HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — For the second time in its history, the United States has a Roman Catholic president. So why aren’t more Catholics celebrating?
Joe Biden’s catholicism was on display Inauguration Day. He attended mass and invited a bishop to the podium. The first day for America’s second Catholic president.
“It’s certainly something to be celebrated,” Sarah Copley, a practicing Catholic from the Midstate, said.
Copley was in noontime mass as Biden was sworn in.
In his homily, the priest said it’s the duty of all Catholics to pray for the President and Vice President.
“Whether we voted them into office or not,” said Father Joshua Brommer, a pastor at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg.
Copley hopes Biden is guided by his faith.
“Maybe bring about a different sense of peace and unity in this country because it’s sorely needed,” Copley said.
Catholics certainly rallied around their first president, John F. Kennedy. They exalted him and helped elect him.
Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese shared his thoughts on Biden’s inauguration, as well.
“I join with my fellow Catholic bishops today in praying that God will grant our new President and those in his administration the grace to lead our great nation in truth and justice,” Bishop Gainer said.
Not so Biden, who is pro-choice, forcing lots of parishioners to make a different choice on Election Day. Father Brommer, not wanting to be negative on day one, chose his words carefully.
“The challenge that Catholics have today with president Biden is to invite him to be more faithful in the call to promote life and to protect it and defend it in all of its stages from the moment of conception to its natural end,” Brommer said. “He needs to hear that from us and we need him to be a reflection of what we believe.”
And what Catholics need to hear, like it or not, one of their own just took over the biggest pulpit in the world.
“I welcome all opportunities for collaboration and support where the new administration enacts policies that are truly in accord with our Catholic moral teaching,” Bishop Gainer said. “As Archbishop Jose Gomez, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has indicated, I will unrelentingly speak the truths of the Gospel and the preeminent teaching of our Church regarding the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, the protection of religious freedom and the true nature of human sexuality and marriage.”
Father Brommer, sharing a similar mindset to Bishop Gainer, hopes Biden works to instill those Catholic ideals in American government.
“We need him to succeed in all of those areas that promote goodness and virtue for all people,” Brommer said.
On Wednesday, abc27 spoke with a devoutly Catholic state lawmaker who said he doesn’t think a politician’s faith is as important to voters as it once was.
However, he added that he doesn’t consider Biden Catholic because of his stance on abortion and gay marriage.