President Biden’s bishops

President Biden’s bishops

Those watching the news have heard the recent talk about the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (Roman catholic, that is) voting to draft a pastoral statement about who are the rightful and who the wrongful participants in their Mass.

Their Mass is not the true celebration of the Lord’s Supper, of course, but idolatrous, as all the Reformers warned and those of us who follow them in their Biblical faith and confession continue to preach and teach today. This is not said to be divisive, but to warn readers that this defense of the bishops should in no way be viewed as any affirmation of their many heresies against the true Christian faith.

But across the divide, we who are Protestants continue to share many Biblical truths with Rome and her bishops, and what we share will be sufficient to defend the bishops’ pastoral care and authority at this point where they are under attack.

First then, the sharp point of attack is the accusation that the bishops are hypocrites. Both The Hill and LA Times are promoting California Rep. Ted Lieu’s accusation against the bishops that they teach one thing, but do another. The bishops aren’t being faithful to their own professed religion.

Taking The Hill’s article from the top:

Move by Catholic bishops against Biden brings howls of hypocrisy

by Alex Gangitano

Catholic bishops who voted to advance an effort that could deny President Biden Communion over his stance on abortion are being accused of hypocrisy by critics of the decision.

In this his first paragraph, Mr. Gangitano presents himself as an objective observer simply documenting that the bishops “are being accused of hypocrisy.”

Fair enough. Christians are used to this charge and take it in stride.

Now then, will Mr. Gangitano turn the tables on the bishops’ critics by pointing to the Church’s two-thousand-year unanimous testimony against abortion? Will he point out the basic fact that Christians have everywhere and always declared abortion one of the most wicked crimes ever conceived by man? Surely those prepared to report on charges of hypocrisy against the Christian faith should know something about that faith’s history of condemnation of abortion? At this late date it’s not exactly deep background.

Mr. Gangitano proceeds:

Biden, just the second Catholic U.S. president in history, regularly goes to church and touts his faith as a deeply personal aspect of his life.

Being only the second president to confess the Roman Catholic faith, President Biden is a bit of a minority, isn’t he? The other Catholic was President Kennedy who also “tout[ed] his faith as a deeply personal aspect of his life.”

Mr. Gangitano might be saying we should be hesitant to judge the sincerity and truthfulness of President Biden’s faith because he’s a minority of two (providing him victim status), and his faith is “deeply personal” (cloaking him in that penumbra formed by emanations asserted by SCOTUS as “the right of privacy”).

Decent people will protect minorities. Decent people will also resist bullies violating President Biden’s desire to keep his faith private. He’s very public in his promotion of the slaughter of the little ones, but very private about his faith.

Yet the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted last week to proceed with drafting a formal statement on the meaning of Communion, which will include whether pro-choice politicians such as Biden should be denied it.

“Yet.” Telling word, isn’t it? Despite President Biden being a minority and despite his wish to keep his religion (which he “touts”) deeply private, look at what the bullies are doing to him.

The decision runs counter to the wishes of Pope Francis and has put the church at the center of a roiling debate over Biden, abortion and Catholicism.

The bishops are contemplating writing something that might say public advocates of the slaughter of little babies should be barred from participation in the sacrament of Communion. They haven’t yet written it, let alone voted to adopt this thing not yet written. So actually, no: the bishops haven’t yet made any “decision [that] runs counter to the wishes of Pope Francis.” Sloppy craft.

It has also invited comparisons to former President Trump, with critics of the vote pointing in outrage to examples where Trump was not aligned with the church.

For the past five years, all our elites’ moral indignation has been focussed on President Trump—so much so that Adolph Hitler is feeling neglected, proving it’s an ill wind that blows nobody some good.

A couple other things.

“It” has “invited?”

No, it’s people who issue invitations, so we’re being told that the bishops are responsible for the outrage.

Too, if the outrage is based on “examples” of President Trump not being aligned with the church, the implication is President Biden’s public advocacy of the slaughter of little babies is just another “example” of where he too is “not aligned with the church.”

President Trump is arrogant and that doesn’t align with the church.

President Biden promotes the slaughter of little babies and that doesn’t align with the church.

President Trump is a serial adulterer and that doesn’t align with the church.

President Biden defends the slaughter of 1,250,000 little babies in the U.S. each year and that doesn’t align with the church.

Note the assertion of moral equivalence between President Trump’s sins of pride and adultery and President Biden’s sins promoting our ongoing slaughter of millions of little babies.

Our elites’ moral calculus is debauched.

But what is this “church” they talk about? President Trump isn’t Roman Catholic, so what teaching of what church is he “not aligned with?”

But never mind. Mr. Gangitano continues:

“You did not tell Bill Barr, a Catholic, not to take Communion when he expanded killing human beings with the death penalty,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), referring to the former attorney general and his position on the death penalty.

Here Rep. Lieu condemns Attorney General William Barr for expanding “killing human beings with the death penalty.” But Lieu himself is a Roman Catholic, so does he not know it is God Himself Who commanded capital punishment:

From every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man. (Genesis 9:5-6)

Apparently, though, Rep. Lieu thinks God is wrong, so he asserts moral equivalence between capital punishment and abortion.

Lieu, a Catholic who has come under criticism himself for his pro-choice views, called the bishops “hypocrites,” a sentiment that has been echoed by others.

