Bishop Roades: Wrong to Honor “Pro-Choice” and “Pro-Gay Marriage” VP Joe Biden.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, the 9th Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, whose diocese encompasses the University of Notre Dame, said that it is wrong to honor Vice President Joe Biden with the prestigious Notre Dame Laetare Medal. Rhoades considers Biden to be an unfit candidate to receive the award because of his view on abortion and gay marriage. Biden is a supporter of gay marriage, and he also supports legal abortion. Bishop Rhoades said that it is not right to honor people who may be exemplary in one area but very irresponsible in another.
Rhoades said that abortion goes against natural law, and it is against the fundamental principle of social teaching and Catholic morality. He said every life has a God-given right to live from the time of its conception. Terminating a life, no matter when, goes against the rules of God. Speaking about gay marriage, he said that, it undermines the true and authentic meaning of marriage. Rhoades said that the Church has always urged its officials to take a stand against any law that supports abortion and gay marriage.
The Laetare Medal is an annual award given by the University of Notre Dame in recognition of outstanding service to the Catholic Church and society. It is one of the oldest (dating back to 1883) and the most prestigious award for Catholics in America. John F. Kennedy (ex-President), Walker Percy (novelist), Martin Sheen (actor), Dorothy Day (founder of Catholic Worker), and Dave Brubeck (Jazz composer) are some of the personalities who have received the Laetare award.
— Kevin Clarke (@ClarkeAtAmerica) March 16, 2016
The President of the University of Notre Dame, Father John I. Jenkins, said that honoring Joe Biden with the award does not mean that the University is endorsing the political position of Biden. The institution is just recognizing the good works that he has done for the country and for the Church. The University will be awarding the Laetare Medal to John Boehner (a former Speaker of the House) as well, along with Biden. The award will be given at the commencement of the University on May 15.
Bishop Rhoades commented that the University should raise the bar when it comes to honoring certain people with the award. It should set the standards higher so that no undeserved person will receive the award. He said the award should be given to people who respect life. People who respect true marriage, religious freedom, justice, and try to promote peace.