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Biden called ‘counter-witness’ to Church teaching for presiding at same-sex wedding

Three bishops wrote a blog post responding to Joe Biden’s decision to officiate at a same-sex wedding

By officiating at a same-sex wedding, Vice President Joe Biden as a prominent Catholic politician has created confusion over Church teaching on marriage and “the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics,” three US bishops said on August 5.

“Questions revolving around marriage and human sexuality are deeply felt in our homes and communities,” said the bishops. “We join with our Holy Father Pope Francis in affirming the inviolable dignity of all people and the Church’s important role in accompanying all those in need. In doing so, we also stand with Pope Francis in preserving the dignity and meaning of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, was joined by two USCCB chairmen in writing a blog post about Biden presiding at a same-sex wedding of two longtime White House aides on August 1. The posting is on the USCCB blog.

Signing on to the blog were Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

“The two strands of the dignity of the person and the dignity of marriage and the family are interwoven. To pull apart one is to unravel the whole fabric,” they wrote.

“When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnise 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. Pope Francis has been very clear in affirming the truth and constant teaching of the Church that same-sex relationships cannot be considered ‘in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,’” they continued, quoting from Amoris Laetitia, the Pope’s apostolic exhortation summing up two synods on the family.

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.”

“Such witness is always for the sake of the common good,” they added.

Archbishops Kurtz and Wenski and Bishop Malone also quoted from Pope Francis’s address to Congress last September: “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.’”

“Catholic politicians in particular are called to ‘a heroic commitment’ on behalf of the common good and to ‘recognise their grave responsibility in society to support laws shaped by these fundamental human values and oppose laws and policies that violate (them),’” the three added, again quoting from the Pope’s words to US lawmakers.

According to AP, the wedding of Joe Mahshie and Brian Mosteller took place at the vice president’s official residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory. The two asked Biden to officiate, AP said, adding that the vice president had to get a temporary license to do so from the District of Columbia to make the marriage legal.

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. Shortly after that President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage. In a June 2015 ruling, the US Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in the nation. Biden also has long-supported keeping abortion legal.

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.” The three bishops said. “And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses wherever we are called.”



  1. Tom Rafferty Reply

    The Catholic Church is at a crossroad within reality. The dogma of 2,000 years is meeting the science of the present. Science shows that sex and gender are on continuums and are not binary. If The Catholic Church continues to reject science (as it has on several topics throughout its history), it will continue on the road to irrelevancy. If it drops its dogmatic stance on sex and gender, its traditional authority hammer will be destroyed. Either way, good riddance.

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “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.’”
    Yes, defending and preserving the dignity of our LGBT brothers and sisters is in pursuit of the common good, and congratulations to VP Biden for putting the good of his fellow citizens ahead of the good of the RCC and its Bronze and Iron Age man-made, dogma.
    “Catholic politicians in particular are called to ‘a heroic commitment’ on behalf of the common good and to ‘recognise their grave responsibility in society to support laws shaped by these fundamental human values and oppose laws and policies that violate (them),’”

    Again, VP Biden has made a commitment (how heroic is it to do the right thing?) on behalf of the common good – to rid our society of the prejudice, bigotry and hate that is propagated by the Church. He is supporting fundamental human values and is opposing laws and policies that violate them, and for this VP Biden is to be congratulated and honored by decent and honorable Americans.

  3. Doug Reply

    “…confusion over church teaching…) What ?!?! There is no confusion here. It’s very simple. Biden is a liberal politician who has aligned himself with a totally anti-Christian administration. The fact that church leaders have embraced this imploding posture doesn’t mean that there’s confusion over church teaching, except perhaps in Mr. Biden’s mind and soul. He is simply working against church teaching. How about we stop bending over backward to repaint Mr. Biden and admit that he is NOT living the Catholic faith.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      Yeah! And take away his “Bigotry and Prejudice” merit badge, too. He doesn’t deserve to be a Catholic. Hmm…. “Bigotry and Prejudice” – actually, that’s one of the Sacraments, isn’t it? I forget which one that is…

  4. Akuegbulem Bennett C Reply

    The spirit of God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. As a product of man and woman, I vehemently oppose this unethical act of Joe Biden .I am not alarmed, because,some of these trends happening are in line with the scriptural revelations of the things that must take place before, the second glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Same sex marriage is just the beginning, Joe Biden may be a Catholic, is he a Christian, and a Catholic Christian? It is very unfortunate for these elements who masquerade themselves at the altar of “RIGHT” promoting immorality in our society. I pray God to help them come back to their senses like the biblical prodigal son, repent and receive God’s mercy now or reject God’s mercy and now and suffer severely later. God’s judgement will start from the house of God, it is not the of the world that be influenced or compromised.

  5. James cardoza Reply

    For the church it is important to be faithful to God rather than try to be popular.

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