Top Catholic bishops criticize Biden for officiating at gay marriage

Aug 9, 2016

(RNS) When Vice President Joe Biden last week tweeted a photo of himself proudly officiating at the same-sex civil wedding of two White House staffers, it quickly became fodder for news stories and commentary both pro and con — the latter by religious conservatives who thought Biden was betraying his Catholic faith and deserved a rebuke.

The Catholic hierarchy was notably quiet, however, until Friday (Aug. 5) when three leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted a statement clearly directed at Biden and criticizing him for presenting “a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.”

“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,” wrote Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the USCCB, who was joined by Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., and Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski.


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28 comments on “Top Catholic bishops criticize Biden for officiating at gay marriage

  • Much ado about nothing.

    Evidently the arrogance of Catholic bishops still leaves them thinking they can ignore the laws of the land. I can just see the ghost of ex-Justice Scalia hopping up and down on an old copy of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, abandoned in the 60s. My father left the RCC because he fell out with a bullying priest telling him what he couldn’t read. In his case The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas. Whilst the world has moved on, the RCC seems still stuck 200 years behind the rest of us.



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  • @OP – The Catholic hierarchy was notably quiet, however, until Friday (Aug. 5) when three leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted a statement clearly directed at Biden and criticizing him for presenting . . . . . . .
    “a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.”

    Ah! The “knowledge of troooof” which is conferred by delusional thinking!

    “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,” wrote Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz,

    It must be terrible for the bishops to realise that there are Catholics in politics, who can actually THINK about moral and legal issues, without being a bishop’s puppets – despite the earlier best efforts of the church’s indoctrinators!

    After all!
    There is a serious threat, that the confused sheeples in the congregations, might also learn from such examples, to think for themselves, and then make self-important bigoted bishops redundant, forcing them out into the real world to work for a living doing something useful, rather than just being dogma parrots!



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  • bonnie2 #4
    Aug 9, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    @ #1 – …self-important bigoted bishops…

    @ your link Bishop Holds Exorcism of Gay Marriage Law
    Be gone Satan, father of lies, enemy of human salvation, Paprocki said!

    Be gone Bishop Paprocki, father of delusion, enemy of rational thought,
    your mental institution awaits!



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  • The bishops are the bad guys. They are bigots. They are motivated by custom.
    They have seen people will no longer put up with them. The more they pull stunts like this the faster the entire Catholic church will crumble.



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  • Where specifically in the Bible does it say that marriage is between one man and one woman? I have read plenty of passages that support and give rules about buying concubines, rules about divorce, examples of many early prophets who had many wives Salomon a case in point, plenty of incest, eating your own children, sacrificing your own children, keeping sex slaves, etc. but I cannot remember any part that specifically suggests marriage be only between one man and one woman. Anyone correct me?



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  • Reckless Monkey

    I cannot remember any part that specifically suggests marriage be only between one man and one woman.

    Not only that but our pal Jesus showed no interest in women at all. If marriage is such a holy institution then why didn’t he participate in it and show us all how it’s to be done? But no. He just wanted to hang around with his guy friends. Guy friends 24/7. No women in the Biblical picture.

    Maybe the bishops should open their eyes and read between the lines here. It’s not rocket science. They are sputtering against something that Jesus himself would have understood.



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  • LaurieB #8
    Aug 10, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Not only that but our pal Jesus showed no interest in women at all. If marriage is such a holy institution then why didn’t he participate in it and show us all how it’s to be done?

    In some unapproved versions of stories, Mary Magdalene was his wife or partner.

    But no. He just wanted to hang around with his guy friends. Guy friends 24/7. No women in the Biblical picture.

    But that could be because the role of women was edited out, by those later “celebate” paternalistic all male Roman Church leaders! – Rather like the editing out of El’s or YHWH’s wife Asherah and children, in the oldest Dead Sea Scrolls, version of the Old Testament- Deuteronomy 32:8-9.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithpromotingrumor/2010/03/god-gods-and-sons-and-daughters-of-god-in-the-hebrew-bible-part-iii/



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  • 8,

    Not only that but our pal Jesus showed no interest in women at all.

    Well putting aside the likelihood that Jesus an Homo-sapiens unit didn’t exist, I reckon if his character was based on real person(s) then as a cult leader, he would be most probably motivated by sexual purposes to get his hands on as many willing men, women and children as his thirst required. Charismatic cult leaders get loads of sex, it’s surprising that there isn’t more about today to be honest!



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  • Alan4discussion

    In some unapproved versions of stories, Mary Magdalene was his wife or partner.

    Oh yes, I’m aware of those stories. They’re not from the Bible though. Think you’ll ever get a member of the clergy to agree that Jesus had a wife? They’d have a lot of backpeddling to do on that one. Think of the editing that would be made necessary if Jesus had a wife. M. Magdalene was made out to be a reformed whore. We can’t have our pal Jesus (if he really existed, which I doubt) married to used goods. His partner? What, they were living in sin? Having sex without permission from the holy church? You’ve got to be kidding me! This is NOT in the Bible!

