Biden ‘counter-witness’ to church teaching, prelates say
August 9th, 2016
By Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON – Three U.S. bishops took to the blogosphere Aug. 5 to comment on Vice President Joseph Biden’s choosing to preside at a marriage of a same-sex couple. Biden officiated at the ceremony of two male White House staff at the vice presidential residence in Washington, D.C, Aug 1.
Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development are the authors of the blogpost that can be found at the USCCB blog, http://usccbmedia.blogspot.com.
“When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnize the relationship of two people of the same sex, confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics,” the prelates said. “What we see is a counter-witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.”
Referencing “Faithful Citizenship,” the bishops’ quadrennial document on political responsibility, the three prelates also noted that “laws that redefine marriage to deny its essential meaning are among those that Catholics must oppose, including in their application after they are passed.”
The three also quoted Pope Francis: “He reminded us that all politicians ‘are called to defend and preserve the dignity of (their) fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.’”
In 2012, Biden said as a Catholic he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex couples marrying, adding they should get “the same exact rights” heterosexual married couples receive.
In their blog post, Archbishops Kurtz and Wenski and Bishop Malone said that “faithful witness can be challenging – and it will only grow more challenging in the years to come – but it is also the joy and responsibility of all Catholics, especially those who have embraced positions of leadership and public service.”
“Let us pray for our Catholic leaders in public life, that they may fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage and offer a faithful witness that will bring much needed light to the world.”
From August 11, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.