Biden’s Catholic outreach claims he shares pope’s priorities

US Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s Catholic outreach is telling undecided Catholic voters that Biden’s priorities align with Pope Francis’s.

The Catholic outreach campaigners (called Catholics for Biden) insistence of the Biden-papal alignment overlooks Biden’s support for federal funding of abortions.

Biden has pledged to support taxpayer-funded abortion and codify legal abortion in law. His “public option” health care plan would also cover elective abortions.

Pope Francis has made forceful denunciations of abortion, likening it to “hiring a hitman.” He has also condemned selective abortion of the disabled as “the same as the Nazis to maintain the purity of the race, but with white gloves.”

The U.S. bishops’ document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” also denounces abortion, describing it as a “preeminent” threat to human life.

Speakers at Catholics for Biden’s online campaign launch urged Catholics not to be single-issue voters on abortion and challenged President Trump’s pro-life record while in office.

After the launch, Catholics for Biden promoted an online quiz, “Are you a Pope Francis Voter?”

The quiz told participants “Donald Trump rejects the vast majority of Catholic Social Teaching,” while comparing Biden’s views favourably with those of Francis.

It went on to describe a “Pope Francis Voter” as someone who considers racism, poverty, migration and healthcare as “sacred issues” to be prioritized in the voting booth.

Biden’s policies will protect people in poverty, the elderly, and migrants and reject racism, the quiz continued.

Catholics for Biden co-opted the phrased “sacred issues” from the pope’s 2018 apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate – although they overlooked the primary context of his statement.

What Francis actually said was that “all human life, born and unborn is sacred”.

He also said “this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right …

“… the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection” are equally sacred.

A 2020 election scorecard promoted by Catholics for Biden outlines “Equally Sacred Priorities” that equate abortion with a number of other issues in importance.

“In his writing and speaking, Pope Francis makes it clear: abortion is not the only issue that matters,” the scorecard states.

The scorecard was produced by Network, the social justice lobby led by Sister Simone Campbell, who led a prayer at the 2020 Democratic National Convention and endorsed Biden at Thursday night’s event.

Asked if her organization opposes legal abortion, Campbell replied: “That is not our issue. That is not it. It is above my pay grade.”

The scorecard notes that Trump, and not Biden, is seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade, but adds that Biden, and not Trump, would increase support for pregnant women and fight maternal mortality.


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