Joe Biden: 'My Religion Defines Who I Am and I've Been a Practicing Catholic My Whole Life’

By CNSNews.com Staff | August 24, 2020 | 2:50pm EDT
Vice President Joe Biden speaking with Catholic cardinals on the South Lawn of the White House at an arrival ceremony for Pope Francis, Sept. 23, 2015. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
Vice President Joe Biden speaking with Catholic cardinals on the South Lawn of the White House at an arrival ceremony for Pope Francis, Sept. 23, 2015. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Then-Vice President Joe Biden said in an Oct. 11, 2012 vice presidential debate with then Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan that he had been “a practicing Catholic” his whole life and that his Catholic faith “particularly informed my social doctrine.”

“My religion defines who I am, and I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life,” said Biden, “and it has particularly informed my social doctrine.

“With regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as what we call a de fide doctrine,” said Biden. “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,” said Biden. “I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.

“I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women they can't control their body,” he said. “It's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court. I'm not going to interfere with that.”

Here is a transcript of the part of the debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan where Biden says he has been a practicing Catholic his whole life:

Joe Biden: “My religion defines who I am, and I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life, and it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can't take care of themselves, people who need help. With regard to--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. I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women they can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court. I'm not going to interfere with that.”

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