In a nation where our founding documents were designed to emulate the Bible and where “In God We Trust” is still found on our currency, it should be a surprise to no one that the religious beliefs of our president are quite an important thing. No, I’m sure the importance isn’t nearly what it once was.
But having a leader who believes in something bigger than himself and then sticks to those beliefs is something that most of us enjoy seeing. If anything, it makes the more relatable and humbler, right?
Over the 200 and so years since we adopted our democracy, most of our leaders have been Christian in one form or another. Over the years, the names of those more specific faiths have changed somewhat. Some were Baptist, some Methodist, some Episcopalian, and some Unitarians. And most of those faiths can be grouped into a larger one called protestant.
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Joe Biden is a bit different. While he is still “Christian,” he is only the second US president to claim to be Catholic.
In fact, over the years since he’s been in office, both before and during his tenure at the White House, he’s been described as a “devout” Catholic. This means that he attends mass regularly and supposedly is very true to that faith in his beliefs and actions.
And yet, it would seem that his faith does not so readily accept him back.
Or at least that’s the message that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre seemed to give as to why the 46th president did not attend Pope Benedict’s funeral on Thursday at the Vatican.
According to the statement Jean-Pierre gave on Tuesday, “The US Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, will represent the United States at the funeral of the pope, in line with the wishes of the late pope and the Vatican.”
She added that this is what the Vatican seemed to express as their desire. They didn’t want Biden to attend but instead asked for only Donnelly. And so that is what is going to happen.
The question as to why could be one to two things, or more likely, a good mixture of both.
The first is as Biden suggested when he was asked on Wednesday as to why he would not be attending. After trying to get out of answering and claiming that the reporter already knew, he said that such a trip would essentially be a logistical nightmare, both for the White House and the Vatican.
And he’s not exactly wrong. As Biden said, some 100 or so individuals would have to attend in addition to Biden himself, just for safety reasons. And this would quite naturally take away from the funeral and, as Biden said, would be “in the way.”
It’s likely the Vatican agrees and doesn’t want the headaches that would accompany such an appearance.
On the other hand, perhaps they just don’t want Biden as a person and his so-called example of the faith there.
Well, perhaps it’s that he’s not so devout after all. I mean, what kind of Catholic believes such things as abortion is ok? Or gay marriages, transgender students, or euthanasia?
Catholics are usually known for quite the opposite, in fact. And the papacy agrees that they should be.
They have actually even set forth guidelines for all Catholic Church leaders that all “pro-abortion Catholic politicians” should be denied the act of communion. If you know much about Catholicism or even Christianity in general, communion is viewed as an act in which only the righteous and forgiven can and should participate in to become one with Christ.
For Biden to be denied the act essentially means that he is in the wrong and that even God has not forgiven him for his sins of supporting abortion.
Biden also slighted the Church and the faith in June 2021of when he flew an LBGT flag at the US embassy on the Vatican grounds. As you can imagine, the decision was probably not well received by the pope, as the Church strongly supports traditional marriages and gender norms.
No wonder they don’t want him around to honor the late pope.