- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2019

A Catholic priest says he denied Holy Communion to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden at his parish in South Carolina on Sunday because of the Democratic presidential contender’s support for abortion.

The Rev. Robert E. Morey told the Florence Morning News on Monday that he had refused one of the Catholic Church’s sacraments to Mr. Biden.

“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Father Morey, pastor at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, told the Morning News via email. “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.”

Mr. Biden says he is “personally opposed” to abortion, but insists that this should not affect political stances.

Since declaring his 2020 presidential candidacy, Mr. Biden has said he supports codifying the right to abortion into federal law even if the Supreme Court reverses itself on the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. He also has flip-flopped on his longtime support for the Hyde Amendment, which bars taxpayer funding for the procedure, which the Catholic Church condemns as murder. Mr. Biden said in June that public money should pay for abortions.

The Biden campaign would not confirm to the Florence Morning News that Mr. Biden had attended St. Anthony, but “said if he did attend he did so in a private capacity,” the Morning News wrote.

The spokesperson “directed the conversation to a public appearance at 11 a.m. Sunday at Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hartsville,” the paper wrote.

Father Morey’s email said the handling of pro-choice Catholic politicians is a difficult situation, but it is his responsibility to minister to souls.

“I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers,” he said.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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