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.