Joe Biden officiated at a Gay Marriage again

As reported in several sources, former Veep Joe Biden officiated at a same-sex marriage ceremony this past weekend. In 2016, Biden also officiated at a gay marriage. On both occasions, Biden had the role usually fulfilled by a priest or minister, in other words, he actually pronounced the couple married. He was not merely attending the wedding, nor merely in the wedding party.

A faithful Catholic might morally attend a wedding ceremony. Such attendance does not imply approval for same-sex marriages. A wedding of friends or family could be attended, despite the person’s belief in Catholic teaching, if the good consequences outweigh the bad, and if the Catholic has only good intentions. Merely attending a ceremony does not imply belief in the heresy that a valid marriage is possible between two persons of the same sex.

However, officiating at a gay marriage is in a different category. Biden voluntarily took the role of celebrant of the marriage, and in doing so expresses his belief that gay marriage is a valid type of marriage. He was not a government official required to issue marriage licenses to all who apply, nor a judge required to officiate for all who apply, for a marriage. He chose to express his adherence to an idea condemned by the Bible and the Church.

Dr. Ed Peters wrote a post on a previous Biden gay marriage ceremony. Peters is of the view that infallible teachings are divided into two types, and that one only commits heresy by sinning against an infallible teaching of one type, those that are divinely-revealed, as opposed to the other type, those that are to be held definitively.

I disagree with this distinction, as I explain in this post. The majority of magisterial teachings on the subject weigh heavily in favor of only two types of teaching, infallible and non-infallible, without any further division of infallible teachings.

In any case, that a valid marriage is between man and woman is divinely-revealed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and is infallibly taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. So the deed of Biden in officiating at a same-sex marriage, and his public statements on gay rights and gay marriage, make it clear that he is guilty of heresy and grave scandal in this matter. He is automatically excommunicated (latae sententiae) due to the sin of heresy.

And for the sake of the faithful, he should be excommunicated by a judgment and declaration of Church authority (ferendae sententiae). But the Bishops and Cardinals have not shown themselves willing to excommunicate Catholic politicians, even when they openly reject the teaching of Christ and His Church.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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7 Responses to Joe Biden officiated at a Gay Marriage again

  1. Matt Z. says:

    I have a few questions in this topic. Answer only when you have the time. (Biden should have been excommunicated a long time ago)

    I always thought the attendance at a wedding presumed you were witnessing something that is true. Would not attending a same sex ceremony be giving your approval to something that is clear cut not true and more than likely will lead the people into hell by commiting same sex acts? Would that not be scandalous for a Catholic to attend?

    Can a Catholic preside over a valid wedding of people of different religions? (A same sex wedding could never be valid since it is not one man and one woman)

    My brother, a fallen away Catholic is cohabitatting and will probably get married outside the Church. He will ask me to stand up in the wedding. I have already told him I could not stand up in his invalid marriage but will attend the reception. Is it virtuous for me to stay back from the wedding ceremony?

    Thanks.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Attendance does not imply approval. You could be attending, because you love your relative or friend who is getting married, despite their choice of an invalid or sinful marriage. You can avoid scandal by making it clear publicly that you oppose whatever the invalid type of marriage may be. Attendance is not intrinsically evil, so it depends on intention and circumstances.

      A Catholic can marry an unbaptized person, such as a Jew, with the approval of the Bishop. A priest can preside at such a wedding ceremony. The marriage is a valid natural marriage, but not the Sacrament.

      My opinion is that it is moral for you to attend your brother’s wedding, and even be in the wedding party (usher, for example). You can’t officiate. I don’t know if you should or could go so far as to be the best man. I think you should attend, showing your love for your brother and your forbearance for his error (which he does not realize is wrong).

  2. Matt Z. says:

    Is there any situation where attendance would imply approval? For instance, what about attending a satanic ritual? Or going to a rap concert with your friend knowing before hand the lyrics blaspheme God? What about if your close family member asks you to join him at a strip club?

    • Ron Conte says:

      I’m not going to answer any question on any subject, esp. questions that would require long answers. Please stick to the topic of the post, and questions that can be answered in brief. I think you can answer those questions yourself, using your own conscience.

  3. Michael says:

    Hi Ron ,on the subject of gay marriage & abortion.Im a U.K. Resident unsure of weather to abstain from voting in the upcoming general election due to the fact that all the major parties endorse gay marriage & to some degree abortion.These two matters are very close to my heart,but wonder if knowing that all the major parties endorse these sinful morals I’m still in Catholic teaching obliged to choose the party which ,taking into account their other manifesto pledges is the more morally upright?
    The Labour pary is far & away the party defending the poor & deprived & against nuclear weapons,above any of the other parties.
    Any imput would be most welcome!

    • Ron Conte says:

      Voting for persons or for parties is not, in most cases, intrinsically evil. So it is moral to vote with a good intention, in order to try to do the most good for society.

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you Ron.
    I can now vote in good conscience.

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