Joe Biden says Pope Francis told him to ‘keep receiving Communion’

Matt Hadro   By Matt Hadro for CNA

Pope Francis and Joe Biden meet at the Vatican, Oct. 29, 2021. / Vatican Media.

Washington D.C., Oct 29, 2021 / 10:07 am (CNA).

According to multiple news reports, President Joe Biden on Friday said that Pope Francis told him to “keep receiving Communion.”

President Biden met with the pope in person for 75 minutes on Friday. According to the White House pool report, Biden told reporters afterward that he and the pope prayed for each other, and discussed climate change.

They did not discuss abortion, according to Biden, but the issue indirectly came up in the topic of his receiving Communion.

“We just talked about the fact that he was happy I was a good Catholic,” Biden said, adding that the pope told him to “keep receiving communion.” CNN and Reuters also reported that, according to Biden, the pope told him to keep receiving Communion.

According to the New York Times, a Vatican spokesman on Friday said, “I would consider it a private conversation” when asked about Biden’s remarks on Communion.

Biden, the second American Catholic to become president, has supported taxpayer-funded abortion during his first year in office, and has issued statements in defense of legal abortion. The issue of pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving Communion has been a matter of widespread discussion during his presidency.

On the day of Biden’s inauguration as president, the U.S. bishops’ conference noted concerns about Biden’s policy positions on abortion, marriage, and gender. When asked if he discussed the U.S. bishops with the pope on Friday, Biden replied that it was a “private conversation.”

According to the White House pool report, Biden said that Pope Francis blessed his rosary. The president said that he had not received Communion on Friday.

Individual U.S. bishops have issued statements in recent months on Communion for pro-abortion politicians.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois said in May that “Sadly, there are some bishops and cardinals of the Church who not only are willing to give holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, but who seek to block the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from addressing the question of Eucharistic coherence.”

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco stated in May that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should refrain from presenting themselves for Communion.

While Biden was campaigning for president in South Carolina, he was denied Communion at a parish in 2019, in accord with diocesan policy.

Other bishops, such as Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, have said that the Eucharist should not be denied to pro-abortion Catholic public officials. At an online panel in February, McElroy warned that some bishops were seeking to make abortion a “litmus test” for Catholic officials, and said attempts to deny them Communion would be seen as a “weaponization” of the Eucharist.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington has already said he would not deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians. While Biden’s previous bishop in Wilmington, Bishop Francis Malooly, did not deny him Communion in the diocese, the new Bishop of Wilmington has not made a public statement on the matter.

Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law states that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in a 2004 memo to U.S. bishops as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stated that Catholic public officials who publicly campaign for permissive abortion laws should be instructed by their pastor not to present themselves for Communion unless they stop promoting such laws. If they continue to do so despite the warnings of their pastor, and if they present themselves for Communion, the minister must deny them Communion, Ratzinger noted.

Before Biden’s visit, the White House on Wednesday said that Pope Francis “has spoken differently” than Biden on the topic of abortion.

Biden promised a “whole-of-government” effort to maintain abortion in Texas after the state’s law restricting most abortions went into effect in September. His administration is currently opposing Texas’ law at the Supreme Court, and has also fought in court to keep in place the “transgender mandate,” a requirement that doctors perform gender-transitioning procedures upon the referral of a mental health professional.

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  1. A private conversation but with an extreme pro-abortion politician publicly yelling victory with being a ‘good Catholic’ thrown in for good measure.

    Again, Biden has the last word.

    Vatican is mum on this as it was with Pelosi.

    ‘Abortion is murder’ rings rather hollow with this papacy.

    Step up all of you Francis’ cheerleaders and, once again, square the circle with a Pope who will neither confirm or deny what this president claims.

  2. It’s exactly what Bergoglio wanted. All of his recent speeches about the sinfulness of abortion:, it’s all been window dressing for this event, providing plausible deniability and covering his bases when the criticism starts. He doesn’t mean a word of it. This has to be the most fraudulent pope in centuries. I never thought I would see this. The lies, duplicity, spitefulness, recrimination and meanness are too much.

  3. By the way, this article should be at the top of your webpage. Catholics need to know about Bergoglio’s instruction to Biden.

  4. Like Scalfari, Biden does not take notes, and, you know, his short-term memory and cognitive faculties are not what they used to be be. While his capacity for slander and lying through his teeth is still as great as ever, he is probably telling us the truth this time. At any rate, I hear there was much common ground on migration and climate change.

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