s Very Public Clash With His Own Church

The excuse for this rerun is the Texas law protecting the unborn after six weeks in the womb: "Biden may soon find that the line he’s walked over four decades of public life — as a politician of ostentatious faithfulness who also insists his faith is a private matter — is no longer available to him."

Cramer began with the usual rigamarole about Biden solemnly arriving with his motorcade at St. Joseph on the Brandywine parish near his Delaware home, but added there were protesters: 

You would have seen Moira Sheridan and David Williams outside the church gates, carrying faded posterboard signs. Both from Wilmington, both in their late 60s, both Catholics, they are a familiar presence at St. Joseph — they have come at least 20 times since the general election — though they rarely make the pool reports.

Are we surprised that the reporters in the White House press pool avoid mentioning protesters when the president's a Democrat?

Cramer at least quotes Sheridan’s point: 

As they see it, church doctrine demands that Biden be made an example of, called out even when visiting his son’s final resting place. “He’s the most public figure in the world,” Sheridan said. “What he does affects what other Catholics will do. There is no such thing as mainstream, there is no such thing as extreme, and there is no such thing as liberal — there is Catholic.” [Emphasis in the original.]

Cramer also reminded readers that Biden can very angry about the criticism: 

“The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious,” he once told a crowd in 2005, “I’m going to shove my rosary beads down their throat.”

He could be all God love ya, man one second, and dead-serious and defiant the next. “This is my church as much as it is the church of a cardinal, bishop, or janitor,” he told the Christian Science Monitor during his 2008 run for president, “and I’m not going anywhere.”

Then there's more of the usual rigamarole about how Biden's politics is shaped by his Catholic upbringing, yada yada, and then some acknowledgment that Biden has shifted further and further away from his church's opposition to abortion to making the final and drastic step of repealing the Hyde Amendment, so that Catholics will now pay for abortions with their tax dollars. 

The most ridiculous part of the article is former congressman Tom Perriello accusing the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops of being "an extension of the Republican Party," while Biden is somehow not the political shape-shifter here. He tweeted the bishops chose "party over theology," and then tweeted Biden was more Catholic!  

Finally, Cramer noted the leftist group "Catholics for Choice" is hoping for Biden to push the cultural accelerator harder: 

Some on the religious left hope that he will do for abortion what he did for same-sex marriage in the Obama years: “This is not the first time that Biden, I think, has appealed to the deeper roots of his faith — justice and human dignity — to take a stand that is in opposition to church teaching,” said Jamie L. Manson, president of Catholics For Choice.