Catholic Archbishop says he would not have approved Biden’s visit to Catholic University

The archbishop of Cincinnati said on Tuesday that he was not informed of, and would not have approved, President Biden’s Wednesday visit to a Catholic university in his archdiocese.

“Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr has not been contacted by any involved party about the upcoming visit of President Joseph R. Biden to Cincinnati,” said the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in a statement released Tuesday. “Archbishop Schnurr has therefore not been asked for, nor would he have granted, his approval for any such event to occur on Catholic premises.”

Biden appeared at a town hall event broadcast hosted by CNN on Wednesday evening. The event was hosted by Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, which is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and therefore not under the direct oversight of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Mount St. Joseph does describe itself as a Catholic University on its website. 

Biden is only the second Catholic president in U.S. history. Some of his policies, such as immigration and fighting poverty, have been praised by the U.S. bishops’ conference. His stance on abortion, gender issues, and religious freedoms, however, have prompted criticism and concern from the group. 

“I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles said. “Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”

Biden has historically flip-flopped on abortion. In 1976 he voted for the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortions by Medicaid. Despite that, when crafting his budget request for the 2022 fiscal year, Biden included taxpayer-funded abortion by excluding the Hyde Amendment.

Biden also supports the Equality Act, legislation that recognizes gender identity and sexual orientation as classes protected by federal law; something the U.S. bishops’ conference vehemently opposes. 

“Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act discriminates against people of faith precisely because of those beliefs,” the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference said in a statement. “In the process, the Equality Act codifies the new ideology of ‘gender’ into federal law, dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting ‘gender’ as a social construct.”

Biden was largely criticized by conservative users on Twitter after the town hall event. At one point, he told the audience that children under 12 should be wearing masks in schools this fall. Later on, he told a restaurant owner that nobody wants to work in restaurants anymore because there are “better opportunities available.”

“It’s infuriating to listen to the non-scientific idiocy at the Biden town hall,” Kyle Becker, a conservative author, tweeted. “Children under 12 should be masked? Sure, let’s make tens of millions of kids miserable, drive up anxiety social alienation, over a virus that kills an average of one *healthy* kid per month. Insanity. This garbage pseudo-science mask fetishization will wind up killing more kids than the masks will save. Bank on it. What a bunch of lunatic control freaks.”

Biden’s next town hall event has not yet been announced.