In a new campaign ad, Joe Biden discusses his 2016 meeting with Pope Francis in Rome and says that, on his way out of St. Peter’s Basilica, he happened to run in to a group of religious sisters.
“The first people I saw were a group of nuns who, to me, epitomize everything Pope Francis talked about in his homily and what he stands for, about generosity to other people, about reaching out, about making it a point to understand that we are our brother’s keeper,” Biden says in a voiceover while footage plays of his encounter with the pope and the nuns.
His campaign released the ad just one month after Biden lamented the Supreme Court ruling in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, in which the Court determined that the Trump administration had the authority to grant religious employers, including the Little Sisters, an exemption from Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. The mandate requires all employers, regardless of religious or conscience objections, to subsidize employees’ birth control, including abortion-inducing drugs.
“I am disappointed in today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that will make it easier for the Trump-Pence Administration to continue to strip health care from women — attempting to carve out broad exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s commitment to giving all women free access to recommended contraception,” Biden said in a statement following the ruling.
Biden also promised that, if elected, he would restore the contraceptive mandate that the Health and Human Services Department enacted during the Obama-Biden administration, claiming he would reinstate the policy as it “existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling.” (It is somewhat unclear how Biden plans to do so, considering that in Hobby Lobby the Court determined that the closely held company ought to be given an exemption as a result of the owners’ sincerely held religious beliefs.)
Meanwhile, this ad reveals that there is no depth to which the Biden campaign won’t sink in an effort to capitalize on his self-proclaimed Catholicism. In the video, Biden goes on to discuss having been educated by nuns and say he believed it was a “good omen” that he ran into that group of religious sisters when he did.
It takes plenty of gall for Biden to wield his Catholic faith as a political tool considering how blatantly many of his policy positions contradict fundamental Church teaching. But it is especially deceitful to praise nuns out of one side of his mouth while from the other he vows to compel religious sisters to violate the very faith he claims to profess.