Skip to comments.Biden: 'My Religion Defines My Life;' Pope: 'There Is a Grave & Clear Oblig to Oppose' Leg Abortion
Posted on 10/13/2012 7:42:18 AM PDT by NYer
Vice President Joe Biden gestures during his debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., C with Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate. (AP Photo/Rick Wilking)
(CNSNews.com) - Vice President Joe Biden said in Thursday nights vice presidential debate that life begins at conception, that he accepts the Catholic Churchs position on abortion, and that he believes abortion must be legal.
The Catholic Church's teaching is not only that abortion is always wrong, but also that Catholics in public office have a grave duty to oppose legalizing it while speaking out clearly against it.
The position Biden took on abortion before an audience of many millions in this nationally televised debate was in direct defiance of an ancient moral teaching of the church that has been emphatically restated by the current pope and his immediate predecessor.
Before explaining why he wants aborting unborn children to be legal, Biden told the nation that he had been a practicing Catholic his whole life and that his social views had been formed by the churchs teachings about taking care of those who cant take care of themselves.
Vice President Joe Biden making a point at the Oct. 11, 2012, vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)My religion defines who I am, and I have been a practicing Catholic my whole life, Biden said. And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who cant take care of themselves, people who need help.
With regard to abortion, he said, I accept my churchs position on abortion as a, what we call de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception. Thats the churchs judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christian and Muslims and Jews, and 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, that they cant control their body, said Biden. It is a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court. I am not going to interfere with that.
The actual position of the Catholic Church is that any law legalizing the killing of an unborn child is an unjust law that violates the natural law and is, therefore, no law at all. Vice President Bidens church teaches that it is not acceptable even to obey such laws let alone support them as part of a political campaign.
"Laws which authorize and promote abortion and euthanasia are therefore radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good; as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity." Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1995 encyclical letter, Evangelium Vitae.
Vice President Joe Biden at the Oct. 11, 2012, vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
"Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good," the pope said. "Consequently, a civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law.
"Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize," said the pope. "There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection."
"In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it,'" declared the pope.
In 2002, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote a "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life." The note, approved and published by Pope John Paul II, reiterated that Catholic lawmakers have a "grave and clear obligation" to oppose legalized abortion and other attacks on the right to life. Indeed, here the church said it was "impossible" for a Catholic to promote such laws.
At the same time, legislative proposals are put forward which, heedless of the consequences for the existence and future of human beings with regard to the formation of culture and social behaviour, attack the very inviolability of human life," said this statement of Catholic teaching.
"Catholics, in this difficult situation, have the right and the duty to recall society to a deeper understanding of human life and to the responsibility of everyone in this regard," Cardinal Ratzinger wrote. "John Paul II, continuing the constant teaching of the Church, has reiterated many times that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a «grave and clear obligation to oppose» any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them."
Cardinal Ratzinger also said in this official Vatican statement that Catholics have a similar inalterable duty to defend the rights of human embryos and the institution of marriage.
When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility," said the doctrinal note. "In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands,Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate). Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.In the same way, it is necessary to recall the duty to respect and protect the rights of the human embryo.
"Analogously," wrote Cardinal Ratzinger, "the family needs to be safeguarded and promoted, based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman, and protected in its unity and stability in the face of modern laws on divorce: in no way can other forms of cohabitation be placed on the same level as marriage, nor can they receive legal recognition as such.
Martha Raddatz of ABC News moderated the vice presidential debate. (AP Photo/Michael Reynolds)Biden's explanation of why he is pro-abortion came in response to a question from the debate moderator, Martha Raddatz of ABC News, who specifically made an issue of the fact that both Biden and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan are Catholics.
Raddatz then phrased her question on abortion as if the position these candidates took on the question of whether it ought to be legal to take the life of an unborn child was essentially a denominational and emotional matter, rather than one of rationally applying the immutable natural law--which is expressly referenced in the non-denominational Declaration of Independence signed by the Founding Fathers of this nation--to the question of whether an unborn has the same inalienable right to life as a born child.
"This debate is indeed historic," said Raddatz. "We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. Please talk about how you came to that decision. Talk about how your religion played a part in that? And please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country, please talk personally about this if you could?"
They ARE expelled from their Church. The Pope says it and he is quoted in this thread.
Joe Biden cannot receive Communion without incurring more and more grave sin. He knows this, he learned it in 2nd grade during Communion prep class. This doesn’t change - it hasn’t in two thousand (2000) years and it’s not going to change now, no matter how many president, doctors and Supreme Court Justices say it has changed.
The difference we Americans have is that when we are banned from something legally,, we have police to enforce it. In the Chuch ew Have God to answer to. No amount of anything a bishop could do, if it were a democratic organization, can not trump what God does on the big Day.
Biden knows this and so do all Catholics.
The kids with whom I was watchin g the debate, were so confused at Ryan’s non confrontational manner on this.
That’s easy, though. The debate is not the time and place for it.
“Ave Maria”. Yep.
I know. Hate to be a Polyanna, but Ryan did his job, which was to not screw anything up.
