Thursday, October 23, 2008

Catholics Against Joe Biden

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: "The next Republican that tells me I'm not religious I'm going to shove my rosary beads down their throat." This threat is an actual quote from Senator Joe Biden who is now the vice presidential nominee on the 2008 Democratic ticket. It can be found in a 2005 story run by The Cincinnati Enquirer and Community Press (read it here). Aside from the statement being grammatically incorrect, it also represents the kind of religious abuse Senator Joe Biden is known for.

Biden is the quintessential "Cafeteria Catholic." He carries a rosary, goes to mass, and has no problem wearing his religion on his sleeve for potential Catholic voters to see. However, when it comes to abiding by the teachings of the Church, that's a whole different story. That's right Joe, I may not be a Republican, but 'The Catholic Knight' is challenging your religion. Are you gonna shove those beads down my throat now?

Biden fancies himself as a "Pope John XXIII" guy, not a "Pope John Paul II" kind of guy (his description not mine). So what does he mean by that? Well, I can't get inside the head of Joe Biden, and I'm not sure I would want to even if I could, but I'll take a wild guess. Pope John XXIII was the pontiff who called for the Second Vatican Council, which ran from 1962 to 1965. Aside from that, there are few events noteworthy in his pontificate. Historically, he's seen as the Vatican II pope, because it was at his calling the council was convened.

Now the Second Vatican Council saw sweeping reforms made to the Catholic Church. Though not a single doctrine was changed or modified, the Church received an entire face lift that would radically alter it's image forever. Granted, many of the liturgical reforms called for by Vatican II did not come about until years later, and even then with further revision over the following decades. Most recognized of these was the translation of the traditional Latin prayers into the vernacular languages of the world. With Vatican II came the good, the bad and the ugly. Use of vernacular languages is one example of the good. Ad hoc liturgical innovations is one example of the bad. While newer church architecture is one example of the ugly. The truth is, Rome is still trying to sort out the reforms of Vatican II, refining the positive aspects while purging the negative.

Part of the initial chaos surrounding Vatican II was the introduction of new innovations at the grassroots level. Those who promoted these grassroots innovations cited the "spirit of Vatican II" as their authentication, and sadly, a lot of folks bought into it. Such innovations included everything from the way we celebrate mass, to the way we form our consciences about morality. It was largely a New Age kind of influence. You know what I mean; it came straight from the 'cumbiyah' hippy generation.

Aside from his amazing popularity, Pope John Paul II was widely known for his pastoral tempering of the grassroots "spirit of Vatican II" movement. He called Catholics back to their historical roots, urging them to interpret the Second Vatican Council in the context of the Church's historic traditions, not in the context of some New Age fluff. This irritated a lot of hippy generation Catholics, but John Paul II was very popular with the youth, and staunchly orthodox in his theology.

So there you have it in a nutshell. Pope John XXIII is often idealized by the hippy generation types as the man who gave us Vatican II, and therefore the grassroots "spirit of Vatican II" which sought to redefine Catholicism in a New Age context. In truth, John XXIII would have had no part in such a New Age movement had he lived long enough to see it. The idealizing of John XXIII by "spirit of Vatican II" folks is wishful thinking on their part. While John Paul II is seen by this same generation as the man who tempered the reform and effectively spoiled the party. Is this why Biden considers himself a John XXIII kind of guy, and not a John Paul II kind of guy? We may never know for sure, but this religious self-description is an interesting one.

Biden's Catholicism is certainly consistent with the "spirit of Vatican II" hippy-style Catholicism popularized during the 1970s. He says he's personally against abortion, but believes in a woman's "right" to choose. He says he's against gay-marriage, but supports gay civil-unions, then turns around and says he supports gay-marriage just a few weeks later. He opposes school-choice, even though every Catholic pope (including John XXIII) has advocated it since the early 20th century. In fact, on every major issue of Catholic Social Justice the Vatican considers as most important for our time, Joe Biden opposes it in one way or another. Then he has the audacity to threaten a rosary sandwich to anyone who dares to call him on it.

This is more than enough reason for Catholics to oppose Joe Biden. He has been told by multiple bishops all over the country not to present himself at the communion rail - a defacto excommunication. A vote for Biden is essentially a vote against everything the Church holds sacred, and against the authority of the bishops and the pope. Joe Biden is not a Catholic. He's a rebel and a heretic. He's separated himself from the Catholic Church by virtue of everything he stands for politically. To vote for this man is to aid him, and cooperate in the evil he does.

Hey Joe! I'm a little hungry and I was wondering if you could hurry up on that rosary. Thanks!