What do President Joe Biden and ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick share in common? According to the organizer of a recent conference on Biden's Catholicism, the two men have been "abandoned" by the church's pastors for not having been barred from Communion.
The Vatican's McCarrick Report, which chronicled his decades of abuse of minors and seminarians and was released last fall, illustrates "what happens when the church fails to be church by preferring instead to be, as a practical matter, to be a bureaucracy," said Villanova University professor of law Patrick McKinley Brennan in a virtual conference titled "Taking Measure of the 'Biden Effect': American Catholics and The President."
"What McCarrick needed was callously denied," he said, going on to argue by comparison that Biden's support for legal abortion demands that "the church's pastors ... show the truth" and deny the president Communion.
The conference comes nearly three months after the U.S. bishops disbanded a controversial working group to address issues stemming from Biden's Catholicism and areas in which he differs from church teaching on public policy. A proposal to produce a teaching document on "Eucharistic coherence or consistency" was sent to the U.S. bishops' Committee on Doctrine, with some bishops publicly advocating for Biden to be barred from receiving Communion.
- Less than three months after the formation of a controversial working group to deal with President Joe Biden, the U.S. bishops' conference disbanded the group, which produced a public rupture among the hierarchy.
- Read all of NCR's coverage of The McCarrick Report here.
Immediately following his election in November 2020, then-President-elect Joe Biden said to Jesuit Refugee Service in a public forum that he would raise the refugee ceiling — the number of refugees resettled in the United States each year — to 125,000, a huge increase from the historically low figure of 15,000 set by President Donald Trump in his last year in office.
But on April 16, Biden signed a memorandum that kept the number for fiscal year 2021 at 15,000 set by Trump, sparking a backlash from members of his own party and advocates. Within hours, the administration backtracked and stated that a revised refugee number, presumably much higher than 15,000, would be announced in mid-May.
"What happened between November, when the president committed to 125,000, and now?" asks Kevin Appleby in a commentary for NCR. "Simply put, reality set in, as the administration has begun to realize the political and operational challenges of managing migration to the United States."
- Catholic refugee resettlement groups and advocates are still waiting for President Joe Biden to live up to his campaign promises.
- At Global Sisters Report,
read about how a "community pantry" for the needy in the Philippines
caught immediate attention and inspired others to do the same, including
congregations of women religious.
- ICYMI: A priest in La Crosse, Wisconsin, has been ignoring COVID-19 gathering restrictions
at his Masses while warning people that vaccines are useless and anyone
who imposes virus-related protocols will burn in the "lowest, hottest
levels" of hell.
- ICYMI: Catholic hospital directors in India said they did not have enough facilities to treat patients as India set records for the number of COVID-19 deaths — numbers many people believe were underreported.