CBS Warns of Church ‘Weaponizing’ Communion Against Biden

While the leftist media have constantly tried to paint President Biden as a “devout Catholic” despite his numerous ideological conflicts with Church teaching, on Thursday, CBS This Morning at least acknowledged that the Democratic politician’s support for abortion put him at odds with his faith. However, the report ultimately warned the Church against “weaponizing” the Sacrament of Communion against the stridently pro-abortion president.

“And while President Biden has focused on global issues this week, there’s another battle that can directly affect the Church-going president,” fretted fill-in co-host Adriana Diaz as she introduced the segment. She explained: “The debate centers around whether Roman Catholic politicians who also support abortion rights should be allowed to receive communion.”

With the headline “Catholic Communion Fight,” blaring on screen, correspondent Ed O’Keefe worried:

Whether in Washington, his home state of Delaware, or even in England this past weekend, one thing is constant – President Biden heads to Catholic mass….But the President’s faith is under a new spotlight this week as the nation’s more than 200 Catholic bishops gather virtually. Among the topics to be discussed – whether high-profile Catholic politicians should be denied communion if they support abortion rights.

The reporter spun that Biden “has said he’s personally opposed to abortion,” before acknowledging that then-presidential candidate adopted a more radical pro-abortion stance in 2019 as he “dropped his long-standing opposition to federal funding for abortion procedures.”

O’Keefe noted: “The decision to give communion is still up to each of the country’s more than 200 diocesan bishops.” He then observed that while “Washington’s Cardinal, Wilton Gregory, says he plans to give communion to the President,”  San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone “says he wouldn’t give President Biden communion, in part because the President’s publicly at odds with an issue the Church considers very important.”

Rather than leave it at that, O’Keefe decided to line up a series of voices blasting any effort by Church officials to hold Biden accountable for openly backing abortion:

But others disagree. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy wrote last month that “weaponizing the Eucharist will bring the terrible partisan divisions that have plagued our nation into the very act of worship.”

Polls show Church membership has steadily declined over the years, and Catholic University’s Kurt Martens says public debate over Mr. Biden’s faith could be harmful.

A soundbite ran of Martens, a supposed Canon Law Professor, scolding: “If you single out a president or any Catholic politician, you’re blowing up bridges. A dialogue is much better than the finger lifted trying to say from the pulpit, ‘Here is what you’re going to do.’” After all, the last thing any religion should ever do is offer moral guidance to anyone.  

O’Keefe touted the White House calling Biden “a strong person of faith,” before hyping how “the Vatican is strongly urging American Catholic bishops not to take up this issue today, arguing that it would politicize the Eucharist.”

When Democrats like Biden use their faith as a political tool to promote themselves or lecture their opponents, the liberal media never warn of “weaponizing” religion or find pundits to accuse those politicians of “blowing up bridges.” However, when Catholic Church officials want to assert fundamental moral principles it’s tarred as “harmful.”

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Here is a full transcript of the June 17 segment:

8:03 AM ET

ADRIANA DIAZ: And while President Biden has focused on global issues this week, there’s another battle that can directly affect the Church-going president. The debate centers around whether Roman Catholic politicians who also support abortion rights should be allowed to receive communion. A decision would not only affect President Biden, others like Nancy Pelosi, our House Speaker, is also Catholic. Ed O’Keefe reports on this complicated and sensitive debate.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Catholic Communion Fight; Debate Over Whether Abortion Rights Advocates Should Receive Communion]

BIDEN SUPPORTER: Thank you!

ED O’KEEFE: Whether in Washington, his home state of Delaware, or even in England this past weekend, one thing is constant – President Biden heads to Catholic mass.

PETER ALEXANDER [NBC NEWS]: Mr. President, how’s that Church?

JOE BIDEN: Beautiful.

O’KEEFE: But the President’s faith is under a new spotlight this week as the nation’s more than 200 Catholic bishops gather virtually. Among the topics to be discussed – whether high-profile Catholic politicians should be denied communion if they support abortion rights. CBS News Papal and Vatican contributor Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo says the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion is clear.

MONSIGNOR ANTHONY FIGUEIREDO: And even Pope Francis, you know, he has called it an abomination.

O’KEEFE: The bishops’ focus will be on whether to draft an official document clarifying the Church’s position on receiving the Sacrament of Communion.

FIGUEIREDO: Sometimes the Church has really failed on making the Church’s teaching known and understood.

O’KEEFE: Catholic Church policy says that any parishioner in good standing can receive communion at mass. But bishops are divided over whether a vocal political supporter of abortion rights qualifies. The President has said he’s personally opposed to abortion, but in 2019, dropped his long-standing opposition to federal funding for abortion procedures.

BIDEN: But circumstances have changed.

O’KEEFE: The decision to give communion is still up to each of the country’s more than 200 diocesan bishops. Washington’s Cardinal, Wilton Gregory, says he plans to give communion to the President.

BISHOP WILLIAM KOENIG: I’m most grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his trust that he’s placed in me.  

O’KEEFE: But the incoming Bishop of Wilmington, Delaware, the President’s home diocese, hasn’t said what he would do. San Francisco’s Archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, one of the most vocal critics of politicians who support abortion rights, will be part of this week’s discussions. But he says they’re not only about abortion.

ARCHBISHOP SALVATORE CORDILEONE: Helping people return to the Holy Eucharist, understanding what it is and appreciating the gift and that they’re living their life in a way that is coherent with what it means to receive Holy Communion.

O’KEEFE: Cordileone says he wouldn’t give President Biden communion, in part because the President’s publicly at odds with an issue the Church considers very important.

CORDILEONE: We praise where we can, but we need to correct where we need to correct.

O’KEEFE: But others disagree. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy wrote last month that “weaponizing the Eucharist will bring the terrible partisan divisions that have plagued our nation into the very act of worship.”

Polls show Church membership has steadily declined over the years, and Catholic University’s Kurt Martens says public debate over Mr. Biden’s faith could be harmful.

KURT MARTENS [CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY CANON LAW PROFESSOR]: If you single out a president or any Catholic politician, you’re blowing up bridges. A dialogue is much better than the finger lifted trying to say from the pulpit, “Here is what you’re going to do.”

O’KEEFE: Asked for comment about the implications of this meeting on the President, the White House said simply, quote, “The President is a strong person of faith.” Final resolution on this likely won’t come until November at the earliest, when the bishops are scheduled to meet again. And the Vatican is strongly urging American Catholic bishops not to take up this issue today, arguing that it would politicize the Eucharist. Tony?

TONY DOKOUPIL: Very interesting, Ed, thank you very much.

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