President Joe Biden’s insistence on his good standing with the Catholic Church is at odds with his positions on procured abortion, same-sex “marriage,” socialism and “transgender” activism. He is the second Catholic president in the nation’s history, and in the short time he has been in office, the most anti-Catholic one.
He has managed to offend and alienate most conservative Catholics, including some bishops and clergy, by his positions on moral issues. By his unwillingness to compromise, he shows no concern about obtaining their vote.
However, Mr. Biden enjoys the adulation and resounding support of the Catholic liberal establishment. He can count on the backing of progressive clergy (many of them in prominent positions), Jesuit universities and key Catholic figures to provide cover for his errant views.
The Appearances of Being Catholic
Make no mistake about it. Joe Biden and the political left depend on their connection to the Church. The open support of Catholic liberals projects their influence on the Catholic center. It is the narrow formula that Mr. Biden used for victory, securing 49 percent of the decisive Catholic vote.
Much depends on maintaining the outward appearances of being Catholic. Such considerations make no judgment on the sincerity of Mr. Biden’s faith but only on the political consequences of his external actions. The White House and the liberal media are zealous in their portrayal of Mr. Biden as a “devout Catholic.”
The future might rest well on things like Joe Biden’s rosary.
Guadalupe and Rosary Beads
Mr. Biden has been careful to surround himself with Catholic references and symbols. The president recently held a virtual conversation with Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. He cited Our Lady of Guadalupe, to whom he “paid respect” during a visit. Mr. Biden then displayed his rosary beads as proof of his faith.
Mr. Biden visited Mexico four times as vice president. He knows the political situation in this highly secular anti-Catholic state. He does not need to impress a leftist anti-Catholic Mexican president with talk of a rosary. The pro-abortion Mexican president is hostile to the Church. He recently asked the Church to apologize for helping to conquer the human-sacrificing, cannibalistic Aztec population in 1519-1521.
However, the media were quick to project the image of the rosary beads as a validation of Mr. Biden’s piety. They were quick to turn his respect into devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Power of Catholic Symbols
Joe Biden’s rosary is testimony to the power of Catholic symbols. The Church has a unique ability to express its doctrines and beliefs through symbols that attract the faithful. The symbols also give expression to experiences found in daily life. The symbol of the Cross, for example, poignantly expresses the resignation of dealing with the trials of life and the beauty of redemptive suffering.
For this reason, Catholic imagery and symbols attract, encourage and inspire the faithful to the practice of virtue and the worship of God. They are powerful instruments to convey messages about salvation and eternal life.
Using the Most Traditional Symbols to Pursue the Most Liberal Agendas
While recognizing the power of Catholic symbols, the Catholic left has always known the poverty of its own. It has typically used the most traditional Church symbols to pursue its liberal agendas. When firmly in power, Marxists will betray these symbols and ruthlessly impose their atheistic creed.
When Fidel Castro was fighting as a guerrilla in Sierra Maestra, during the fifties, for example, he and his men would visibly wear religious medals and rosaries to reassure the people that they meant no harm to religion.1 When he came to power, he turned on the Church with persecutions and purges.
Likewise, liberation theology’s followers build on traditional symbols and practices to introduce Marxist dialectics into the debate and fuel their revolutions.
The Weakness of the Left
The use of religious symbols also represents a weakness on the part of the left.
The nature of symbols is to express visibly that which is not visible, such as qualities and principles. The dynamism of good is to manifest its principles openly and radiantly since it has nothing to hide.
However, the dynamism of evil is to hide its principles and motives. It advances through subterfuge and ruses. Marxism recognizes no moral law and thus feels free to use religious symbols when suitable.
The atheistic left would much prefer to advance without the use of symbols of the other side. However, its symbols often hold no attraction.
The Clash of Actions and Beliefs
That is why Joe Biden’s rosary is so important. It has nothing to do with the sincerity of Mr. Biden’s faith that is best left for other debates. It has everything to do with the rosary’s periodic appearance that Democrat ideologues tolerate because it reassures an uneasy Catholic public.
The politicizing of the beads does present risks. The left uses it yet wants to destroy it. However, the rosary can also destroy those who abuse it.
The beads’ occasional appearance creates confusion in the minds of countless Catholics who cannot understand the violent clash between the immaculate Marian virtues represented by the rosary and the pro-abortion politics of this liberal politician who once presided over a same-sex “marriage” and advocates transsexual procedures for minors.
When Joe Biden presents his beads in public, it is a reminder of all the rosary represents. The rosary is a profound meditation on Our Lord Jesus Christ’s life, death, passion and resurrection that the left would prefer to be forgotten. The rosary is also that prayer that calls on the Mother of God to fulfill her promises made at Fatima, to triumph over the Church’s enemies.
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