President Joe Biden, who has been characterized by the White House as a “devout Catholic” and calls himself a “good Catholic,” paid out less than $3,000 in church donations in 2021, according to the president’s tax returns.
The president and first lady Jill Biden filed jointly, and in the return posted by the New York Post, they listed a gross income of $610,702.
Many pages into the back of the filing, it shows that combined, the Bidens gave $2,800 to three Catholic churches — $2,200 to St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, $550 to Holy Trinity in Washington and $50 to St. Edmond’s in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where they have a vacation home.
The math works out that they gave 0.46 percent of their income in support of their Catholic faith.
The Bidens also listed a donation of $1,800 to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rehoboth.
Overall, they donated $17,394 to charities in 2021, which comes out to just under 3 percent of their income.
The Post noted that they were more generous in 2020, when Biden was running for the White House, giving $30,704.
The largest donation in 2021 was $5,000 to the Beau Biden Foundation, named for the president’s late son.
When it comes to the practice of tithing, defined as giving a fixed portion of income — typically 10 percent — to one’s church, Catholic.com said, “Although the Church teaches that offering some form of material support to the Church is obligatory for all Catholic adults who are able to do so, it doesn’t specify what percent of one’s income should be given.”
The site further said the church wants parishioners to give “freely and cheerfully the amount they are able.”
Although Biden paints himself as devout, some Catholic leaders said it’s not how little he gives that matters, but his deep and abiding embrace of abortion.
“The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching,” Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said last year, according to The Catholic World Report.
“It would be a more honest approach from him to say he disagreed with his Church on this important issue and that he was acting contrary to Church teaching,” Naumann said.
Joe Biden Celebrates Abortions, Calls Killing Babies a “Constitutional Right” https://t.co/NzC433EzYm
— Steven Ertelt (@StevenErtelt) April 16, 2022
“When he says he is a devout Catholic, we bishops have the responsibility to correct him. Although people have given this president power and authority, he cannot define what it is to be a Catholic and what Catholic moral teaching is,” he said.
Biden is “usurping the role of the bishops and confusing people,” Naumann said.
“He’s declaring that he’s Catholic, and is going to force people to support abortion through their tax dollars. The bishops need to correct him, as the president is acting contrary to the Catholic faith,” he said.
The president does not speak often about the conflict between his views on abortion and his faith, telling a reporter it was “a private matter” and “just my personal life,” according to a Politico Magazine profile last year.
“He is a president who built his life in politics around the idea of faith, not in some vague way, but in a specifically Catholic way. When he explains himself to the world, it is through Catholic social doctrine and the Catholic institutions he loved: the nuns, the schools, the culture,” Ruby Cramer wrote.
“And yet he has arrived in the White House to discover that he is viewed suspiciously not by non-Catholics for being too Catholic, but rather by members of his own faith for not being Catholic enough.”
However, the article said Biden had grown frustrated with questions about the issue years earlier.
“The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads down their throat,” he told a crowd in 2005.