September 23, 2019
Dear Vice-President Biden,
As the Presidential race for 2020 progresses, we are likely to see a repeat of some of the contentious arguments in past elections over candidates and public officials who self-identify as Roman Catholics, but who at the same time refuse to advance the legal protection of children in the womb from the violence of abortion.
You, of course, fit into this category.
Please notice that I am not talking here about “beliefs.” Many in your position claim to believe, privately, the teachings of the Catholic Church about “when life begins” and “whether abortion is wrong.”
But that is beside the point, as many in your position likewise acknowledge.
The point I am making is that to fail to advocate for and advance the protection of children in the womb, when it is in your power to do so, is itself a contradiction of what it means to be Catholic. The Church does not ask us simply to “believe” something about the unborn or about abortion. The Church calls us to respect them as persons by our actions, and to protect them, for the very same way we are to acknowledge every other person and protect them.
Put another way, this is not just about “viewpoints” and “beliefs;” it’s about victims and bloodshed.
The US Catholic Bishops have spoken for themselves on this matter in their document Living the Gospel of Life, and Pope Francis has likewise clearly identified the unborn as the most defenseless ones among us, and abortion as a violent act. Nor has St. John Paul II’s encyclical The Gospel of Life lost any of its validity or relevance.
Nobody can or should force you to be a Catholic, and nobody can or should force you to be a defender of legal abortion.
But you cannot be both at the same time.
To claim to do so is an insult to all of us who proclaim and strive to live the Catholic Faith. And it invites the criticism that your public identification as a Catholic, while carrying water for the abortion industry, is simply the crass politics of seeking the money and votes of both constituencies.
And because abortion not only contradicts the Catholic Faith but likewise the Christian Gospel, your position is an affront to every disciple of Jesus Christ.
To fail to protect children in the first nine months of their existence, furthermore, is a failure to carry out the first and most basic purpose of government: the protection of human life, and of our first right, as identified by the Declaration of Independence, the right to life.
We need public servants who know the difference between serving the public and killing the public. Anyone who cannot tell the difference does not belong in public office. A party or a candidate that in any way supports the killing of children does not deserve a single vote, or a single dollar of support.
Indeed, if a politician cannot respect the life of a little baby, how can he respect our lives?
I therefore urge you, as I did some years ago in another open letter to Nancy Pelosi, to either conform your conduct to the Church to which you claim to belong, or acknowledge that you no longer belong to it. To have it both ways is a cowardly act that does not inspire any confidence in your good judgment or ability to lead a nation.
I urge you to refrain from holding the ridiculous position that you want to be able to receive Communion and support abortion. Which is easier to believe, Mr. Vice President – that the Host is the Body and Blood of Christ or that the child in the womb is human? If you defer to the Church’s authority to believe that what looks like bread is actually the Body of Christ, why do you reject that same authority of that same Church that requires you to protect the bodies of children in the womb?
I urge you to refrain from silly arguments about the beginnings of life and the different beliefs Americans have about that. You know full well that your party’s position and yours fails to protect babies even in the final weeks and days of pregnancy, and even after they are born alive as a result of a failed abortion! It’s not about the “beginning” of life, but the value of life!
I urge you to refrain from invoking “conscience” in this matter, when you and your party violate the consciences of millions of Americans who don’t want to be forced to pay for someone else’s abortion.
I urge you to refrain from claiming that you “have to represent all the people.” Failing to protect the unborn is precisely how you fail to represent all the people.
And I urge you to refrain from invoking other issues, and the statements of Church leaders about them, as somehow equally important as abortion. Immigration and climate change, for instance, are not only far different from abortion in their impact on human life, but they are not even in the same universe. When 3000 immigrants are being legally decapitated and dismembered at the border each day, then you can come and talk to me about “immigration” being as important as abortion. But meanwhile, let’s protect the first immigrant, seeking to cross the border of the womb!
Mr. Vice President, this is just the beginning of what will be a constant and clear challenge to you and your Party of Death in the coming year, and to all who support you. It’s time to end this political support for abortion, this failure to protect the most defenseless. It is destroying not only children, but families and the entire moral fabric of America.
We simply cannot allow you and the Democrat Party to get away with that any longer.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life