- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, is calling President Biden a “cafeteria Catholic,” noting the president’s support for abortion and regular Mass attendance.

Cardinal Gregory criticized Mr. Biden for trying to “pick and choose” positions on life issues during CBS‘ “Face the Nation” interview broadcast Sunday. He appeared with the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Episcopal bishop of Washington.

The cardinal said the Catholic Church teaches that life starts “at the very beginning [and] conclude[s] at natural death.”

He said Mr. Biden is selective in his religious practice.

“I could say that he’s very sincere about his faith, but like a number of Catholics, he picks and chooses dimensions of the faith to highlight while ignoring or even contradicting other parts,” the cardinal said.

“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,” he said.

“Or, as Thomas Aquinas would say, you allow your conscience to guide you,” Bishop Budde said.

The Episcopal leader said she worships with Mr. Biden “when he comes to Washington National Cathedral.” She said she admires the president’s attendance at the funeral of a statesman or their spouse, adding that he remains “through the entire service and speak from the pulpit as in eulogy, and I find that example to be an expression of authentic faith.”

Cardinal Gregory noted that Mr. Biden is a regular congregant “with great, you know, devotion. But he also steps aside some of the hot-button issues or uses the hot-button issues as a political tool, which it’s not — it is not the way I think we would want our faith to be used.”

The cardinal said he “would not be at all surprised” to learn that Pope Francis, with whom Mr. Biden is in occasional contact, would have spoken “directly” to the president on the abortion issue.

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The “Face the Nation” interview, recorded for broadcast on Easter Sunday, is not the first time Cardinal Gregory has addressed Mr. Biden‘s faith. Speaking at the National Press Club in September 2021, the archbishop said Mr. Biden “is not demonstrating Catholic teaching” when he denies that life begins at conception.

• Mark A. Kellner can be reached at mkellner@washingtontimes.com.

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