Joe Biden, a favorite in the Democratic primary to face Donald Trump in the presidential elections next year, suffered an awkward moment this Sunday when a pastor from South Carolina refused to give him communion for his stance on abortion.
"Unfortunately, last Sunday I had to reject Holy Communion from former Vice President Joe Biden," said Father Robert Morey of the San Antonio church in the town of Florence.
In a letter sent to the SCNow portal, the pastor said it is his responsibility to guide the souls of the faithful and explained their arguments. “Holy Communion means that we are one with God, with each other and with the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure advocating abortion is placed outside the teaching of the Church. ”RELATED
At the moment, the campaign of the former vice president of Barack Obama did not confirm the incident and simply said that his religious activities are private.
Since the days of John F. Kennedy (the only Catholic president in history), Catholic Democrats have struggled to reconcile the teachings of their church with the politics of their party. That tension has been especially acute when it comes to abortion, with some bishops threatening to deny communion to then Senator John Kerry for his support of the right to abortion when he was a candidate for president in 2004.
But the church has faced a significant change in the 15 years since then, raising questions about whether Biden's passage to abortion is a disadvantage for some voters of faith or a smaller obstacle at a time when that Catholics, like the electorate across the country, are increasingly politically polarized in the era of President Donald Trump.
Biden has demonstrated a deep public connection with his faith, which dates back to the early days of his political career. He regularly attends Mass, has met with Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI, and has credited Catholicism for helping him heal after the death of his son Beau in 2015.
"I am willing to accept for myself, personally, the doctrine of my church" about when life begins, Biden said, "but I am not willing to impose that on anyone else." He also reiterated his support for making the Roe v. Wade, who established jurisprudence to enable abortion, is converted into federal law.
Abortion is not the only issue on which Biden has separated from the official posture of his church. It has long supported the rights of LGBTQs, including same-sex marriage. "Circumstances have changed," he often says to refer to high issues.
Biden is also the only Catholic among the candidates most likely to win the Democratic nomination. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is a Methodist. US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was raised in the Jewish faith, but has described himself as not particularly religious. Mayor Pete Buttigieg was baptized as a Catholic but attends an episcopal church. Andrew Yang identifies himself as spiritual but not religious. Senator Kamala Harris is a Baptist.