Bishop apologizes after calling Biden 'stupid' for not understanding Catholicism

Bishop Robert Gruss of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw discusses the absolute primacy of prayer.
Bishop Robert Gruss of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw discusses the absolute primacy of prayer. | Screengrab: Catholic Diocese of Saginaw/YouTube

A Catholic bishop is apologizing for asserting that President Joe Biden, a self-professed practicing Catholic, was “stupid” because of his failure to understand the teachings of his faith.

Bishop Robert Gruss of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw in Michigan released a statement Friday lamenting, “In a recent talk on Forgiveness and Unforgiveness, my comments about the president of the United States were taken out of context. I was speaking in the context of forgiving the president and any people in government who offend us by their words and actions — that we cannot harbor resentment toward them because in doing so, it would be sinful.”

Gruss acknowledged that “I used the word ‘stupid’ in reference to President Biden, recognizing that it was poor judgment in my choice of words.” He added, “It was not meant to be disparaging, and I apologize.”

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“I will continue to pray for the president and all political leaders, that they may seek and be guided by the Spirit of Truth,” he vowed. “I encourage people of all faiths and goodwill to pray for our great nation.”

In a discussion on April 5, Gruss stressed the importance of forgiveness. During his remarks, he insisted that “forgiveness is not just about people” but that forgiveness is “about relationships” as well.

“We have a relationship to the government,” Gruss said. “If you’re harboring bad negative resentful feelings toward our president, you’re not free.”

Gruss suggested that failure to forgive Biden amounts to “letting him control you and your thoughts and your words and your actions.” He warned, “If he is a problem for you, then those thoughts, words and actions are negative and they’re going to come out.” 

“Then we commit sin,” he explained. “That’s what sin is.”

Gruss asked the audience, “How many times have you confessed at your anger towards the president,” eliciting laughter from those gathered. He insisted that he was “serious,” adding, “I’m not kidding.”

“If you haven’t, you should be confessing it. I’m not kidding. Otherwise, you’re not free,” he continued. “Forgiveness is not just about people that [are] in our little circle of influence, it’s about people outside our circle of influence, like the president of the United States or anybody else in his administration.”

After reiterating his call to “ask the Lord to help you forgive him,” the bishop maintained that “I don’t have any anger toward the president, I feel sorry for him.”

“I’m not angry at him, he’s just stupid,” Gruss proclaimed, eliciting more laughs. The faith leader stated that Biden had “ignorance in the sense of not knowing” and stressed that he was not accusing Biden of “stupidity in a derogatory way.” 

“He doesn’t understand the Catholic faith,” Gruss asserted. “I’m not angry at him. I feel sorry for him. That’s different.” 

Gruss declared that “he doesn’t control my life, I don’t have resentfulness for him.” Instead, “I’m sad for him because he’s not living the life Jesus wants for him.” 

While Gruss did not elaborate on why he believed Biden was “not living the life Jesus wants for him” and said the president “doesn’t understand the Catholic faith,” the distaste for the president within some Catholic circles usually stems from his outspoken support for abortion despite the Catholic Church’s clear teaching against murdering babies. 

During a speech made at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in 2022, Biden condemned Republican efforts to “make sure that Roe is forever gone and Dobbs becomes a national law.” Biden’s comments referred to the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide and the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling that overruled Roe and determined that the U.S. Constitution does not contain a right to abortion. 

“I happen to be a practicing Roman Catholic — my church doesn’t even make that argument now. And so we’re in a situation where things have changed a lot,” Biden claimed.

Biden’s remarks implied that the Catholic Church would not endorse a national abortion ban. “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church states. 

“This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” the Catechism adds.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.