Bishop Paprocki: Biden mocks Catholic faith by invoking Christ in pro-abortion message

Paprocki Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois. | Credit: Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, is accusing President Joe Biden of “making a mockery of our Catholic faith” after he made the sign of the cross while promoting abortion.

Biden, who is the country’s second Catholic president, made the sign of the cross at an abortion rally in Tampa, Florida, more than two weeks ago. In his speech, the president criticized Catholic Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a bill that restricts abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The governor had previously helped enact legislation limiting abortion to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

During the rally, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried said that when DeSantis decided to run for president, “15 weeks wasn’t good enough; we had to go to six weeks,” at which point Biden made the sign of the cross in apparent disapproval of the pro-life laws.

In a May 8 video posted to the diocesan YouTube channel, Paprocki said: “To misuse this sacred gesture is to make a mockery of our Catholic faith.”

“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 said.

Paprocki expanded on his criticism of Biden on the diocesan “Dive Deep” podcast the following day, May 9, saying Biden is “mocking the gesture” of the sign of the cross because he was doing it “to promote something that was evil, and that’s what makes it sacrilegious.” 

In his original video, Paprocki discussed the provisions by which one could excommunicate himself and provided the definitions for heresy, schism, and apostasy. However, he stopped short of attaching any of those terms to Biden. During the podcast, the bishop said that would require a “canonical process,” which would likely need to take place within his diocese, the Archdiocese of Washington.

Paprocki did say that Biden’s support for abortion is “in effect … rejecting at least part of the Fifth Commandment,” which prohibits murder.

“[Biden] seems to be saying he has no problem with killing babies in the womb,” the bishop added.

“Even the president of the United States is bound by the truths as revealed by God,” Paprocki said later during the podcast. “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.”

At the close of his original video, the bishop cited the sixth chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. 

“Make no mistake: God is not mocked, 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,” St. Paul wrote. “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 voiced agreement with comments made by other bishops about Biden’s support for abortion. He said he agrees with Cardinal Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Washington, who said in March that the president “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.’”

Paprocki also said he agreed with Spanish Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of the Diocese of Orihuela-Alicante, who said last week that Biden making the sign of the cross at a rally in support of abortion was “sacrilegious.”

Munilla said that making the sign of the cross 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.”

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Biden has promised that if he is elected and has a pro-abortion Congress, he will sign a bill to restore the abortion laws set in the now-defunct Roe v. Wade decision. This would prohibit states from enforcing laws that protect life in the womb. The president has also asked Congress to repeal laws that prohibit federal agencies from using taxpayer money to fund abortion. 

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