Catholic League says Biden’s choice to be Vatican ambassador “contradicts” Church teachings


A Catholic group on Friday condemned President Biden’s choice as US ambassador to the Vatican, describing former Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly as a “rogue Catholic” for his stance on abortion and same-sex marriage.

The White House announced its selection of Donnelly, who represented Indiana in the Senate from 2013 to 2019, a week ago.

But analysis of his voting record shows he went from a pro-life stance to Church teachings on same-sex marriage, according to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

“Several Catholic news outlets, including Catholic News Service, have reported that Joseph Donnelly, President Biden’s candidate to be the new United States Ambassador to the Holy See, is a ‘pro-life’ Democrat,” said group president Bill Donohue.

‘They are wrong.

“Worse, Donnelly doesn’t just disagree with the Catholic Church on abortion, he’s in favor of same-sex marriage, against religious freedom and against school choice.

“When Donnelly was a congressman from Indiana (2007-2013) he was pro-life, but when he became a US Senator (2013-2019) he pivoted and joined the pro-abortion camp. “

President Joe Biden

The White House last week named former Democratic senator from Indiana, Joe Donnelly, as President Biden’s choice to be ambassador to the Vatican. But conservative Catholics say his voting record shows Donnelly out of step with Catholic teaching on abortion and same-sex marriage

Donnelly's appointment announcement comes just ahead of Biden's meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to Rome at the end of the month for the G20 summit

Donnelly’s appointment announcement comes just ahead of Biden’s meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to Rome at the end of the month for the G20 summit

His comments reflect a long-standing tension within the American Catholic Church over Biden and his faith.

Catholic bishops have threatened to deny Communion to Biden, the country’s second Catholic president, for his administration’s stance on abortion.

Biden was denied the sacrament in 2019 ahead of the election.

The issue generated new headlines over the summer when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops drew up a plan that could deny Communion to such public figures.

Pope Francis tried to avoid the split by saying that the bishops should make their decision from a “pastoral” point of view rather than a political position.

“The problem is not theological, it is pastoral,” he said.

“How we bishops manage this principle. We are to be pastors, also with those who are excommunicated. Like God with passion and tenderness.

“The Bible says so.

Biden is due to meet the Pope at the end of the month during a visit to Rome.

Meanwhile, conservative Catholic opponents of Biden have taken hold of his choice of ambassador to the Vatican.

The Catholic League said Donnelly moved to the left during his tenure in Congress.

For example, he was initially one of dozens of Democrats to oppose funding for abortion in the Affordable Care Act when he was before Congress in 2009.

But he then changed his stance and supported the final passage in 2010, bringing it into conflict with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who objected to how this meant religious institutions should fund contraception for women. employees.

Conservative Catholics attacked Biden's choice as Vatican ambassador

Conservative Catholics attacked Biden’s choice as Vatican ambassador

He also cited how the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy organization, increased its congressional scorecard ratings from 30% to 85% over time.

“Joe Donnelly started out as a Catholic official who was primarily in line with the political prescriptions of the Catholic Church,” Donohue said.

“But he ended his government career as an enemy of the Church’s moral teachings. Now he wants to represent the United States in the Vatican.

“There’s a reason Donnelly was co-chair of Catholics for Biden.

“Like our ‘fervent Catholic’ president, he has become a thug.

The White House defended the choice earlier this week.

‘Sir. Donnelly is someone who has a long history in the public service, ” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.

“He is someone who the president says will represent the United States and our interests quite well as ambassador to the Holy See.”

“And he’s impatiently awaiting his confirmation.”

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