DC Archbishop: Joe Biden Is a ‘Cafeteria Catholic’

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Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C., said in an interview over the weekend that President Joe Biden is a “cafeteria Catholic” who “picks and chooses” which parts of Catholicism he will adhere to.

Gregory appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday with the female Episcopal bishop of Washington, Mariann Budde, where he discussed the Catholic president’s open support for issues such as abortion that are in direct contradiction with Catholic Church teaching.

Biden, who describes himself—and has been described by establishment media—as a “devout Catholic,” is open about frequently attending weekly Mass. But the president heads the most pro-abortion administration in United States history; promotes transgender surgeries, hormones, and puberty blockers, even for children; and celebrates transgender ideology.

The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is a crime against human life, that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that homosexual acts are “contrary to the natural law” and “close the sexual act to the gift of life.”

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Although Gregory said that Biden is “very sincere about his faith,” the cardinal added that Biden “picks and chooses dimensions of the faith to highlight while ignoring or even contradicting other parts.”

“There is a phrase that we have used in the past, a ‘cafeteria Catholic,’ [in which] you choose that which is attractive and dismiss that which is challenging,” Gregory explained.

Gregory continued: “I would say there are things, especially in terms of the life issues, there are things that he chooses to ignore.”

“The issues of life begin at the very beginning. And they conclude at natural death,” the cardinal said. “And you can’t pick and choose. You’re either one who respects life in all of its dimensions, or you have to step aside and say, ‘I’m not pro-life.’”

The Archdiocese of Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal. But the cardinal’s remarks drew praise from Catholics on social media, among them The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles, who described Gregory’s comments as “marvelous.”

Gregory sparked a backlash in November 2020 when he said in an interview with a leftist Jesuit outlet, America Magazine, that he would not deny Communion to Biden at Mass.

“The kind of relationship that I hope we will have is a conversational relationship, where we can discover areas where we can cooperate that reflect the social teachings of the church, knowing full well that there are some areas where we won’t agree,” Gregory told America Magazine at the time.

His stance drew criticism from traditional Catholics, who argued that Biden’s open embrace of unrestricted abortion constituted a grave scandal.

In September 2021, however, the cardinal offered a rare rebuke of Biden’s denial that life begins at conception, telling the president: “The Catholic Church teaches, and has taught, that human life begins at conception, so the president is not demonstrating Catholic teaching.”

He added: “Our church has not changed its position on the immorality of abortion. I don’t see how we could, because we believe that every human life is sacred.”

The White House would not address Gregory’s most recent remarks. Instead, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates mocked The Daily Signal, the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation, saying, “We refer The Heritage Foundation to the Office of Public Engagement. You have reached the press office.”

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