My handicap has him way above Biden, a seasoned smarmy politician who could have minced him on the abortion question, but couldn’t, as Ryan didn’t bite.
Half, if not more, Catholics do not understand this problem. They think the way Biden does. Ryan knows it.
Correction: The Catholic Church's teaching is not only that direct abortion is always wrong,
This wasthe only part of the debate where I was disappointed with Ryan. The only thing that I can offer is that perhaps he was tired by then because it was so near to the end of the debate. I have heard Ryan proclaim the rights of the unborn much more vigorously on ohr occasions. I figure that he was worn down by Joe's antics by then and eager to get to his closing statement, which was very strong.
He just can’t champion the unborn in that forum. And, as Mark Twain put it, “Do not argue with an idiot they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
I think all Ryan could do was get in and out of there without making a mess. He did a great job in that respect.
And Biden is an idiot.
Would not have been Presidential. However, he DID handle it and brilliantly...."Mr. Vice President - I know you're under duress......"
I was always galled by Ted Kennedy getting a full Catholic funeral despite being a staunch supporter of abortion and a moral reprobate. I think the Church would have been better not to give him a funeral to publicly demonstrate his self chosen excommunication.
I heard some news person commenting on the word “duress” and said he should have chosen another word. I don’t remember the reason they gave.
In 1984, Mario Cuomo pioneered the argument that one may be personally opposed to abortion while supporting abortion rights.
Ever since, this convenient locution has become a staple for countless Democratic politicians, particularly Catholic ones. It is Vice President Joe Bidens view and was Senator John Kerrys stance when he ran for president in 2004.
Cuomos argument was a mess. For instance, in order to buttress his argument, he touted the (alleged) refusal of American Catholic bishops to forcefully denounce slavery. The bishops werent hypocrites; they were realists, Cuomo explained. They offered a measured attempt to balance moral truths against political realities.
So, ultimately, we have Mario Cuomo to thank, in part, for the rationale many catholics use when they vote for the democrats.
And Biden is an idiot.
You are 100% right!
"The actual position of the Catholic Church is that any law legalizing the killing of an unborn child is an unjust law that violates the natural law and is, therefore, no law at all. Vice President Bidens church teaches that it is not acceptable even to obey such laws let alone support them as part of a political campaign."
But then if the law did not legalize abortion who commits the crime and what should be the penalty?
OK, here’s a question on ethics for all of us:
We all know that Biden has a history of saying very unwise things, that he seems not to be able to remember the official line of the Administration, and that there are YouTube videos showing him speaking and acting in a way that makes him appear to be drunk. We also know that he has had brain surgery.
After that debate the other night, my clinical spidey-sense started tingling. Inappropriate affect—which is to say, the display of bizarre emotional responses—is one of the first symptoms of dementia. As I saw Biden laughing at the prospect of a nuclear Iran blowing Israel off the map, I wondered if we were seeing dementia. I understand that he’s never been a bright man and that he was a sell-out, a lib, and a hypocrite long before he had any brain problems, but this is getting worse. He’s nuts.
Last night the John Batchelor show had a professor of psychiatry from Stanford who said much the same thing. He cited Biden’s long history of what he called “inadequate reality testing” (self-deception) and inappropriate emotional displays, and he too concluded that something organic is going on with Biden.
So the question is: to what extent do we think a man with early dementia and some kind of organic brain damage is really responsible for his words and decisions? If he speaks and behaves in a hypocritical fashion about his Catholic faith, incurring strong words from Catholic bishops, I’m kind of starting to wonder if he’s just too brain-damaged to know what he’s doing.
What is the sense of the forum on this?
One additional "we also know" - that Obama and Biden are protected by the mainstream media and they can do no wrong.
Biden is one heartbeat away from becoming president. I truly believe that those who tuned into the VP debate may well have reflected on that notion. Those who missed it, have seen enough extracts on various news programs to draw the same conclusion. We need to have faith in the American people. We're not fools and the days when the media could pull the wool over our eyes, are long gone. Two more debates and then it's on to victory!
Gretchen Carlson offered some insight into this behavior on the Friday edition of Fox & Friends. Like Paul Ryan, she is also a midwesterner. She said that his behavior is typical of how midwesterners are raised - to show politeness.
I have heard Ryan proclaim the rights of the unborn much more vigorously on ohr occasions.
Recall that between Biden and Martha Raddatz, he was constantly interrupted. Biden's mannerisms were so distracting that many viewers missed some very important points made by Ryan. From the transcript:
RYAN: And then they put this new Obamacare board in charge of cutting Medicare each and every year in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors. This board, by the way, it's 15 people, the president's supposed to appoint them next year. And not one of them even has to have medical training. And Social Security? If we don't shore up Social Security, when we run out of the IOUs, when the program goes bankrupt, a 25 percent across-the-board benefit cut kicks in on current seniors in the middle of their retirement. We're going to stop that from happening.
I hope Romney has an opportunity to drive those points home in one of the upcoming debates.
Were there no law, then the crime would be murder.
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