Several US bishops who were dismayed after President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis and Pope’s alleged statement that he should continue to partake in the sacrament, slammed Biden on Sunday for receiving Communion at St. Patrick’s Church during Saturday Vigil Mass, Fox News reports.
Catholic priests’ negative reactions, stemming from president’s position on abortion that is not in line with Church doctrine, culminated with Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland retweeting conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke’s blistering blog that strongly reaffirmed that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights cannot receive the sacrament.
Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin expressed his fear in a tweet on Friday that the Church has lost its prophetic voice, asking where the John the Baptists are that will confront the Herods of our day. He has also publicly challenged Pope Francis to deny communion to Biden.
In a statement aimed to the Pope, Tobin reminded the Pope on his bold statement that abortion is ‘murder,’ and asked the Pope to challenge Biden’s persistent support of abortion that’s an ‘embarrassment for the Church and a scandal to the world’.
After his 75-minute meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, Biden noted that abortion did not come up during the talks, but bragged that the Pope called him ‘good Catholic’ and told him he should keep receiving Communion.
Catholic priests and parishioners across the United States have continuously voiced criticism towards Biden for continuing to receive communion in his home dioceses in Washington and Delaware despite his strident support of unrestricted abortion, which is inconsistent with his Catholic faith.
A group of Catholic bishops has convened over the summer to discuss a potential communion ban for the president, which Biden dismissed as highly unlikely.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) previously pointed that individual bishops could deny communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights and pro-LGBTQ politicians with Cardinal Burke going so far as to suggest that the church should label such politicians as apostates.