Catholic Leaders Criticize Biden for Selective Adherence to Church Teachings

The Catholic archbishop overseeing the Archdiocese of Washington has recently criticized President Joe Biden for selectively adhering to Catholic teachings, a phenomenon he labeled as “cafeteria Catholicism.” This term, used by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, describes individuals who choose which aspects of the faith to follow while ignoring others.

During a speech at the Napa Institute in Washington, D.C., Cardinal Robert Sarah echoed Gregory’s sentiments. Sarah, a prominent West African conservative cardinal, lambasted Biden for his inconsistent adherence to Catholic doctrine, particularly on issues like abortion and gender ideology.

“You have a self-identified Catholic president who is an example of what Cardinal Gregory recently described as a ‘cafeteria Catholic,'” Cardinal Sarah stated. He criticized Biden for celebrating “Transgender Day of Visibility” on Easter Sunday and for his radical stance on abortion, which stands in direct opposition to longstanding Church teachings.

Cardinal Gregory had previously commented on Biden’s selective approach to faith, saying, “There is a phrase that we have used in the past, a ‘cafeteria Catholic.’ You choose that which is attractive and dismiss that which is challenging.” Gregory pointed out that Biden’s position on life issues and his use of faith for political gain are inconsistent with being a devout Catholic.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly states that abortion is a grave moral evil and has been condemned since the first century. “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense,” it declares, attaching the canonical penalty of excommunication to the act.

In 2020, Cardinal Raymond Burke, a canon lawyer, stated that Biden’s stance on abortion meant he was “not a Catholic in good standing and he should not approach to receive Holy Communion.”

Cardinal Sarah emphasized that Biden is not alone in this selective adherence to Catholic teachings. “Many of you Catholic public officials are in the same category. Many of your Catholic hospitals and universities are Catholic in name only,” he said.

Sarah warned that practical atheism — using Scripture and faith for secular purposes — is on the rise among Catholics in the West, though he noted that the United States might be an exception. He lamented the loss of distinct Catholic identity in favor of cultural assimilation and cautioned against the growing influence of secularism within the Church.

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