The uber-Catholics who run CNSNews.com hate President Biden, a fellow Catholic, for not imposing his religious beliefs on an entire nation by outlawing abortion. So they were predictably galled that Biden went to Rome last month to meet with Pope Francis. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman huffed in an Oct. 22 article:
Because President Joe Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion and yet still presents himself for Holy Communion at Sunday Mass -- in defiance of Church teaching -- the Catholic-based Life Site News has launched a petition calling on Pope Francis to formally discipline Biden when they meet in Rome on Oct. 29.
The petition urges the Pope "to tell Biden that he will face formal excommunication because of his public and obstinate promotion of abortion, and that if he wishes to return to communion with the Church he must immediately and publicly stop and repent from his active support of the culture of death."
The petition also notes that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has done nothing "to directly and publicly address how Biden's radical, public promotion of abortion affects his standing in the Church."
It's interesting that Chapman describes LifeSite News as "Catholic-based" when it's better known for violating a commandment or two by spreading lies and misinformation about COVID. And CNS really hates U.S. bishops for following Rome and not Republicans by its refusal to make a big show of punishing Biden over his abortion stance.
Editor in chief Terry Jeffrey devoted his Oct. 27 column to bashing Biden for being un-American for not opposing abortion:
A Catholic American president will travel to Rome this Friday to meet with Pope Francis.
There is a very profound and obvious issue they could discuss: Is it OK for a politician of any religious faith, or even none at all, to violate the natural law and support the deliberate killing of unborn babies?
President Joe Biden unambiguously supports legalized abortion and forcing taxpayers to pay for it. That puts him at odds not just with his church but with the founding principle of his country.
Is this something that Pope Francis should discuss with Biden when they meet on Friday? Should the pope tell Biden to change his position on abortion now and stop advocating for the extermination of unborn babies and instead defend their God-given right to life?
The same day, right-wing Catholic agitator Bill Donohue spewed his usual hate:
President Biden is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis in Rome on Friday. For the pope, it will be routine: he meets with heads of state all the time, and he has no compelling reason to meet with Biden. The reverse is not true: Biden is in trouble with U.S. bishops and needs to milk this event for all it's worth.
The White House knows that the president will be on the minds of the bishops when the USCCB meets in a few weeks in Baltimore. It is in their interest, then, to put a happy face on the meeting with the pope. The optics are critical: pictures of the two men smiling and shaking hands will be posted everywhere.
To what end? It's a defensive strategy. This will enable the Biden team to argue that although some of his policies depart from, or undercut, Church teachings, they are of no real consequence.
Biden is not only pro-abortion, he has become increasingly more rabid in his support for abortion rights the older he gets. For most of his career in politics, which spans a half-century, he at least put the brakes on his support for publicly funded abortions. No more—the brakes are shot.
Biden not only supports gay marriage, he officiated at one. And as president, he has shown his contempt for the Church's teaching on gender ideology, even going so far as to promote to admiral a man who falsely claims to be a woman. Worse, the president refuses to label sex transition surgery on minors as child abuse.
Another Oct. 27 article, by Melanie Arter, noted that "When White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked at her briefing on Wednesday whether President Joe Biden agrees with Pope Francis that abortion is murder, she responded that Biden 'believes in a woman's right to choose.'" A separate, anonymously written article posted a couple hours later reiterated much of Arter's piece.
The next day, Donohue declared that because "The media have been mostly barred from covering the meeting" between Biden and the pope, "the optics that the White House was counting on are dead in the water," adding: "Kudos to the Vatican. They know when they are being used."
Patrick Goodenough hyped that "Shortly before meeting with a Catholic president who according to the White House 'supports a woman’s right to choose' to abort her baby or carry it to term, Pope Francis publicly reaffirmed the church’s teaching that the life of 'every child conceived … is sacred and inviolable.'"
On the day of the meeting, Jeffrey promoted a tweet from a bishop who apparently believes he can lecture the pope about being Catholic:
Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, publicly urged Pope Francis in a tweet he sent out on Wednesday to challenge President Joe Biden on his support for abortion.
“Dear Pope Francis,” Bishop Tobin said in the tweet, “You have boldly stated that abortion is ‘murder.’ Please challenge President Biden on this critical issue.
“His persistent support of abortion is an embarrassment for the Church and a scandal to the world,” the bishop said.
CNS' only "news" article after the meeting, however was an anonymously written piece rewrote and partially copied a New York Times report in which Biden said "the pope had told him he was happy Biden was a 'good Catholic' and said that he 'should keep receiving communion,'" and that "the issue of abortion had not come up during their meeting." From there, it was left to Donohue to whine. In one column, he wrote:
The Vatican has not confirmed the veracity of Biden's account.
Like everyone else, we at the Catholic League have no way of knowing whether Biden's remarks are accurate. But from what we know about the Vatican's handling of the meeting and Biden's long record of lying about many important matters, we are maintaining a healthy skepticism about the president's rendition.
It is certainly in Biden's interest to have everyone think that the pope encouraged him to keep receiving communion.
We could bring up Donohue's lengthy history of dishonesty, but that might be a bit gauche. Donohue, however, is not troubled by feelings of gaucheness or shame, so he ranted some more in a Nov. 2 column:
At the same press conference, Biden was asked, "Did you discuss the U.S. Conference of Bishops?" He answered, "That's a private conversation." This begs the question: Why would a discussion of the bishops' conference be considered a private matter but not one that affects him personally, namely his suitability to receive Communion?
It is entirely possible that Biden is lying.
After admitting that abortion never came up, he quickly pivoted. Why? Because he saw an opening, an opportunity to report to the press the most important thing he wanted from the pope—a chance to undercut those U.S. bishops who are deeply troubled about his pro-abortion record (they will be meeting in less than two weeks to discuss this subject). Having been denied the photo-op the White House desperately wanted, he had to come away with something that served his interest. The Communion issue had to be in the forefront of his mind.
Our incurious media are not asking these questions. That's because they want to protect the pope and the president, both of whom they like.
There are too many unanswered questions to put this matter to rest. The unwillingness of the Vatican to confirm or deny Biden's account, and Biden's inconsistent and implausible responses—only adds to the problem. This doesn't make either side look good.
Donohue doesn't explain why he is at war with the head of his church. If he is the devout Catholic he wants us all to believe he is, shouldn't he be subservient to the pope? He's too busy bashing Biden's purported disloyalty to the Church to explain his own.
Jeffrey took a post-meeting shot at Biden in his Nov. 3 column:
The activities of the Biden administration this past Friday featured two remarkable and profoundly contradictory events.
In Rome, President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis. In Washington, his Justice Department filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing there is a "right" to kill an unborn baby with a beating heart.
Jeffrey again emphasized that the pope called abortion murder. which feeds into the CNS narrative that any politician who fails to outlaw abortion is a murderer.