On Friday, President Joe Biden told the press details about his meeting with Pope Francis as debate over Biden’s stance on abortion as a self-professed Catholic continues in the United States.
“We just talked about the fact that he was happy I’m a good Catholic,” Biden said, per Fox News. “And I should keep receiving communion.”
Biden noted that the pope did not provide him with communion during their time together. The president also reportedly delivered a “challenge coin” to the pope.
“I’m not sure this is appropriate, but there is a tradition in America that the president, that he gives to warriors and leaders,” Biden said. “You are the most significant warrior for peace I’ve ever met, and I’d like to be able to give you a coin.”
“I know my son would want me to give this to you,” Biden said, referencing his late son Beau.
The New York Times also reported that Biden responded, “Yes,” when he was asked by the media if Francis said if he should keep getting communion.
The Times added:
Asked to confirm Mr. Biden’s remarks, Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesman, said the Holy See limited its comments to the news release about subjects discussed during the meeting and added, “It’s a private conversation.”
The practice of communion among pro-abortion government leaders who say they are practicing Catholics has been a debate for some time. Pope Francis was asked about the topic of abortion and the intense discussion over communion, last month.
“Answering questions aboard the papal plane from Bratislava, Slovakia, to Rome on Sept. 15, the pope emphatically said that abortion ends a human life and that human life must be respected,” CNA News reported.
“Abortion is more than an issue. Abortion is homicide,” Pope Francis said. “It’s a homicide. No middle terms. Whomever does an abortion, kills.”
“Scientifically it’s a human life. The textbooks teach us that. But is it right to take it out to solve a problem? And this is why the Church is so strict on this issue because it is kind of like accepting this is accepting daily murder,” Pope Francis noted.
“As for whether to deny a pro-abortion politician the ability to participate in communion, the Pope was less decisive, suggesting that bishops and priests should seek to be pastoral and counsel those who seem confused about Church teachings because a pastor’s responsibility does not end when an individual has been excommunicated or has excommunicated themselves by disagreeing publicly with core dogma,” The Daily Wire reported.
“The problem is pastoral, how do we, as bishops, manage this principle,” Pope Francis said. “If we look at the history of the Church, we will see that every time the bishops acted not as pastors in a problem, they became politicians.”
“And what should the pastor do? He shouldn’t go around condemning. And he must also be a pastor with those who are excommunicated and be so with God’s style, which is closeness, compassion and tenderness,” Pope Francis said. “Those people who are not in the community cannot take communion, because they are out of the community. It is not a punishment: Communion is linked to the community.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a fierce supporter of abortion, has also faced scrutiny for her stance. She met with Francis earlier this month at the Vatican.
As The Daily Wire reported, “Pelosi, a lifelong Roman Catholic, has described herself as a ‘devout Catholic,’ but she has been criticized recently by her own bishop in San Francisco for her public support of legal abortion. The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is morally wrong and kills the unborn child, whose life begins at conception.”
“We must never lose sight of this fact: In the last 50 years, in the United States alone, 66,000,000 babies have been murdered in their mothers’ wombs,” San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said in May.
“This is not a matter about which one can use judgment. It is a fact,” the bishop added.