    What about Jesus’s kids? Married/shacking up with Mary M. and no kids? Were they using a prototype of The Pill? Maybe they couldn’t for medical reasons but you’d think that his dad would’ve waved a magic wand and made it right for them.

    Two thousand years ago in the Middle East, same as today – no wife – suspicious. no kids- tragic. Jesus wanted neither? -gay.

    role of women was edited out

    Yes it was but still there are women in the Bible and they are used to illustrate the virgin/whore dichotomy. Plenty of Biblical wives are mentioned in the book and so why would they have edited that most important wife out? Even if they did, it’s too late now. The Jesus we have now is the Jesus that all Christians (and Muslims) know and love. Try and get a devout christian or Muslim to agree to Jesus as having had a wife and kids or that he was living a gay life with his buddies. You’re going off script Alan! They won’t have it!



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  • M27Holts

    Charismatic cult leaders get loads of sex, it’s surprising that there isn’t more about today to be honest!

    Would American politicians qualify as cult leaders? They use power to get sex but isn’t that just an alpha male thing? Use money/power to attract women.

    Strange but it always appeared to me that the Catholic old ladies used to fawn all over their priests. The priests must have been so tempted to give them what they wanted! The sexual tension that must surround these relationships. Sweet torture. Moral confusion! They love that moral confusion though, don’t they?!



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  • 15
    Cairsley says:

    To LaurieB #13.

    … The sexual tension that must surround these relationships. Sweet torture. Moral confusion! They love that moral confusion though, don’t they?!

    Careful, Laurie! You are talking about the wellspring of their spiritual raptures, those favors granted by God as they tell their beads.

    But thanks for the laugh!



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  • LaurieB #13
    Aug 10, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Strange but it always appeared to me that the Catholic old ladies used to fawn all over their priests. The priests must have been so tempted to give them what they wanted! The sexual tension that must surround these relationships. Sweet torture. Moral confusion! They love that moral confusion though, don’t they?!

    I thought the plan was that the old ladies out-lived rich husbands, and left their money to the church!

    The Black sheep in our family – (a great uncle) was a minister in a US mission church.
    He married five elderly widows in succession after his first wife died.
    He outlived all except the last one, and helped them spend their money, – until he finally died at the age of 93 – still preaching part time in HIS church!
    In his youth he was a minister in England, before fleeing to the USA (the land of opportunity!), as a result of an unwanted pregnancy which would have caused him problems with his church employers.



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  • Alan

    The Black sheep in our family – (a great uncle)

    Sounds like the old guy had it going on! Well at least he married the five one at a time. That’s more than we can say for certain other religiously devout guys.

    Black sheep- every family’s got one though, right? (Sometimes it’s more than one 🙁 )

    Glass half full-at least they’re never boring! Wonderful entertainment at the holidays.



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  • LaurieB #17

    Black sheep- every family’s got one though, right? (Sometimes it’s more than one)

    Glass half full-at least they’re never boring! Wonderful entertainment at the holidays.

    Yep! When he was not “helping the poor and down and out” of the Southern USA in his mission church, he and his current wife, would fly to England on holiday for two or three weeks of the year touring around to visit relatives!



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  • Catholic church attendance continues to decline, so dear Bishops, do keep up the thoughtful comments. All that is needed is your ongoing criticism of the evolution of human rights, which is obvious to anyone that can read, that you care more about your dogma than about actual human happiness and love for one another. That way, when the last true Catholic is sitting in the last row of the last church left on earth, you can claim your god has finally abandoned you, and it really was not your fault, because you spoke the truth as it was written and did not change your point of view…. no matter the cost.



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  • LaurieB #12
    Aug 10, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Alan4discussion

    In some unapproved versions of stories, Mary Magdalene was his wife or partner.

    Oh yes, I’m aware of those stories. They’re not from the Bible though.

    Well no! The 4 Canonical Gospels of the Bible were put together by the editors – Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria and Co. in the 4th century. Reputable biblical scholars, readily recognise this.

    Think you’ll ever get a member of the clergy to agree that Jesus had a wife? They’d have a lot of backpeddling to do on that one.

    Theists have certainly seriously debated the issue.

    Think of the editing that would be made necessary if Jesus had a wife.

    The editing was in fact done in Roman times.

    M. Magdalene was made out to be a reformed whore. We can’t have our pal Jesus (if he really existed, which I doubt) married to used goods. His partner? What, they were living in sin? Having sex without permission from the holy church?

    That would be in the Roman approved version, which came from a competing Xtian sect.

    You’ve got to be kidding me! This is NOT in the Bible!

