Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the Archbishop of Washington, critiqued President Joe Biden during a recent appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Gregory used the term “cafeteria Catholic” to describe Biden’s selective adherence to the teachings of the Church, suggesting that the president embraces aspects of the faith that align with his political views while sidelining others. “Like a number of Catholics, he picks and chooses dimensions of the faith to highlight,” Gregory said.

In the televised interview, which also featured Episcopal Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of Washington, Gregory expanded on his thoughts, acknowledging Biden’s sincerity in his faith. However, the Cardinal emphasized the president’s reluctance to fully embrace the Church’s teachings, especially on life issues. “There are things that he chooses to ignore,” Gregory said.

Gregory specifically addressed Biden’s stance on abortion. Despite Biden’s regular attendance at Mass and public declarations of faith, Gregory implied that a comprehensive commitment to life, from conception to natural death, is essential for a Catholic. “You’re either one who respects life in all of its dimensions, or you have to step aside,” he argued.

Gregory concluded he wouldn’t be “at all surprised” to learn that Pope Francis has discussed these issues with Biden.

While Gregory has previously resisted moves to deny Communion to politicians like Biden, his comments highlight ongoing tensions between the Church’s teachings and the political positions adopted by some of its members.

Photo credit: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
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