Bishop Attacks Biden Over Cross Gesture

( – President Biden’s claims to be a devout Catholic have always sat uneasily with his support for abortion, and senior churchmen have been increasingly critical of him. With GOP rival Donald Trump holding his own in the polls, Biden can’t afford to alienate the country’s estimated 42 million Catholic voters. Unfortunately for him, a recent blunder seems to be doing exactly that.

On April 23, Biden caused a scandal when he made the sign of the cross during a pro-abortion speech at a Florida Democratic Party campaign event. Christians and pro-life groups were outraged and blasted the president for his “blasphemous” gesture. Weeks later, the anger Biden caused hasn’t gone away.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki, who oversees the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, has a reputation as a conservative Catholic. Where many of his fellow senior clergymen adopt “progressive” causes, Paprocki has stayed loyal to his church’s traditional teachings. On May 9, he released a YouTube video sharing his thoughts on Biden’s cross gesture — and he’s taking a firm line.

In the five-minute clip, Paprocki pulled no punches as he roasted Biden for “[making] a mockery of our Catholic faith” when he used the gesture in support of Florida Dem chair’s rant against her state’s new law banning abortion after six weeks. Explaining that “the sign of the cross is one of the most profound gestures” Catholics use to show their devotion to God, he said the president was guilty of “desecration.”

Despite the efforts of the modernizing Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has taught that life begins at conception since at least the 4th century, and it backs that up with an unyielding opposition to abortion. With Catholics making up 21% of the US population, that can have a significant political impact, and Biden has always used his own faith as a selling point. Now senior Catholic churchmen are questioning that faith — with less than six months to go before the election.

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