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Biden sparks Christian group's anger after making sign of the cross at abortion rally: 'Disgusting insult'


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President Biden sparked outrage Tuesday when he made the Sign of the Cross while rallying against abortion restrictions.

Biden made the ostensibly pious gesture in Tampa while Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried complained about Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state's tightening six-week ban on abortion.

"We come back here to the state of Florida, where Ron DeSantis felt like he needed to run for president, so 15 weeks wasn’t good enough," said Fried. "We had to go to six weeks."

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As Fried spoke, Biden motioned the cross by touching his forehead, chest and shoulders in the traditional formula.

The Sign of the Cross is an ancient expression of piety that has existed since at least the third century and is commonly used by Catholic and Orthodox churches as a form of blessing.

"Biden's use of the Sign of the Cross in support of abortion is a disgusting insult towards all Christians, but especially of Catholics whom he claims as his own," Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday.

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He added, "The Sign of the Cross is a sacred gesture used by believers to bless themselves, ask forgiveness, or to protect them from temptation. Instead, Biden has turned this ancient Christian practice into an endorsement of abortion extremism."

Biden has leaned into his Catholic identity in his presidential campaigns, asserting himself as a devout believer despite blatant disregard for non-negotiable church teachings.

Last week, a bishop in Michigan accused Biden of "stupidity" regarding the dissonance between his religion and politics.

"I don't have any anger towards the president. I feel sorry for him. I'm not angry at him, he's just stupid," said Bishop Robert Gruss of the Diocese of Saginaw. "It's not stupidity in the derogatory way, it's stupidity in the sense of [...] he doesn't understand the Catholic faith."

"No Catholic, regardless of their position on abortion, can support this grotesque abuse of religious piety," Burch told Fox News Digital about Biden making the Sign of the Cross. "Voters of faith need to wake up and understand what is at stake this November."

He added, "The new abortion religion, which seeks to mock and ultimately destroy Christianity, is on the ballot."

Fox News Digital reached out to Bishop Gregory Parkes in the Diocese of St. Petersburg — the geographic region of the Catholic Church that has jurisdiction over Tampa — for comment on the president's abortion rally.

"Bishop Gregory Parkes consistently teaches about the Catholic Church’s position on abortion," a spokesperson for the diocese told Fox News Digital. "Also, Bishop Parkes and the bishops of Florida have recently issued a statement to educate people on the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion and why they should vote no on Amendment Four."

Amendment Four, as proposed by Florida pro-choice groups earlier this year, would dictate that "no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient's health, as determined by the patient's healthcare provider."

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement this month saying, "We urge all Floridians of goodwill to stand against the legalization of late-term abortion and oppose the abortion amendment. In doing so, we will not only protect the weakest, most innocent, and defenseless of human life among us, but also countless women throughout the state from the harms of abortion."

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