In Biden’s Catholic Faith, an Ascending Liberal Christianity


While conservative Catholics have doubled down on their abortion and religious freedom policy over the past four years, Mr. Biden’s political priorities mirror those of Pope Francis, who has sought to divert the church’s attention from the sexual policy towards issues such as environmental protection, poverty and migration.

On his first day in office, Biden re-committed the United States to the Paris climate agreement, the international agreement designed to prevent global warming; ended the ban on travel from predominantly Muslim and African countries; and stopped the construction of the border wall.

Mr. Biden’s support for the right to abortion is already causing tensions in the Catholic Church. Even before the inaugural ceremony was over, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a lengthy statement criticizing Mr. Biden for policies “that would advance evil. moral “, in particular” in the fields of abortion, contraception, marriage and gender. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, who is known for his alignment with Pope Francis’ social and economic priorities, pushed back Twitter, calling the statement unprecedented and “reckless.”

Mr Biden’s priorities reflect the values ​​that progressive religious leaders have championed and which motivated many to speak up for him during the campaign, said Derrick Harkins, who led interfaith outreach for the Democratic National Committee during the campaign. last cycle. There is a sense of moral synergy on the left, not only among progressive Christians but also among humanists, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and the spectrum of religious traditions, he said.

The job now has “a chance to be really successful,” he said. “I am very optimistic about what can happen.

The popular progressive Christian movement takes center stage in Mr. Biden’s Washington.

Unlike four years ago, when many of the post-inaugural prayer service attendees were conservative evangelicals or prosperity gospel preachers, this year’s Thursday service included a wide range of religious progressives, including two transgender religious leaders. Rabbi Sharon Brous of IKAR, a Jewish community in Los Angeles, prayed for the advent of a new America, “built on love, rooted in righteousness and powered by our moral imaginations.”

The Reverend William J. Barber II, chairman of the Poor Campaign, preached and directly challenged Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to continue a third reconstruction, decades after the civil rights era. He urged them to tackle the “overlapping injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation / healthcare denial, the war economy and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism.”

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