For years, I have been hoping that President Biden would finally start to act Catholic and not promote policies contradictory to our religion.
President Biden had always been one of the Democrats we could count on to fight the increases in legalized and tax-funded abortions. He was always a staunch defender of other Catholic virtues too.
President Biden's strong commitment to his family and to his Church by going back and forth to Delaware every weekend and going to Church consistently was a quality we all admired.
And then, there were his constant challenges with suffering to the highest extent. Events that would test a man from his first wife and daughter dying in a car crash in 1972 to his son, Beau, dying of a brain tumor in 2015.
Through it all, President Biden stayed tough. He kept fighting. He stayed Catholic and under God.
You can read more about President Biden here
And, while this is highly admired by almost everyone, one thing that has not been has been President Biden's change of heart with some of his Catholic beliefs.
This has led many US Bishops to wish to refuse communion to President Biden across the USA, the world, and especially their own dioceses. The issue is not merely that President Biden does not fight against abortion, although that is a problem too, but the biggest issues are that he supports abortion publicly now, and he promotes and advocates for increases in legal abortion access.
Yet, again, outside of immigration
, many of President Biden's policies and proposed policies restrict and violate the Catholic Church's religious freedoms. One such example is his Equal Rights Amendment
, or the radical abortion bill that would have ended the ability of conscientious objecting medical professionals from legally refusing to perform abortions. Conscientious objections allow for Catholics and others to keep their Faith and job, while not having to choose between being fired and murdering an unborn human. President Biden has also been against Church teachings on gender and marriage
President Biden turned to his Catholic Faith, when speaking to the people of Poland and the world community, especially the West.
This was spectacular given the harsh criticism of the Church his party and those aligned with it and him overseas have provided.
But, on Saturday, President Biden was one of us! It was one of the first times I felt like I had a Catholic president.
President Biden started off thanking the President of Poland and by making some jokes. He invoked the humor that Irish-American Catholics are well-known for, while also invoking the respect Catholics are known for, in addition to discipline.
He began by speaking on how Saint Pope John Paul II's first words in his first public address to the world in 1978 after becoming pope were "Don't be afraid". President Biden said these words "changed the world". President Biden spoke on how in 1979, Saint Pope John Paul II's message in Warsaw showed "the power of faith, the power of resilience, and the power of the people", and he alluded to how this led to a year later, the Polish Solidarity Movement rising up to begin the end of Soviet domination in Poland. He spoke highly of Lech Walesa too, a Catholic Pole
who led the Solidarity Movement, and also was President of Poland shortly after the Communist Party led Poland fell.
President Biden stated that Saint Pope John Paul II's message "was a message that helped end the Soviet repression in the Central land and Eastern Europe 30 years ago. It was a message that will overcome the cruelty and brutality of this unjust war."
Then, President Biden continued by quoting Danish philosopher Kierkegaard: “[F]aith sees best in the dark.”
President Biden stuck to the importance of Faith, but then he also spoke highly of the concept of tradition, and of great leaders in the past, in addition to our values, a quality strong in our Catholic Social Teaching, but not in the Democratic Party as of late.
President Biden highlighted the importance of being in the Royal Castle for the soul of Poland and the great defense and symbolism it has shown for the protection of our values. These values he alludes to are the Western values of the rule of law, democracy, and Christianity.
President Biden said this about the Ukrainian resistance for example: "And their brave resistance is part of a larger fight for an essential democratic principles that unite all free people: the rule of law; free and fair elections; the freedom to speak, to write, and to assemble; the freedom to worship as one chooses; freedom of the press." President Biden said "these principles are essential in a free society."
President Biden also touched on how we must "have faith that right makes might", while quoting President Abraham Lincoln. The principle here is that doing the right thing makes you mighty and stronger.
President Biden's respect for religion, liberty, and tradition is something that we as Catholics have waited for President Biden to elaborate on for a long time!
President Biden also showed strength and competence in a way that many Catholic leaders have not since President John F. Kennedy and Saint Pope John Paul II.
President Biden advocated for the US and NATO and was unapologetic about NATO and how it is a defensive alliance!
He came out against Russia via predictions and current events. He stated how Russia's economy is going down and how the ruble is very worthless. He talked about how the USA and NATO are going to continue to hurt them economically to the point they are no longer a top 20 nation in terms of economics. President Biden showed no sign of letting up in his rhetoric against Russia.
He spoke to how the Ukrainian people will win, and the West will win, and how NATO is prepared and at Russia's front door. He spoke to how the USA is tied to NATO and how "we have a sacred obligation under Article 5 to defend each and every inch of NATO territory with the full force of our collective power."
