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Bishop Blasts Biden For ‘Mocking’ Catholic Faith After He Made ‘Sacrilegious’ Sign of the Cross at Abortion Rally

Joe Biden’s radical pro-abortion advocacy on the campaign trail has drawn sharp rebukes from high ranking members of the Catholic clergy, including Wilton Cardinal Gregory, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington; and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois.

Biden, a self-avowed Catholic, sparked outrage among fellow Catholics when he made the sign of the cross “in a sacrilegious manner” at an abortion event in Tampa, Florida, last month. Paprocki accused Biden of making a “mockery of our Catholic faith’ and said that excommunication is a possible remedy for his unrepentant sacrilegious behavior.

The gesture came while Biden was listening to Florida Democrat Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried rail against Florida’s new abortion restrictions to a roomful of campaign staff and volunteers in Tampa, Florida on April 23.

“And then we come back here to [the] state of Florida where Ron DeSantis felt like he needed to run for president and 15 weeks wasn’t good enough so we had to go to six weeks!” Fried cried. Florida’s pro-life law prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

As Fried said “wasn’t good enough,” Biden bizarrely made a slow sign of the cross. The gesture, which is sometimes executed humorously to ward off evil, prompted snickers from members of the pro-abort crowd.

Biden later delivered a speech at an abortion rally advocating for legal abortion, and attacking the Florida law, which took effect May 1,  as “extreme.”

“In America today in 2024 women have fewer rights than their mothers and their grandmothers had because of Donald Trump,” Biden claimed, adding that because of Trump “millions of women in Florida now face … pain and cruelty.”

“It’s not inevitable,” he added. “We can stop it when you vote.”

Biden has made abortion a top issue for his 2024 reelection campaign, vowing that if  elected, he will sign a bill to restore  abortion rights in the United States following the Roe v. Wade decision. Biden has also asked Congress to repeal laws that prohibit federal agencies from using taxpayer money to fund abortion.

Back in March, Cardinal Wilton Gregory characterized Biden as a “Cafeteria Catholic who “picks and chooses” what elements of the Catholic faith he believes.

“I would say there are things, especially in terms of the life issues, there are things that [Biden] chooses to ignore,” Gregory said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Easter.

“The issues of life begin at the very beginning,” Gregory continued. “And they conclude at natural death. 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.’”

After Biden’s abortion rally in Florida, Spanish Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of Orihuela-Alicante shared a stronger critique, saying that Biden’s sign of the cross in support of abortion was a “sacrilegious” gesture and “the desecration of the sign of the cross.”

“Invoking Jesus Christ in support of abortion” has drawn strong criticism “in many pro-life and Catholic circles,” the bishop pointed out in his weekday radio program on Radio María España on April 29.

Bishop Munilla noted that crossing oneself is meant to be used as a sign “in which we remember that Jesus gave his life for us, he gave his life for all the innocents, he gave his life to restore innocence and to make us saints.”

What Biden did, Munilla argued, was to “invoke the cross in a sacrilegious manner.”

On May 8,  Bishop Paprocki posted a now viral video onto  the diocesan YouTube channel in which he professed his agreement with both Cardinal Gregory and Bishop Munilla, and offered an even sharper rebuke of Biden’s abortion advocacy.

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paprocki explained that “sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things or places consecrated to God.”

“Sacrilege is a grave sin,” he said solemnly.

The bishop argued that there are limits to what elements of the faith a Catholic can reject “without falling into heresy, apostasy, or schism.”

“Making the sign of the cross is one of the most profound gestures a Catholic can make in showing reverence for Christ’s death on the cross and belief in the Holy Trinity as we sign ourselves in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” the bishop explained.

“To misuse this sacred gesture is to make a mockery of our Catholic faith,’ Paprocki declared. “The Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians says: ‘Make no mistake, God is not mocked,” he added. “‘For a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.’”

Paprocki carefully explained the definitions for heresy, schism, and apostasy, strongly suggesting that Biden has crossed those lines.

When asked to expand on his criticism of Biden on the diocesan “Dive Deep” podcast on May 9,  Paprocki explained that the reason Biden gesture was sacrilegious was because he had done it “to promote something that was evil.”

He explained that by advocating for abortion, Biden was rejecting the 5th Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” making him potentially a heretic.

“He seems to be saying he has no problem with killing babies in the womb,” Paprocki explained. “The Catholic Church teaches that life begins with conception. There’s no other point to draw the line.”

The bishop said that by making a sign of the cross, Biden had indicated that he thought restricting abortions in Florida was bad.

“He’s mocking the gesture,” Paprocki asserted. “Because he’s saying something was bad that in fact was a good thing—and in fact making a gesture to promote something that was evil— that’s what makes it sacrilegious,” he added.

The bishop said that any excommunication of Biden would require a “canonical process,” which would take place within his diocese, the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.

A case in which a public figure rejects Church teaching on abortion “requires the need for the Church Authority to step in and declare that person to be excommunicated,” Paprocki said.

“Even the president of the United States is bound by the truths as revealed by God,” Paprocki noted. “We live in an age of relativism where people think ‘well you have your truth and I have my truth,’ [but] there really is only one truth as revealed by God.”

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former papal nuncio to the U.S.A., has long urged the American bishops to excommunicate Biden and “all those” involved in “politics and institutions” who promote abortion.

Over the weekend, even a Catholic NFL football player chastised Biden over his scandalous pro-abort advocacy.

“Our own nation is led by a man who proudly proclaims his Catholic faith, but at the same time is delusional enough to make the Sign of The Cross during a pro-abortion rally,” said Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, who gave the commencement address at Benedictine College on Saturday. “Being Catholic alone does not cut it,” he added. “We need to stop pretending that the church of nice is a winning proposition.”

A recent poll shows that Catholics in the U.S. have swung dramatically against Joe Biden since the 2020 election when former President Donald Trump held a narrow lead of 50 percent to 49 percent.

Trump now enjoys a 12 percent margin of support, according to a Pew Research poll released on Apr. 30.

According to the poll,  55 percent of Catholics support or lean towards supporting Trump in a head-to-head against Biden, while only 43 percent of Catholics support Biden.

Biden, nevertheless, appears unchastened and unconcerned in the wake of this collapse of Catholic approval and the withering criticism of Catholic prelates.

According to Democrat strategist Chris Jackson, Joe Biden “quietly attended Mass” with his granddaughter in Delaware on Mother’s Day—apparently without incident.

“Joe Biden is simply a good man,” Jackson wrote on X.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.