How Joe Biden’s Catholic roots have shaped his public life

By Christopher White, 4 August 2020
Joe Biden
The 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden. Image: Phil Roeder/Wikimedia Commons


As uprisings sparked by George Floyd’s death erupted throughout the nation, Joe Biden turned to his Catholic faith to offer inspiration to a nation gripped by yet another killing of an unarmed Black man at the hands of a white police officer.

“I grew up with Catholic social doctrine, which taught me that faith without works is dead, and you will know us by what we do,” he said in a videotaped eulogy June 9, lamenting that there is still much work to be done “to ensure that all men and women are not only created equal, but are treated equally.”

Biden reiterated that last phrase when the civil rights hero Congressman John Lewis died July 17. Biden’s statement began: “We are made in the image of God.”

A “prayer to overcome racism” in a recent church bulletin at St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Greenville, Delaware, offered similar sentiments. The suburban parish north of Wilmington is where Biden and his wife, Jill, worship and where, Msgr. Joseph Rebman told NCR, “they arrive a little late and leave a bit early, just like a lot of Catholics.”

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With thanks to the National Catholic Reporter where this article first appeared.

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