2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden was denied communion at a South Carolina Catholic church Sunday because of the former vice president’s stance on abortion.
The South Carolina Morning News reported that Father Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church denied Biden communion because of the presidential candidate and lifelong Catholic’s aggressive pro-abortion beliefs.
“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that,” Morey told the South Carolina newspaper. “Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”
“As a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care, and I must do so even in the most difficult situations,” Morey added. “I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.”
The Biden campaign has declined to say whether the candidate was denied participation in the ritual.
In phone Q&A w/ @mitchellreports, @JoeBiden declines to say whether he was denied communion during a mass Sunday in South Carolina. The Catholic priest who led the mass confirms it happened. https://t.co/XuZL7mtEV1
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) October 29, 2019
Holy Communion is one of the seven sacraments of Roman Catholicism. In order to participate in the holy tradition, one must be in a state of grace, refraining from engaging in mortal sins such as participating in abortion, sex outside of marriage, or invalid marriage. The other six sacraments of the Catholic religion include baptism, penance, confirmation, marriage, anointing of the sick, and holy orders.
Biden’s stance on abortion has been clear throughout the campaign. The candidate is adamantly pro-abortion, declaring access to abortion a constitutionally protect right. At the onset of his campaign, Biden initially supported the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal dollars from funding abortion, but reversed his stance after facing pressure in the crowded Democratic primary to be as extreme as possible on the issue.
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability … to exercise their constitutional protected right,” Biden said during the Democratic National Committee fundraising gala in Atlanta earlier this year announcing his change of position.
Every candidate seeking the Democratic presidential nomination next year has declared themselves to be aggressively pro-abortion. The most conservative candidate on the issue is U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who has called for restrictions on third-trimester abortion and brought back Bill Clinton’s famous line from the 1990s declaring that abortion ought to be “safe, legal, and rare” during a Democratic debate earlier this month.