KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A U.S. bishop is fighting for the salvation of Joe Biden's soul.
Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee posed a life-or-death moral question to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Twitter Sunday. The question — about the Last Judgment — went to the heart of the contradiction between the doctrines of Biden's Catholic faith and his public support for abortion on demand.
"A question for Mr. Biden: At your judgment before God, how will you explain changing your position about abortion, and how will you explain promoting no limits and allowing all protections removed protecting the most innocent?" Stika tweeted.
"Will you tell God you supported the ultimate child abuse because of the American Constitution?" Bp. Stika prodded. "I wonder what God must have asked many leaders throughout the centuries? Government over human rights and the taking of innocent lives?"
The Church's stance on abortion is clear. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: It obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.
Pope Benedict XVI often referred to the Church's stance on abortion. The pontiff clearly stated in 2006 in an address to the European Parliamentary Group that there are some non-negotiable principles in the political arena. Among these, according to the then-pope, is the "protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death."
The pope emphasized that this is not only a Catholic position but one derived from the natural law, which is "inscribed in human nature itself and therefore ... common to all humanity."
Biden's political history reveals a gradual devolution on the life issue.
In 1977, Biden — then in his first term as U.S. senator from Delaware — voted against a bill for Medicaid-funded abortions. "The 1977 fiscal year appropriations bill prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for abortions ... unless the life of the mother is in danger,'" he said in a Dec. 26, 1977 letter to constituents. "This is the position I have consistantly [sic] supported."
But by the time of his vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan in 2012, Biden was equivocating on the issue. During that exchange, he said:
My religion defines who I am. And I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can't take care of themselves, people who need help. With regard to abortion, I accept my church's position that life begins at conception. That's the Church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and — I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman [Ryan]. I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view. And the Supreme Court — I'm not going to interfere with that.
In June, he applauded a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a Louisiana pro-life law. "Women's health care rights have been under attack as states across the country have passed extreme laws restricting women's constitutional right to choice under any circumstance," Biden said in reaction to the news.
As Life News put it, "A 'right to choice under any circumstances' under Roe v. Wade means unborn babies can be aborted for any reason — including for sex-selection, a cleft lip or simply inconvenience — at any stage of pregnancy."
One month later, he promised he would, upon election, restore funding to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in America, as part of his "Agenda for Women" proposal.
This is not the first time Stika has called on Biden to mend his pro-abortion stance.
In early September, the bishop called out Biden for quoting Pope Francis on the campaign trail yet selectively ignoring the pope's many pronouncements against abortion.
The bishop hypothesized that if he were a speechwriter for Biden, he would include one of the pope's frequent condemnations of abortion, including his Jan. 2014 pronouncement that abortion is a symptom of a throwaway culture.
"Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as 'unnecessary,'" Francis said. "For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."
Author Christopher Manion thanked Stika for exercising his salvific duty on behalf of Biden.
"Thank you, Your Excellency, for caring for Joe's soul. I've known him since 1981, and I think he's still open to conversion (unlike many pro-abort RCs [Roman Catholics] who will require a real miracle)," Manion tweeted. "Watching him, it is clear that he is worried more about death than about the election."
"Oremus," he added.