Here some distance into the article, we find out the man leading the attack on the bishops, accusing them of hypocrisy is himself in danger of those bishops barring him from Communion. Not exactly a disinterested bystander making observations, is he?

Back to Trump-thumping:

“Certainly, we know President Trump was a deeply amoral individual whose personal and political stances flew in the face of virtually everything the Catholic Church teaches,” said Maggie Siddiqi, senior director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress.

Certainly we know? What’s this we?

Then too, Ms. Siddiqi assures readers that President Trump rejects “virtually everything the Catholic Church teaches.”

We have her word for it.

“Yet we heard not nearly as strong an opposition of what we have from a Catholic president, whose personal and political stance seems overwhelmingly and deeply aligned with the Catholic Church. It is hard to imagine that this is not simply partisan,” she added, mentioning Biden’s policies on child care, maternal health, poverty and racial justice as being aligned with the church’s views.

Ms. Siddiqi continues hyperventilating: “not nearly,” “deeply,” “simply,” and “overwhelmingly.”

Her statement about opposition is nonsensical. We have opposition “from a Catholic president?” Likely she meant to say that some unnamed people did not oppose President Trump nearly as strongly as they are now opposing President Biden.

Then she argues that President Biden’s promotion of the wholesale slaughter of millions of babies is compensated for by his promotion of child care and maternal health. Ah yes, President Biden is such a moral man. Just look how caring he is towards the babies who make it out alive and the mothers who let their little ones escape the President’s bloody executioners.

The White House has said the issue is a personal one to the president but has not commented further.

“The president’s faith is personal. It’s something that has helped guide him through some challenging moments of their life, and that’s how many Americans see their faith as well, not through a political prism,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday.

President Biden publicly and repeatedly promotes the ongoing slaughter of millions of little babies. This great wickedness he commits has always been condemned by all generations of Christians. The president’s own bishops are considering condemning his awful sin by denying him Communion at the church’s table of fellowship.

But then, the man doesn’t want people talking about it. Not his slaughter of the unborn, of course; he depends on everyone knowing and talking about that. It is the platform he runs on as a Democrat. “More baby-slaughter is our foundational political commitment,” he shouts.

But his bishops condemning his baby slaughter? He doesn’t want anyone talking about that? He wants that to be a deeply personal matter protected from public discussion by the right to privacy?

Which is this man’s religion, actually? His commitment to Jesus Christ or his commitment to child sacrifice? Can he partake of the body and blood of the Lord at the same time as he worships at the temple of demons demanding the blood of millions of little babies for their altars?

The USCCB document will be up for debate, subject to amendments, and voted on at the group’s next meeting in November. It would also need approval from the Vatican to go into effect, which does not seem likely. Pope Francis last week cautioned American bishops against denying Communion to politicians and warned that Communion can’t be used as a political weapon.

Sure, this is what we would expect from this pope. Warning the President of the United States that his slaughter of millions of his nation’s little babies places his eternal soul in jeopardy is not pastoral care and compassion for the man, but rather an abuse of the bishops’ religious authority. It is to weaponize Communion politically.

Skipping some of the remainder of The Hill’s piece, here is their conclusion:

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics… warned that the decision could backfire on the church with younger people.

“You don’t have to take a stand on this to realize that the bishops’ position on abortion and President Biden is wrongheaded. It really is. It’s not just wrong-headed. It’s short-sighted, and they just seem unaware that a very large percentage of particularly younger Catholics do not identify with many of their positions and they’re leaving the church,” he said.

We live in a world that turns to politicians, journalists, and university professors to define good and evil. Thus spake Zarathustra: “The bishops’ position on abortion and President Biden is wrongheaded. It really is. It’s not just wrongheaded. It’s short-sighted.”

Why?

Well because younger Catholics don’t agree that the slaughter of millions of babies here in the United States year after year, and now billions of little babies around the world, is evil. Which is to say sin. It does not anger God, and who believes in fearing God, anyhow? What a ridiculous idea, that God is to be feared. That He will require of us an accounting for all the blood of the millions and billions of babies whose blood we have shed.

Poor bishops, not able to keep up with the times, and thereby sacrificing their future customers and profits.

What does God say to all this?

For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; and the earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain. (Isaiah 26:21)

The bishops will answer to God if they do not bar President Biden and Representative Lieu from Communion. Biden and Lieu will die for their child slaughter, but God will require their blood from the hands of their bishops. They heard God’s warning, but refused to repeat it to their fat, sleek, and powerful sheep.

Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life. (Ezekiel 33:7-9)

Let this discussion teach Christians never to listen to wolves condemning their shepherds. It’s not sheep who will answer to God for their shepherds, but shepherds who will answer to God for His sheep, and this regardless of the disapproval, catcalls, and scorn of the godless everywhere confident of their own righteousness. They have no fear of God. Their god is never wrathful, never judges, and ever lives to reassure them of their superiority to those under the cross of Jesus Christ, eating His body and drinking His blood—knowing if we refuse to do so, we can have no part of Him and will suffer an eternity of Hell’s worms and flames.


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About The Author

7

Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church since 1996, Tim and Mary Lee have five children and lots of grandchildren. Tim's books include "Daddy Tried," The Grace of Shame," "Church Reformed," "Elders Reformed," and soon a book on marriage. Tim spent ten years in the PC(USA) and twenty in the PCA. He's now a member of Evangel Presbytery.

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