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Biden Says Pope Told Him To Keep Receiving Communion, Thwarting Anti-Abortion Bishops

After a meeting with Pope Francis on Friday, President Joe Biden said the pope called him a “good Catholic” and said he should “keep receiving Communion” — this despite some U.S. bishops suggesting that the president should be denied the sacrament due to his support of abortion rights.

Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome, one leg of his trip to Europe for the G-20 summit. Asked later by reporters if abortion came up, Biden said it did not, but added that the pope said he was “happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion.”

Biden often speaks of how important his Catholic faith is to him, and he regularly attends mass. Yet some American bishops have suggested he should be denied Communion because he supports the right to an abortion: In June, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reportedly voted — 168 to 55 — to approve the drafting of a “teaching document,” or guidelines on the meaning of communion, admonishing Catholic politicians and other public figures who disobey the church’s anti-abortion position.

However, last month Pope Francis said Catholic bishops must minister to politicians who support abortion with “compassion and tenderness,” and should not let politics interfere with receiving Communion.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington D.C., has reportedly said Biden is welcome to receive Communion at churches in the archdiocese.

Pope Francis meets with U.S. President Joe Biden during an audience at the Apostolic Palace on October 29, 2021 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Vatican Pool via Getty Images

Biden told reporters that he and the pope prayed together and spoke about the “need” and “moral responsibility” to address the climate crisis.

When reporters asked if they discussed American bishops, the president responded that that was a “private conversation.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.


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