Despite being a pro-abortion Democrat who now wishes to fund the practice with taxpayer dollars, former Vice President Joe Biden said that Pope Francis has given him Holy Communion, and that he had never encountered a priest or bishop who would refuse him.
Speaking with PBS News Hour, Joe Biden said that the issue of receiving Holy Communion as a pro-abortion politician has never come up in his life until just recently.
“It’s not a position that I’ve found anywhere else, including from the Holy Father, who gives me Communion,” Biden said, as reported by LifeSiteNews.
Last week, a Catholic priest in South Carolina reportedly enforced the church’s code of canon law by denying former Vice President Joe Biden the sacrament of Holy Communion due to his stance on abortion.
“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Father Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church told reporters. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other, and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”
Biden told PBS that the Communion denial was “the only time it’s ever happened,” adding the situation was a “private matter,” while accusing the priest of bringing it to the press. While it is true that Father Morey told reporters about the encounter, it is possible that he told them of it only after they reached out, being that people in attendance or those close with Joe Biden might have spread word of it.
During every Mass, Catholic doctrine states that the wafer and wine become the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ when a priest consecrates it. In order for a Catholic to receive Communion, they must be in a state of grace after having attended the Sacrament of Confession. If a Catholic, usually by way of conscience, determines that they are not in a state of grace, they must refrain from receiving Holy Communion. When it comes to individuals who publicly oppose Catholic teaching (such as politicians who support abortion), bishops and priests are given full license under Canon Law to deny the person Holy Communion until they repent, lest they commit the sin of sacrilege if they receive what Catholics believe to be the body and blood of Christ unworthily.
As the abortion argument in the United States has escalated during the Trump era, certain Catholic bishops have taken extra steps to warn pro-abortion politicians to refrain from Holy Communion. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, for instance, expressly forbid all priests under his governance to give Holy Communion to politicians that supported the “Reproductive Health Act” in Illinois.
In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” late last week, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that he supports Father Morey’s decision even though he himself would give Joe Biden Holy Communion.
“I think that priest had a good point,” Dolan said. “You are publicly at odds with an issue of substance – critical substance. We’re talking about life and death in the church. You personally, out of integrity, should not approach Holy Communion – because that implies that you’re in union with all the church beliefs. I never have [denied someone Holy Communion]. I’ve never had, what you might call the opportunity, or never said, ‘uh-oh. Should I give him or her Holy Communion?’ It’s never come up. [It] sure could.”