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chaput.jpgFirst conservative Catholic interest groups attacked Joe Biden for being insufficiently Catholic on the abortion question. That was the first parallel to John Kerry’s experience as a Catholic candidate in 2004.
Religion News Service reports that at least one Catholic archbishop is joining the fray:

…shortly after Biden was picked, Archbishop Charles Chaput [pictured] of Denver told The Associated Press: “I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for Communion, if he supports a false `right’ to abortion.”

That’s the second parallel to Kerry’s experience as a Catholic in ’04, as RNS notes:

Chaput is one of a handful of Catholic prelates who entered the political fray in 2004, telling Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry, who supports abortion rights, that he should not receive Communion.

So far, Chaput appears to be sole Catholic bishop taking aim at Biden, though RNS recounts some friction between the Deleware senator and his hometown bishop in the not-too-distant past:

In Delaware, the outgoing bishop of Biden’s home diocese, Bishop Michael Saltarelli, issued a statement in 2004 saying “it would be more spiritually beneficial” for Catholic public officials supporting abortion to refrain from Communion.
Saltarelli also said, “our Catholic institutions will not honor Catholic politicians who take pro-abortion legislative positions.”
Following those statements, Archmere Academy, the Catholic prep school in Claymont, Del., that Biden attended, dropped plans to name a new student center after him.
Wilmington diocesan spokesman Bob Krebs said Saltarelli had not issued new comments about Biden and stands by his previous statement.

Now the question is if and how Biden responds. If he declines to, and generally avoids Catholic settings during the campaign in an attempt to side step the controversy, that will be a third parallel to Kerry’s 04 experience. But Biden was hired to bring Catholics over to Obama; following Kerry’s example won’t help him do that.


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