The Hopeless Muddle in Biden's Brain
Biden appears to be horribly selective on what part of the Catholic social doctrine he accepts
What Biden fails to mention is that this Catholic social doctrine has identified the human child in the mother's womb from the first moment of conception as one of those who can't take care of himself, who needs the help of the law
Paul Ryan and Joe Biden
During his debate with Paul Ryan, Joe Biden appears to suffer--not from Broca's aphasia (he has no problem articulating words)--but from something we might call Biden's aphasia. It is a sort of moral lesion in Biden's brain, or perhaps his soul, that renders it incapable of uttering Catholic truths, though he uses Catholic words. What comes out of Biden's mouth, is a hopeless muddle, and inability to articulate moral truths. He suffers from Catholic aphasia.
Matha Raddatz, the moderator of the Vice-Presidential debate, asked the question of what role "religion"--specifically the Catholic "religion" since both Biden and Ryan identified themselves as Catholic--played on their own "personal views" on abortion.
It is interesting to focus on Biden's response since it shows that he suffers from Catholic aphasia, an inability to utter Catholic truths.
First, Biden was quick to identify with Catholic social doctrine, which is all very good, and which he describes as "taking care of those who - who can't take care of themselves, people who need help."
While Catholic social doctrine is much broader than that, it certainly does not exclude taking care of those who are unable to take care of themselves and therefore need the help of others. Indeed, Biden is always at the ready to impose his understanding of the social doctrine and have it guide his legislative agenda.
The Catholic social doctrine, while informed by the Gospel and the light of faith, is fundamentally an issue of the moral life. Therefore, "it is to all people--in the name of mankind, of human dignity which is one and unique, and of humanity's care and promotion of society--to everyone in the name of the one God, Creator and ultimate end of man, that the Church's social doctrine is addressed." (Compendium, No. 84)
What Biden fails to mention is that this Catholic social doctrine has identified as the human child in the mother's womb from the first moment of conception as one of those who can't take care of himself, who needs the help of the law. Who is least able to take care of himself, who stands in need of most help than a child ensconced in the womb of his or her mother? The Church's stance regarding abortion is a fundamental part of the Catholic social doctrine.
So Biden appears to be horribly selective on what part of the Catholic social doctrine he accepts.
The Catholic social doctrine recognizes the right to life as "the first right," a right that exists "from conception to its natural end, which is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion." (Compendium, 155).
The Catholic social doctrine finds abortion "in particular" a "horrendous crime," a "particularly serious moral disorder," something which is "far from being a right." (Compendium, No. 233)
Indeed, the Catholic social doctrine expressly teaches that abortion is a violation of a fundamental and universal moral duty upon all governments, involves an intrinsic moral evil, and so is one of those areas where a "well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals." The Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church identifies abortion as one of these "no-compromise" moral questions. (Compendium, No. 570).
This is Biden's first error: to hold that the prohibition of abortion or the right to life is not part of the Catholic social doctrine.
Biden continues his confusion. "With regard to . . . abortion," he says, "I accept my church's position as a - what we call a de fide doctrine." This "de fide" doctrine is that "life begins at conception in the church's judgment." This is what he accepts "in my personal life."
Well, where do we start with his muddle? To begin with, abortion is not part of what is de fide. De fide doctrines relate to those teachings of the Church which are based upon Revelation. Most fundamentally, de fide doctrines involve matters as to what to believe (e.g., that God is Trinity, that Jesus is fully God and fully man, that Mary may be called the "Mother of God, and so forth), and perhaps in a narrow set of areas it defines ...
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