Cardinal Gregory: Biden “does not demonstrate Catholic teaching” on life
President Biden “fails to demonstrate the Catholic teaching” on life when the CEO denies that life begins at conception, District Archbishop Wilton Gregory told a National Press Club hearing on Wednesday.
Mr. Biden, the second Roman Catholic to be elected president, told reporters at a White House event on September 3: “I have been and continue to be a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade, number one… I respect them, those who believe that life begins at conception and everything, I respect that. I don’t agree, but I respect that.
Cardinal Gregory, responding to a reporter on Wednesday, said: “The Catholic Church teaches and has taught that human life begins at conception. So the president is not demonstrating Catholic teaching.
Mr Biden’s statement on Friday represents a 180-degree turn from his earlier comments on the matter in 2008 and 2012.
In 2012, Mr Biden said during a debate with the then representative. Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, that, “Life begins at conception, it is the judgment of the Church. I accept it in my personal life. Four years earlier, Mr. Biden had said he accepted Roman Catholic teaching “as a matter of faith.”
However, Mr Biden said he would not impose this belief on others.
Cardinal Gregory has not suggested that there would be ecclesiastical consequences for Mr. Biden as a result of this marked departure from Church teaching, and this question was not put to him directly.
Introducing the Archbishop, Lisa Nicole Matthews of The Associated Press noted: “Cardinal Gregory has publicly stated that he has no intention of preventing the President from accepting the Eucharist.
Responding to another abortion-related question, Cardinal Gregory said, “Our Church has not changed its position on the morality of abortion. And I don’t see how we could, because we believe that every human life is sacred.
The Archbishop noted that his mentor, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago, expressed a “cohesive life ethic” in which “the conception of a child is the primary concern of life. But these problems of life must also extend to all other moments of human existence, it is a coherent ethic. “
Before answering Ms. Matthews’ questions as well as those posed by the audience, Cardinal Gregory addressed a series of topics for approximately 25 minutes. He supported Pope Francis ‘environmental activism and said the Archdiocese has implemented its own “Laudato si’” action plan, referring to the Pontiff’s 2015 encyclical.
“I ask the inhabitants of the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholics and non-Catholics, to share Pope Francis’ concern for creation,” said the cardinal, adding: “In matters of environmental justice, we each have an essential role in to play. for creation to ensure the protection of the earth for future generations.
He praised the journalists for their work to “amplify the voices of the community speaking out against injustice and inequality”, but also warned: “we cannot ignore or not recognize the destruction and blatant vulgarity which are often also present in social media and other areas of life, where great harm is done by fraudulent, unverified and biased information that passes for news.
Cardinal Gregory said Catholics and other religions face the challenge of keeping young members in line. “We have a problem,” he said. “And it’s not just a Catholic problem. It is a religious problem.
The Archbishop added: “Whatever we need to do, as Catholics, I think would only be improved by talking to our religious confreres who are facing the same problem.”
Asked about his defrocked predecessor as Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, arraigned in Massachusetts on Friday for sexual abuse, Cardinal Gregory said: It happened, my first thought was for the people he had injured.
Recognizing that the church had often placed an emphasis on protecting the institution, Cardinal Gregory said, “The first point of entry is, how do we care for those who have been injured? This should be the first problem we remove. And we still try to do it. It is difficult when you see the depth of the problem.
In a final ’round of questioning’, Ms Matthews referred to current episodes of ‘pestilence, wars, [and] earthquakes ”, and asked Cardinal Gregory“ Are we in the last days?
The Archbishop hesitated: “I don’t think so. What we do, I think, is live the opportunity, the need to take better care of our environment. Whether you are a supporter of climate change or of energy programs that move away from fossil fuels, [we] have to recognize that if we don’t get this under control, things will get worse.
Another area where Cardinal Gregory covered college sports in the Archdiocese of Washington. Noting that his two main assistants had ties to traditional rivals DeMatha Catholic High School and Gonzaga Catholic High School – whose football teams will face off on October 8 – the Archbishop declined to predict a winner, saying: “When Gonzaga and DeMatha go head to head, I’m not coming to work that day.
Cardinal Gregory also tempered his comments when Ms Matthews asked the Chicago-born Archbishop if he remained a Chicago Bears fan or if he was now rooted for the Washington football team.
“Always bloom where you are planted,” the cleric replied with a smile.