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Bishop Criticizes Biden for Allegedly Disrespecting Catholic Teachings

 May 11, 2024

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has publicly denounced President Joe Biden for what he views as a mocking of the Catholic faith.

Paprocki specifically criticized Biden's actions and statements at a recent abortion rally, accusing him of heretical and sacrilegious behavior, as the Daily Wire reports.

The controversy centers around an incident that occurred during an abortion rights rally in Tampa, Florida, on April 23. President Biden made the sign of the cross while comments were being made about abortion laws by Nikki Fried, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party.

This gesture came in the wake of Biden's promise during his State of the Union Address in March, in which he pledged efforts towards restoring Roe v. Wade.

The rally was also a response to new legislation in Florida that reduced the legal timeframe for abortions from 15 to six weeks of gestation.

Bishops in the US and Spain React to Biden's Actions

Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of the Orihuela-Alicante Diocese in Spain described Biden's use of the sign of the cross as "sacrilegious" and a "desecration." He was quoted by Paprocki, who echoed these sentiments and supported Munilla's views on the sanctity of the gesture.

"Last month on April 23, Biden compounded his support for the sin of abortion by making the sign of the cross during an abortion rally in Tampa, Florida," Bishop Paprocki remarked in his video release titled, "Biden Mocks Our Catholic Faith."

The video also delves into the theological implications of Biden's actions, discussing the concepts of heresy, apostasy, and schismatic behavior.

Exploring the Definition of Heresy in Modern Context

In the video, Bishop Paprocki explains that heresy involves the denial or doubt of truths that must be believed with divine or Catholic faith, such as the Ten Commandments.

He highlighted that supporting abortion could be seen as contradicting the Fifth Commandment, "Thou shall not kill." Paprocki interprets this as an act of heresy.

"If a person says, 'I don’t think adultery’s that big a deal, I reject the teaching,' basically saying, 'I reject the Sixth Commandment and therefore I don’t think adultery’s the problem,' now you’re rejecting something that’s divinely revealed. In that case, you’re entering the area of something that would be considered heretical," Paprocki explained.

Reactions and Implications of Biden's Public Gestures

Biden's public alignment with pro-choice views, particularly in the context of his Catholic faith, has stirred significant controversy. Bishop Paprocki's accusations highlight a deep rift between personal political beliefs and religious teachings within the community.

"I fully support Bishop Munilla and agree with what he said. To misuse this sacred gesture is to make a mockery of our Catholic faith. The Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians says, ‘Make no mistake. God is not mocked.’” Paprocki added in his video.

This incident raises broader questions about the intersection of faith and politics, especially for public figures who are openly religious.

Summary of the Bishop's Condemnation of Presidential Actions

Bishop Paprocki's forceful denunciation of President Biden's actions brings to the forefront the ongoing debate over the role of religion in public life and politics. His video message has resonated with many who hold the view that political actions must align with religious convictions.

This debate is further intensified by the international support from Bishop Munilla, which suggests a broader concern among some in the Catholic hierarchy.

The conversation about the sanctity of religious gestures and their place in political advocacy continues to unfold, challenging both political and religious communities to reflect on their values and actions.

Concluding Reflections on a Complex Issue

In conclusion, the incident involving President Biden at the abortion rally not only highlighted his stance on abortion but also sparked a significant theological and political debate.

Bishops Paprocki and Munilla's strong reactions underscore the tension between church teachings and public policy actions by devout Catholics in leadership positions.