Recently Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, sent an open letter to Senator Joseph Biden, Democratic candidate for vice president, on behalf of the more than one million Knights of Columbus across the nation.
Mr. Anderson’s letter was a result of Senator Biden’s troubling comments on abortion during a Meet the Press interview. He echoed House Speaker’s Nancy Pelosi’s earlier comments on when human life begins, suggesting there is much debate and confusion in the Catholic Church over the true answer. Like Pelosi, he attempted to justify his support for abortion by suggesting even St. Thomas Aquinas wasn’t certain when human life begins. Supreme Knight Anderson rightly corrected Senator Biden’s erroneous and misleading statements about Aquinas, suggesting “Aquinas had only a medieval understanding of biology, and thus could only speculate about how an unborn child develops in the womb.” Anderson also went on to chastise Biden for his position on abortion and chided "your unwillingness to bring your Catholic moral views into the public policy area on this issue alone is troubling." It is indeed troubling that leading Catholic politicians who support abortion continue to misuse theology in defense of their support for the killing of unborn children.
What is even more troubling is Mr. Biden’s claim that he is prepared “as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception” but that he would not “impose” his view on anyone through legislation. Biden apparently believes that unborn children are indeed human, but that fact shouldn’t stand in the way of killing them. While his Catholicism seems to be part of an Obama-Biden campaign strategy, it apparently doesn’t truly inform the Delaware senator’s public policy decisions. “Hey, folks, look at me!?I’m an Irish-Catholic!” proclaims Biden in key battleground states.
But “being Catholic” isn’t a campaign strategy; it’s a statement, and a stand, of faith. If not, Biden might as well be anything at all, including Kermit the Frog.
Perhaps our “Wearin’ o’ the Green” Irish Catholic candidate should reread the theology he so glibly referenced on Meet the Press; inevitably, he will rediscover what the Church has consistently taught: abortion is a grave sin. On the campaign trail he might find time to read about this teaching in the writings of the Didache, Tertullian, Jerome, Augustine, Aquinas and the Second Vatican Council, which described abortion as “an unspeakable crime.”
Senator, that is language that means something.