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29 Oct, 2019 18:14

South Carolina priest denies Joe Biden communion over Democratic frontrunner’s stance on abortion

South Carolina priest denies Joe Biden communion over Democratic frontrunner’s stance on abortion

Former US vice president Joe Biden was denied the Catholic sacrament of communion at a South Carolina church, because the priest took issue with his support for abortion, the cleric has confirmed to local media.

Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching,” Father Robert Morey told local media on Monday, confirming he had refused the Democratic presidential hopeful the sacrament during Sunday Mass at Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Florence. 

I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.

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Biden’s campaign office didn’t comment on the snub, nor would it confirm their boss was at Father Morey’s mass, insisting that, if he was, he’d been there in a “private capacity.” Instead, it directed the conversation to the candidate’s appearance at a Baptist church in nearby Hartsville later that day – where, presumably, he’d received a warmer welcome.

Notably, Biden is Catholic, so one could argue that the priest giving him a cold shoulder couldn’t have been a pleasant experience.

The former Delaware senator’s position on abortion has vacillated significantly over the years, depending on who he’s talking to. While he stated in 2012 that he does not personally support abortion, he claimed he didn’t want to impose his beliefs on others, and has more recently said he supports codifying the rights granted by the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the US in 1973.

In June, his campaign revealed that he supported the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or risk to the mother’s life. But just a few days later – perhaps realizing he was the sole candidate in the crowded Democratic field who backed the amendment, which is also supported by Trump – he disavowed it.

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Rather than iron out his positions on thorny issues, Biden has lately focused much of his energy on a less controversial subject – attacking President Donald Trump. Since Sunday’s snub, he has called Trump “an idiot” for not believing in yet-to-be-proven Russian election interference. “Everybody knows” it exists, Biden pleaded with 60 Minutes, in an interview that aired on Sunday.

Biden has also accused the incumbent president of having “no idea” about the struggles of the working class and vowed to “make Donald Trump a one-term president.”

The former VP maintains a lead in polls among voters in South Carolina, an early primary state, though he has slipped to third place in New Hampshire.

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