Biden’s rosary

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. (White House photo)

The New York Times is reporting that as U.S. military forces began their mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden May 1, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “fingered his rosary beads” in the Situation Room of the White House.

It’s not the first time we have heard about Biden’s rosary. An Irish Catholic from Scranton, the vice president carries his rosary with him.  It is said that when he underwent brain surgery, he asked doctors if he could keep a rosary under his pillow. And, when he was exploring a run for the presidency in 2008, Biden famously said he would “shove his rosary beads down the throat” of any Republican who said he wasn’t religious.


About George P. Matysek Jr.

George P. Matysek Jr. is the assistant managing editor of The Catholic Review in Baltimore. View all posts by George P. Matysek Jr.

6 responses to “Biden’s rosary

  • george f kazmierczak


  • Vince

    You would think if he really listened while he did held that rosary, he’d rethink that whole abortion thing he supports so strongly.

  • F.R. Duplantier

    So he has a rosary. Does he ever pray it? Does he even know how?

    • John Lucier

      Would knowing how automatically make him a better person? It really is a curious thing, the idea of high level politicians being devout theists. Politicians, like lawyers, are essentially people who are paid to lie for a living. (which is why so many politicians have a background in law) The better they are at lying, and convincing people of the grand lie- that they never lie- the further they get.
      The gist of this is that if Biden is really good at his craft, like Bill Clinton good, he’ll have you convinced he knows how to pray the rosary just as well as the sisters in catholic school taught him. Doesn’t make him a better person.
      Strangely, I faced a similar dilemma years ago when, after receiving the sacraments through confirmation and having some time in catholic schools, I told my mother after my 18th birthday I would no longer be attending mass with her on Sundays, as I would be lying to her, the congregation, and myself, that I believed in God as they presented him.
      I thought that put my integrity on a higher scale than going to church to maintain appearances.
      (noting I hope I end up wrong on the faith issue, but that’s why I am agnostic, not atheist)

  • Mary Myers

    This story isn’t a ringing endorsement of the effectiveness of prayer as Biden has a strong pro-abortion voting record and hasn’t publicly repented as of yet. I wonder if Rosaries are efficacious when one is in a state of mortal sin? Do Holy Communions give grace when one is in a state of mortal sin?

  • Trapper

    If you folks and your comments reflect Chritianity then I must be reading the wrong Bible. Read Paul who tells us to leave the judging to God and the only ones that Jesus condemned in the Gospels were hypocrites who claimed to be religious and went around judging others. I condemn his support of abortion but I WILL not and CAN not judge hIm.

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