A scheduled morning Mass involving President Joe Biden and Pope Francis has reportedly been nixed from the June 15 itinerary meeting between the two leaders.
Sources within the Vatican say the morning Mass was canceled because of the potential scandal that could arise if Pope Francis were to give Holy Communion to the stalwartly pro-abortion president, according to Catholic News Agency (CNA).
“President Biden, who is in Europe for several high level meetings, is taking off the morning of June 15 to meet Pope Francis as President of the United States for the first time,” reported CNA. “The President’s entourage had originally requested for Biden to attend Mass with the Pope early in the morning, but the proposal was nixed by the Vatican after considering the impact that President Biden receiving Holy Communion from the Pope would have on the discussions the USCCB is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16. The US Bishops are slated to vote on creating a committee that would draft a document about Eucharistic Coherence.”
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, abortion is a grave moral evil that cannot be approved or tolerated in any circumstance. In 2019, a Catholic priest in South Carolina reportedly enforced the church’s code of canon law by denying the then-former vice president the sacrament of Holy Communion because of 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.”
Speaking with Catholic World Report in February, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, who also serves as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said that Biden “should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic” while acknowledging that his abortion views stand in direct opposition to the Catholic Church.
“Mr. Biden professes to be a devout Catholic, yet is 100% pro-choice on abortion. How do you think America’s bishops ought to respond to this situation?” CWR asked.
“I can tell you how this bishop is responding. The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching. It would be a more honest approach from him to say he disagreed with his Church on this important issue and that he was acting contrary to Church teaching,” Naumann responded. “When he says he is a devout Catholic, we bishops have the responsibility to correct him. Although people have given this president power and authority, he cannot define what it is to be a Catholic and what Catholic moral teaching is.”
“What he is doing now is usurping the role of the bishops and confusing people,” Naumann added. “He’s declaring that he’s Catholic, and is going to force people to support abortion through their tax dollars. The bishops need to correct him, as the president is acting contrary to the Catholic faith.”