President Biden also spoke on how the arms the USA is sending into Ukraine, as well as other NATO members who have sent in arms, are destroying the Russian war machine.
And, he outlined how Russia has continually lied and has refused to come to the diplomatic table, thus blaming Russia, the culprit of the war, for the war! There were no doubts about who was evil, which is good to see from this president who represents politics that often is too afraid to call out evil or go against it.
President Biden further addressed how the West is sanctioning key officials and called out Russian oligarchs for their ill-gotten wealth.
President Biden then displayed his empathy.
He spoke of his trip to the Polish National Stadium in Warsaw and how he met many Ukrainian refugees. He spoke very mercifully, complimentary, and empathetically for them.
He thanked and spoke highly of how Poland has opened their hearts and home to Ukraine. And, he spoke of how "all the world democracies have a responsibility to help" Ukrainians, and how the US is going to and already has helped. He highlighted the plans of the USA, as well as the "great American chef, José Andrés, and his team who helped [feed] those who are yearning to be free." He called for the Christian countries to come together and help Ukraine, and led these efforts with the USA, by stating how the USA is "welcom[ing] 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. We already have 8,000 a week coming to the United States of other nationalities." And, President Biden spoke of the USA's "nearly $300 million of humanitarian assistance, providing tens of thousands of tons of food, water, medicine, and other basic supplies" and how "in Brussels, I announced the United States is prepared to provide more than $1 billion, in addition, in humanitarian aid." This complimentary language of helping refugees and aid to those less fortunate is exactly what we are called to do as Christians.
President Biden spoke to Russians and how Russia is not all behind this. He showed respect and love for Russia and Russians, which is what we are called to do as Christians. We are called to love our enemies, and President Biden displayed this. He called on Russians to remember the destruction of World War Two and to fight to change the destiny of their country. He spoke to how NATO does not wish to destroy Russia, rather it seeks to protect countries from invasion. He also called on Russians to live up to their great name. He talked about how he has dealt with Russians in a very complimentary manner.
President Biden further called out the corruption in Russia and told the Russian people that they could and should do something about this corruption.
President Biden also came up with a plan, which is what Jesus calls us to do. He calls us to find ways to make the world better and safer. President Biden did this. The plans he came up with were to stay unified against the Russian Invasion, to transition the West to renewable energy so we will not be dependent on tyrants and so we can sustain our planet, and to stand up for democracy around the world! He spoke of how European solidarity brought down the Iron Curtain, and how together, the people outlasted the Soviet Union, and how "the brave Ukrainian people, [have] show[ed] that their power of many is greater than the will of any one dictator."
President Biden ended his speech with compliments to liberty and Saint Pope John Paul II: "So, in this hour, let the words of Pope John Paul burn as brightly today: “Never, ever give up hope, never doubt, never tire, never become discouraged. Be not afraid.” A dictator bent on rebuilding an empire will never erase a people’s love for liberty. Brutality will never grind down their will to be free. Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia — for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness. We will have a different future — a brighter future rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light, of decency and dignity, of freedom and possibilities."
And then, President Biden left with this: "God bless you all. And may God defend our freedom. And may God protect our troops. Thank you for your patience. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
This speech was met with lots of applause in the heart of Conservative and Catholic Europe!
What President Biden displayed is active Catholicism, not merely passive Catholicism, which is a breadth of fresh air from many Catholic leaders around the world. The way he spoke ill of the evils of communism and compliments the Catholic Church, Faith, and Saint Pope John Paul II is something almost unheard of from the modern-day left wing who often appear so hostile to Catholicism and the concept of Faith, and so in favor of communism without acknowledging the gruesome history of its rule. By evoking tradition, values, and important people from the past, President Biden displayed the respect for the past and our way of life, as well as the defense of it that is not heard enough from people in his party or himself at all. His display of empathy showed the kindness and thoughtfulness all Catholics are supposed to have. And, his active pursuit of fighting Russia and defending the West, the USA, and Ukraine showed justice, a trait all Catholics should have. Too much of the time today, Catholics do not stick up to evil because they prefer "peace" and "no confrontation", but in reality, they are not getting "peace" but are merely being bystanders to evil. Catholicism should be working toward making the world better. President Biden's speech did that.
For the first time in a while, I felt like a Catholic was the leader of the free world, which is a feeling many have not had since Saint Pope John Paul II and President John F. Kennedy.
Even though President Reagan was not Catholic, his relationship with Saint Pope John Paul II brought the powers of Catholicism and Catholic-minded individuals to the forefront of leadership success. I hope this speech can be a turning point for President Biden. I hope he does better and acts more Catholic like he did Saturday. President Biden is best when he follows his Catholic Faith in leading our country.
You can watch President Biden's speech in Warsaw here