2 Catholic Bishops: Biden Not to Speak at Catholic Schools; Should Not Receive Communion

By Michael W. Chapman | September 24, 2015 | 5:49 PM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden.  (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – Although Vice President Joe Biden says he is “a practicing Catholic” and believes that life begins at conception -- but he would not “say that” to people who “have a different view” -- his former bishop forbade Biden from speaking at Catholic schools,  and the bishop for Colorado Springs has said Biden should not present himself for Communion at Mass.

Also, in a document cited by the Wilmington, Del., office of Biden’s former bishop – Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli, who died in 2009 – it states that “Catholic politicians who take pro-abortion legislative positions … should never be put forward as a model of a Catholic in public life,” and “their acting consistently to support abortion on demand risks making them cooperators in evil in a public manner.”

Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli headed the Catholic diocese of Wilmington, Del., from November 1995 to July 2008; the new bishop, Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, was not installed until Sept. 8, 2008 and he still serves there today.

In a 2008 interview, LifeSiteNews asked the communications director of the Wilmington diocese, Bob Krebs,  about then-Sen. Biden’s (D-Del.) long-record of support for abortion in light of him potentially being elected as vice president to Barack Obama.

Krebs referred the inquiry to Bishop Saltarelli’s 2004 statement on Catholics in Political Life, which is based on the 2004 document issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops entitled Catholics in Political Life.

Bishop Saltarelli wrote, “Our Catholic institutions will not honor Catholic politicians who take pro-abortion legislative positions or invite them to speak at our functions or schools. While they are to be treated civilly, respectfully and with gospel charity, they should never be put forward as a model of a Catholic in public life.”

Saltarelli then cited the USCCB document as follows, "It is with pastoral solicitude for everyone involved in the political process that we will also counsel Catholic public officials that their acting consistently to support abortion on demand risks making them cooperators in evil in a public manner.”

“We will persist in this duty to counsel, in the hope that the scandal of their cooperating in evil can be resolved by the proper formation of their consciences,” says the document.

Michael A. Saltarelli, the former

bishop for the Catholic diocese of

Wilmington, Del.

Bishop Saltarelli commented, “The promotion of abortion by any Catholic is a grave and serious matter. Objectively, according to the constant teaching of the Scriptures and the Church, it would be more spiritually beneficial for such a person to refrain from receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.  I ask Catholics in this position to have the integrity to respect the Eucharist, Catholic teaching and the Catholic faithful.”

In 2012, when Vice President Joe Biden was campaigning for re-election with President Barack Obama, a reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette asked the local bishop if he would allow Biden to receive Communion at Mass should he stop in Colorado Springs.

Bishop Michael Sheridan, who oversees the diocese of Colorado Springs, said, “He [Biden] should know, and I would do everything I could do to make sure that he knows, he ought not to be receiving Communion.”

Bishop Sheridan also made that there were certain non-negotiable issues that, if supported by a Catholic politician, would prohibit them from receiving Communion. They include abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia and same-sex marriage.

Bishop Sheridan also said that religious liberty should be added to the non-negotiable’s list, which would include the Obamacare mandate that nearly all health care plans provide contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs without co-payments.

W. Francis Malooly, current bishop for the

diocese of Wilmington, Del. (AP)

During the vice presidential debate in October 2012, Biden said, “With regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as a, what we call de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception. That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman [Paul Ryan].”

In an interview on Sept. 21, 2015,  Biden said,  “I’m prepared to accept that at the moment of conception there’s human life and being, but I’m not prepared to say that to other God-fearing, non-God-fearing people that have a different view.”

Regarding the claim from many Catholic politicians that they personally oppose abortion but do not seek to promote their belief or impose it on others, Bishop Saltarelli said, “No one today would accept this statement from any public servant: ‘I am personally opposed to human slavery and racism but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.’”

Michael J. Sheridan, bishop for

the diocese of Colorado Springs. (AP)

“Likewise,” said the bishop, “none of us should accept this statement from any public servant: ‘I am personally opposed to abortion but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.’”

Vice President Joe Biden strongly supports the Obamacare mandate and abortion and gay marriage.

At his home in Wilmington, Del., Biden reportedly regularly attends St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Greenville, Del., headed by Pastor Joseph Rebman, which is part of the Diocese of Wilmington, and also sometimes attends St. Patrick Church, also in Wilmington.

In November 2012, CNSNews.com repeatedly contacted the diocesan office by email and telephone, and asked Bishop W. Francis Malooly, given Biden’s support for abortion and homosexual marriage whether he agreed that the vice president should know “he ought not to be receiving Communion.”

Bishop Malooly’s office did not respond to CNSNews.com’s inquiries.

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman