Biden accused of mocking Catholicism for making sign of cross during abortion rally

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Biden accused of mocking Catholicism for making sign of cross during abortion rally

President Biden has long been at odds with the Catholic Church over his pro-choice stance, but some Catholics were nonetheless flabbergasted to see him make the sign of the cross during an abortion-rights event in Florida.

The president made the four-point sign representing the cross during the campaign stop Tuesday as he listened to Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried blast Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s stance on abortion gestational limits, as shown in a video clip.

“We come back here to the state of Florida, where Ron DeSantis felt like he needed to run for president, so 15 weeks wasn’t good enough,” said Ms. Fried. “We had to go to six weeks.”



It was unclear why Mr. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, would choose that moment to make the sign, but his gesture stunned CatholicVote President Brian Burch, who accused him of mocking Catholicism.

“Biden’s decision to make the Sign of the Cross in support of abortion extremism is a despicable charade that attempts to co-opt a sacred practice in support of his new abortion religion,” Mr. Burch said. “His gesture openly mocks the Christian belief in the sanctity of life. There is no divine support for destroying the lives of innocent children, and he should know better.”

He added that “Biden’s gesture suggests he is either terribly naive, or senile, or callously indifferent to the foundational beliefs of millions of Christians in America.”

This. Is. VILE!

President Biden makes the Sign of the Cross at an abortion rally in Florida!

You cannot be Catholic and support abortion!

You cannot invoke GOD and promote Death! pic.twitter.com/aG4P542EM0

— CatholicVote (@CatholicVote) April 23, 2024

Critics commenting on social media called the president’s gesture “disgusting,” “horrible,” and “grotesquely scandalous.”

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland, who was removed in November as Bishop of Tyler, Texas, over a clash with Pope Francis, called the president’s gesture “vile.”

“Absolutely vile, pray for the soul of our president, he is a feeble old man, he needs to prepare to meet his maker,” said Bishop Strickland on X.

The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is an intrinsically evil act and should be prohibited by law.

The sign of the cross is generally made before and after prayers, and at certain points in liturgies. Some old-school traditionalists also use it as a shocked reaction to something scandalous or appalling, akin to phrases like “oh my God,” “good grief” or “Lord have mercy.”

The Washington Times has reached out to the White House for comment.

Mr. Biden centered his campaign stop in Tampa on abortion rights, blaming former President Donald Trump for the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision that overturned Roe v. Wade after nearly 50 years.

Florida’s heartbeat bill, which bans most abortions after six weeks’ gestation, or when a fetal heartbeat can be heard, goes into effect May 1. The law includes exceptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

“Let’s be real clear: There’s one person responsible for this nightmare, and he’s acknowledged and he brags about it: Donald Trump,” said Mr. Biden in remarks at Hillsborough Community College outside Tampa.

That law could be wiped off the books in November, when voters will decide whether to approve Amendment 4, a ballot measure enshrining the right to abortion into the state constitution.

Mr. DeSantis said Tuesday that “Floridians are not buying what Joe Biden is selling, and in November, we’re going to play an instrumental role in sending him back to Delaware where he belongs.”

Mark A. Kellner contributed to this report.

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