Joe Biden angered three Catholic bishops by officiating a same-sex wedding ceremony, and now they have written a lengthy blog post to hit back.
Last week, Mr. Biden made headlines by announcing via social media that he was honored to officiate the same-sex marriage of two longtime friends and White House staffers – Brian Mosteller and Joe Mahshie.
The wedding took place on August 1 at Biden’s residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory, and it was attended by close family members of the grooms. Biden shared a beautiful black and white picture of the ceremony with the following caption:
“Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house. Couldn’t be happier, two longtime White House staffers, two great guys.”
The post went viral with several thousands of Likes and retweets. While most people were applauding Biden for his actions, Catholics were angry.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, of Louisville, Kentucky, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development posted a lengthy article in U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) entitled “Faithful Witness to Marriage.”
Kurtz, Malone, and Wenski opted not to mention Biden by name, but made sure to let him know that his actions are not acceptable in the Catholic Church. The Catholic bishops reminded Biden numerous times in the post that Pope Francis has made it clear that marriage between a man and a woman is sacred. The trio wrote:
“Questions revolving around marriage and human sexuality are deeply felt in our homes and communities. 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. 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 went on to call Biden to respect the Biblical laws:
“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. What we see is a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.”
The message concluded by:
“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.”1 Laws that redefine marriage to deny its essential meaning are among those that Catholics must oppose, including in their application after they are passed.2 Such witness is always for the sake of the common good.”
Biden has not responded to the bishops, and no one expects him to. According to religious experts, Biden’s “actions do not merit any specific punishment under current canon law.” Activists were thrilled by Biden’s move, but then again, they were not surprised. Biden, a passionate Catholic, supported gay marriage in 2012, ahead of both President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Biden stated in the past:
“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights. All the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”
Sarah McBride, the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, who worked with the late Beau Biden, issued a roaring statement, which read:
“Joe Biden is a deeply religious person and, like other Americans, likely supports equality not in spite of his faith, but, in large part, because of it.He recognizes that we are all God’s children and a central tenet of practically every faith is to love your neighbor, even if that message is not always preached from pulpit when it comes to LGBTQ people.”
Biden’s popularity has been rising in recent months.
Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house. Couldn't be happier, two longtime White House staffers, two great guys. pic.twitter.com/0om1PT7bKh
— Vice President Biden (@VP) August 1, 2016