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Biden Stammers as Reporter Confronts Him on Conflict Between Catholic Faith and Support for Abortion

  Whether unborn children live or die is a fine point of theology, President Joe Biden said during an Ash Wednesday encounter with a reporte...

 Whether unborn children live or die is a fine point of theology, President Joe Biden said during an Ash Wednesday encounter with a reporter near the White House.

Biden took questions from the media as he walked from the White House to his waiting presidential helicopter, Marine One.

With a smudge of ash on his forehead he reportedly received at the White House from Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Biden joked with reporters that he was giving up sweets for Lent, according to a White House transcript of his comments.

Biden was then asked why, as a member of the Roman Catholic Church, he supports abortion, as he did during his State of the Union message.

“As a Catholic, why do you support abortion as a Catholic, defying church teachings?” Biden was asked.

First lady Jill Biden then scurried to the rescue and gave the president a tug on the arm as a cue to move away from the media.

“Well, I tell you what, I don’t want to get in a debate with you on theology.  But, you know — well, anyway,” Biden said.

Biden and the reporter then proceeded to talk over each other.

“But why?” the reporter asked.  “Why support abortion as a pro-life …”

“I’m not — I’m not going to make a — I’m not going to make a judgment for other people,” Biden said.

The reporter made one last effort to get an answer.

“If you’re Catholic, why — why defy church teaching?” the reporter said.

As social media postings show, Biden’s position on abortion is fiercely criticized among Catholics.

Although the Catholic Church condemns abortion, the individual political implications are thorny, particularly on the issue of giving communion to high-profile supporters of legal abortion such as Biden.

Although some Catholic bishops last year wanted to pass a resolution denying communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians, the final document the bishops conference approved in November did not take such a strong stand, according to CNN,

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, has said the critical issue should be finding common ground with Biden.

“If a politician is targeted as a negative example by his own church, that sets a sad context in which the church can deal with this Catholic president,” Stowe said in April, while the bishops debated the subject, according to an Associated Press report from the time. “It contributes to the polarization of the church and of society.”

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone however, has said the church needs to make a stand.

“Abortion is not just one among many important issues. … It’s a direct attack on human life,” he said in April, according to the AP. “There’s a growing sense of urgency.”

Pro-abortion Catholic politicians “need to understand the scandal that is caused when they say they are faithfully Catholic and yet oppose the church on such a basic concept,” he said.

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