Cardella: The Piety Meter

Two presidents. Donald J. Trump. Joseph R. Biden. One — whose life story is written in American tabloids. The other — is the story of triumph over personal tragedy. One — whose narrative about public dealings is etched in THE ART OF THE DEAL. The other — whose triumph is in overcoming those kinds of deals. Imagine if there were such a thing as a Piety Meter. Which one would rate higher? The guy who “saved” a Bible and then held it upside down? Or the one who saved his family. The guy for whom back rooms are more familiar than his neighborhood church or the other guy who has the audacity of taking communion on Sundays.

The winner — I’m ashamed to say — is Mr. Trump. The loser is Mr. Biden. While Trump is praised by evangelicals, it’s Biden who is being threatened with the withholding of a holy sacrament by the United Conference of Catholic Bishops. You can’t make this s—t up, as one of my deceased buddies once said.

Oh wait. Apparently you can. Don’t take my word for it. I refer you to “The Biden Communion Stories Are Stupid,” a column by Thomas Reese in the May 5, 2021 edition of the National Catholic Reporter. Reese writes that contrary to many bogus news reports — the Council of Bishops does NOT have the canonical authority to tell Biden that he cannot take communion. That authority is held solely by local bishops, not the bishops’ conference. The only way the bishops’ conference can get the required authority is to seek — from the Vatican — an exemption from church law. A two-thirds vote of the conference bishops is required to bring that baby about. Not going to happen. So help me FanDuel. But even if it did, it’s likely that the ope wouldn’t respond to the request (which is another reason for some of you not to like this pope, maybe even a reason to bring back Cardinal Ratzinger, but that’s your problem).

So long as Biden lives in and seeks Holy Communion in Washington, D.C., he’s safe. That’s because the current decision-maker is Cardinal Wilton Gregory. Cardinal Gregory says that he’s not planning to ask Biden to not take Holy Communion. And Biden ain’t planning to resign the presidency, so help me Hunter Biden.

As the president, Biden will no doubt attend Mass in other locales as well as D.C. When he does, it will be up to the local bishop to determine whether he wants to grab a headline or two by denying the president Holy Communion. I’m thinking Jen Psaki or one of Biden’s other staff members will be smart enough to find an agreeable bishop if such a need were to arise.

Biden believes abortion is legal. But he has never challenged the morality of the Church’s stance on the matter. As Reese writes in the National Catholic Reporter, so do more than half of American Catholics. It doesn’t take a student who aced the finals on syllogistic logic to intuit that if you ban Biden from receiving Holy Communion for such a reason, you’d need to ban over half of American Catholics.

The prospect of the parish priest making the “communion decision” might turn into a disincentive to attend Mass. It might also turn into a disincentive to be the priest. And that might bring diversity (think female priests) into the priesthood. I don’t think anyone on either side of the issue is eager to test the proposition.

Here’s where I’m willing to help out. I’ve just created my own version of the Piety Meter. With my version, Biden rates higher than Trump based on authenticity (Trump thinks “authenticity” is a small town in Alaska that produces way too much salmon and not enough fried chicken). I’m also downgrading piety — not because piety isn’t sometimes authentic, but because sometimes, it comes pre-mixed with b——t. Make that “most” times it comes pre-mixed with “b——t.”

You can purchase my Piety Meter for $19.95. Plus shipping and handling. Of course. But order now and get two for the price of one — and get a set of steak knives as a bonus. I am also including a digital recording of the 2020-2021 seasons of the TUCKER CARLSON SHOW on Fox News. The recordings include “Tucker Questions the Definition of Migrant.” “Tucker Exposes Vaccines As Not Always Effective” (I was a guest expert on that one). “Why Should We Believe Anyone Named Tucker?” “Where the Hell is Hannity These Days?” “I Found Someone Who Never Wore A Mask and She Never Got COVID-19. “Were the Tests on Hydroxychloroquine Sabotaged?” Director’s Cut … with EXTRA SCENES.

Tucker rated a 0.0 on the Piety Meter.