    The early “gospels” were the versions of differing stories promoted by the various early Xtian sects. – Usually with the text or sect taking its name from a disciple or leader. (Apart from Paul, it is unlikely that ANY gospels were written by the claimed authors)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Mary
    “The Gospel of Mary is about inter-Christian controversies, the reliability of the disciples’ witness, the validity of teachings given to the disciples through post-resurrection revelation and vision, and the leadership of women.”[19]

    King also sees evidence for tensions within 2nd-century Christianity, reflected in “the confrontation of Mary with Peter, [which is] a scenario also found in The Gospel of Thomas,[22] Pistis Sophia,[23] and the Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians. Peter and Andrew represent orthodox positions which deny the validity of esoteric revelation and reject the authority of women to teach.”

    There are considerable differences between Coptic Xtians and Roman Xtians!

    Feminists may find it interesting to debate these issues with women of “faith”!

    Of course the average American member of a congregation knows nothing about these, despite the theological and history scholars researching ancient documents and debating later ones in the light of these.



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  • @19,

    Catholic church attendance continues to decline

    On cup final day this year (21.05.2016) I had to attend a family confirmation (My wife’s family are mainly non-practicing Roman Catholics). Fortunately it was at 10:00 (giving me ample time to get to the pub for the game and pre-match quaffing). The priest went off on some diatribe about the evils of modern life (mamon, mobile phones, condoms etc) – Then he mentioned the fact that the Salford Diocese was about to close five or six churches due to a catastrophic attendance decline in the past 10 years. I was very cheered up at this, as the confirmation mass was so full of downright bullshit (and surely 99% of the people in the church were well aware of that fact). Surely the RCC is on it’s way out – unfortunately, Islam is not in decline in fact it’s increasing at an alarming rate. Ho-Hum.



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  • M27Holts

    …attend a family confirmation..I was very cheered up at this…

    What a good sport you are! Your positive attitude is inspiring.

    Seriously, it is! I’m not being sarcastic. 😉



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  • Alan4discussion

    Feminists may find it interesting to debate these issues with women of “faith”!

    I think that’s a great idea. I do know about the editing of the Bible and the deleted gospel of Mary although I’ve read none of them. Very tempted to read Mary’s version of things now.

    Of course the average American member of a congregation knows nothing about these

    I agree that this is probably true which is why I said above:

    You’re going off script Alan! They won’t have it!

    By the way Alan, do you think that your black sheep Great Uncle actually was a twoooo believer? Or did he see a good thing and play it for all it was worth? Or maybe both at the same time?



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  • LaurieB #23
    Aug 11, 2016 at 7:47 am

    By the way Alan, do you think that your black sheep Great Uncle actually was a twoooo believer? Or did he see a good thing and play it for all it was worth? Or maybe both at the same time?

    He died quite a long time ago, and I only met him during a few hours at a time during his visits to England.

    I think there was considerable self delusion involved.
    He genuinely believed that his flock were gaining satisfaction and benefit in raising money for his church and for him to travel around.
    It is probably a Southern US attitude on which mega churches are built!

    think that’s a great idea. I do know about the editing of the Bible and the deleted gospel of Mary although I’ve read none of them. Very tempted to read Mary’s version of things now.

    Some comments suggest that Mary, rather than Peter, was the chief apostle and the first pope! There is also a “Gospel of Judas” which tells a non-biblical version of mythological events.

    http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html
    The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient books (called “codices”) containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary “Gnostic Gospels” – texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define “orthodoxy” – scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Judas
    The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel whose content consists of conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. It is thought to have been composed in the second century by Gnostic Christians, not by the protagonist Judas, since it contains late 2nd century theology. The only copy of it known to exist is a Coptic language text that has been carbon dated to AD 280, plus or minus 60 years. Joseph Barabe presented the behind-the-scenes story of the role an analysis of the ink played in authenticating the book at an American Chemical Society meeting.[1] It has been suggested that the text derives from an earlier Greek version.

    These ancient documents from early Xtian sects, pre-date the Roman editing of the stories to put together the New Testament Bible in the 4th. century.



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  • It is possible that everyone here and including the RCC, is wrong about Jesus having a wife. I propose that Jesus (IF he ever existed) was a Klinefelters Syndrome. You know, the long arms, some breast development, the very slow beard growth if any, and perpetual ED. What woman, even then, would want a man with an XXY set of sex chromosomes (as identified by external body characteristics)?



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  • There is also a split in the Anglican Church over the appointment of an openly gay bishop.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37267148

    Appointing a gay man as the bishop of Grantham was a “major error”, the conservative Anglican group Gafcon has said.

    Bishop Nicholas Chamberlain said he was gay and in a relationship on Friday.

    He was consecrated last year by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby – who has said he knew about the bishop’s sexuality.

    Bishop Chamberlain told BBC News: “We are all God’s people together… I hope that you will be able to understand.”

    He also said he understood and lived by the Church guidelines, which say gay clergy must remain celibate.

    Anything to do with sexual relationships freaks out the faithful, and their determination to dictate their repressed terms to everyone else while they pose as pseudo-tolerant!



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