‘Cafeteria Catholic’: Another prominent Catholic archbishop calls Biden out as a phony

News & Politics

The Catholic archbishop overseeing the Archdiocese of Washington suggested in late March that despite claiming to be a devout Catholic, President Joe Biden had effectively subordinated his faith to leftist politics. The term Cardinal Wilton Gregory used to describe Biden and others with the tendency to pick and choose which nonnegotiable moral teachings to follow was “cafeteria Catholic.”

In his
recent speech at a Napa Institute event in Washington, D.C., Cardinal Robert Sarah — one of the most senior and recognizable leaders in the church — similarly slammed Biden, reusing Gregory’s descriptor.

Cardinal Sarah, the former head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum under Pope Benedict XVI, noted at the outset of his remarks that the “West, while not the birthplace of Christianity, is home [to] much of what was once called ‘Christendom’ and much of what has become modern society, the roots of which are firmly European.”

Sarah, a socially conservative West African, bemoaned the loss of distinction between the former and the latter, indicating that Catholics in the West have assimilated some of the same beliefs as “the general population.”

The Catholic leader singled out Biden, now
unpopular with the vast majority of American Catholics, as a poster boy for this kind of syncretism and willfully diluted faith.

“You have a
self-identified Catholic president who is an example of what Cardinal Gregory recently described as a ‘cafeteria Catholic,'” said the archbishop.

Blaze News
previously reported that while Biden was celebrating the so-called “Transgender Day of Visibility” on Easter Sunday, Cardinal Gregory said that “like a number of Catholics, [Biden] picks and chooses dimensions of the faith to highlight while ignoring or even contradicting other parts.”

‘Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.’

“There is a phrase that we have used in the past, a ‘cafeteria Catholic.’ You choose that which is attractive and dismiss that which is challenging,” continued Gregory.

Cardinal Gregory further suggested that “there are things, especially in terms of life issues, there are things that [Biden] chooses to ignore, or he uses the current situation as a political pawn rather than saying, ‘Look, my church believes this, I’m a good Catholic, I would like to believe this.’ Rather than to twist and turn some dimensions of the faith as a political advantage.”

While Biden’s position on
gender ideology and homosexual unions certainly put him at odds with Catholic teaching and the church, his radical stance on abortion stands in direct opposition with millennia-old church teaching.

“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable,”
says the Catechism. “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a canon lawyer and former prefect of the church’s highest court,
said in 2020 that on account of his antagonistic posturing against the church’s moral teaching on abortion, Biden “is not a Catholic in good standing and he should not approach to receive Holy Communion.”

Cardinal Sarah noted that it’s not only Biden who is a “cafeteria Catholic.”

“Many of you Catholic public officials are in the same category. Many of your Catholic hospitals and
universities are Catholic in name only,” said Sarah.

‘The latter is a dangerous disease even if its first symptoms seem mild.’

The religious leader noted further that the “important witness to the fullness of our Catholic faith” in America “has been traded for cultural assimilation” and that the “uniqueness of the Catholic community” in America has been lost at the macro level.

However, Cardinal Sarah said that whereas the faith in Europe is “dying and in some places is dead,” in part because some prelates are fearful of “opposing the world,” the same is not true of the majority of church leaders in the United States.

“[The European prelates] dream of being loved by the world. They have lost the concern of being a sign of contradiction. Perhaps too much material wealth leads to compromise with the world affairs,” said Sarah. “I believe that the church of our time is experiencing the temptation of atheism. Not intellectual atheism, but this subtle and dangerous state of mind: fluid and practical atheism. The latter is a dangerous disease even if its first symptoms seem mild.”

Cardinal Sarah clarified that by “practical atheism,” he meant a loss of the sense of the gospel and the transformation of Scripture into a tool for secular purposes.

This practical atheism is growing increasingly popular among Catholics in other regions of the West, with the ostensible exception of the United States, said Sarah.

Cardinal Sarah added, “Too many do not take the faith seriously.”

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