President-elect Joe Biden went to Saturday night mass in Wilmington and expressed his support for Americans continuing to worship during the deadly pandemic.
Biden, a Catholic who has attended church regularly throughout the campaign and transition, opted for Saturday evening mass at St. Ann’s church in Wilmington.
As he departed, he responded to a shouted question about whether all Americans should be able to attend religious services during the pandemic.
“Yes, safely,” Biden responded.
President-elect Joe Biden leaves St. Ann Parish, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. He said Americans should be permitted to worship ‘safely’ during the pandemic
His answer came as President Trump and opponents of lockdowns have made hay out of restrictions on indoor services during the pandemic, amid early outbreaks traced to gatherings and even church choirs.
He took the question as the nation topped 250,000 coronavirus deaths, with what he warns will be a ‘dark winter’ ahead.
Biden opted to answer even after ditching the protective pool that usually follows him everywhere he goes.
Reporters who shadow him had trouble assembling with just a few minutes notice, and his motorcade drove by them while they were getting a Secret Service security sweep.
His visit comes after Delaware’s governor has ordered new restrictions on indoor gatherings that take effect Monday.
Even so, he responded to the question shouted from dozens of yards away. It came from Bo Erickson, the same CBS correspondent he admonished for asking a question during a transition meeting Friday. ‘Why are you the only guy who shouts questions?’ Biden complained, he said in response to a question about reopening schools.
Some Roman Catholic leaders are voicing their concern that President-elect Joe Biden would enact policies that would create ‘confusion’ about what the Church teaches.
In a November 17 virtual meeting for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez shared that a group was being formed to respond to some of the worries the leaders had towards Biden, who would become the second practicing Catholic to be president.
‘The president-elect has given us reason to believe that his faith commitments will move him to support some good policies. This includes policies of immigration reform, refugees and the poor, and against racism, the death penalty, and climate change,’ Gomez, who is president of the USCCB, said towards the end of the Tuesday session.
In a November 17 virtual meeting for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Jose Gomez sounded the alarm and said a group was forming to work on concerns to be presented to President-elect Joe Biden
Biden is only the second president in U.S. history to be a member of the Catholic Church
‘He has also given us reason to believe that he will support policies that are against some fundamental values that we hold dear as Catholics. These policies include: the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and the preservation of Roe vs. Wade. Both of these policies undermine our preeminent priority of the elimination of abortion.’
Gomez continued to cite various policies and agenda items he and the other leaders were alarmed over, including ‘the restoration of the HHS mandate’ and ‘the passage of the Equality Act.’
‘These policies pose a serious threat to the common good,’ Gomez said. ‘Whenever any politicians supports them.’
While he praised President-elect Biden’s work against racism and immigration, Gomez slammed him for his support of marriage equality and abortion
The sentiment was shared by CatholicVote.org, a conservative non-profit who ran an intense anti-Biden campaign prior to the election and has also pushed forward Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about election fraud
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, also begged Biden to ‘repent’ for straying from Catholic teachings in his endorsement of policies regarding abortion and marriage
Gomez asserted that the Catholic Church has long opposed those policies and ‘will continue to do so.’
‘When politicians who profess the Catholic faith support them, there are additional problems,’ he declared. ‘It creates confusion with the faithful about what the church actually teaches on these questions.’
The sentiment was shared by CatholicVote.org, a conservative nonprofit that ran an intense anti-Biden campaign prior to the election and has also pushed forward Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about election fraud.
‘CatholicVote fully agrees with @USCCB President Abp. Gomez’s assessment that many of Joe Biden policies creates “confusion among the faithful” and “pose a serious threat to the common good,’ the group said in a Thursday thread.
A look into Archbishop Jose Gomez’s political views
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez is a staunch supporter of immigrant rights, having become a U.S. citizen after being born in Mexico
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez is a staunch supporter of immigrant rights, having become a U.S. citizen after being born in Mexico, but he is otherwise known for his conservative sentiments, according to his website.
A supporter of DACA, Gomez refers to immigration reform as ‘an issue of conscience and national identity’ and advocates for a ‘generous path to citizenship’ for undocumented immigrants.
Gomez is not a fan of the death penalty, calling for it to be ended in both California and the country.
‘In opposing the death penalty we are witnessing to the sanctity of life,’ he says. ‘We are saying that even the most sinful and guilty lives are precious to God and should not be taken by others.’
In addition to not caring for the death penalty, Gomez is perhaps the loudest in his dislike of abortion and euthanasia.
‘The fundamental injustice in our society is the killing of innocent unborn life through abortion and the killing of the sick and defenseless through euthanasia and assisted suicide,’ he says on his website.
Gomez describes America as ‘pulling apart’ and becoming ‘increasingly divided by money, privilege and social class interest.’
‘It is a deeply troubling fact — that the families of those in charge do not have to live with the consequences of some of the policy decisions they make,’ Gomez asserts.
‘We have come to accept an America where schools and infrastructure are crumbling and where drinking water is contaminated — not in neighborhoods where the elites live — but only in the communities of minorities and the poor.’
‘Should Biden be officially elected, his administration has outlined plans to slash pro-life policies protecting unborn lives, unlock millions for abortion services, and overturn religious freedom protections for religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor.
‘These plans and policies represent a radical anti-life, anti-Catholic agenda in clear and direct conflict with Catholic social teaching and the values that Catholics rightly prioritize.’
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, also begged Biden to ‘repent’ for straying from Catholic teachings in his endorsement of policies regarding abortion and marriage.
‘He aspires to the highest office in our land & must be guided by the truth God has revealed to us,’ the bishop said. ‘I pray for him to find Truth.’
Catholics overall supported the former vice president in the 2020 election, securing Biden 52 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 47 percent. Trump beat Hillary in 2016 with 50 percent of the vote compared to 46 percent, according to Washington Post exit polls.
Catholics overall supported the former vice president in the 2020 election, securing Biden 52 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 47 percent. Biden pictured with Pope Francis in 2015
White Catholics specifically decreased their support of Trump, who had a 24-point margin in 2016. He only had a 12-point lead nationwide among the specific group for the 2020 election.
There have been Catholic leaders who have lent their support to Biden, including Sister Simone Campbell, a nun who leads the Network Lobby – a non-profit that aims to promote women leadership in the Catholic Church.
Campbell shared a link to the ‘Equally Sacred’ score card that details how both President Trump’s and President-elect Biden’s policies interact with the ‘FULL teachings of the Catholic Church.’
The scorecard had Trump only doing ‘better’ than Biden in one category – his overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The ‘Equally Sacred’ scorecard looks to see how both Trump and Biden tackle things in Catholic Teaching