President Joe Biden’s support for abortion rights will be brought into the limelight again on Monday when the US Roman Catholic Bishops are expected to revisit if that support should disqualify him from receiving communion.
As first Catholic president since John F. Kennedy, Biden opposes abortion but supports a woman’s right to opt for one and vowed to protect abortion rights in the face of increasingly restrictive laws enacted by several US states, including the controversial Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks that his administration tried to block last month through the Supreme Court.
The bishops that will gather in Baltimore for a conference starting Nov. 15-18, are scheduled to vote on a document drafted in June that is clarifying the meaning of Holy Communion, a sacrament central to the faith, and is advising bishops to deny Communion to “Catholics in public office who support legislation allowing abortion, euthanasia, or other moral evils.”
This has been a burning issue that has deepened rifts in the church since the Democrat took office considering that, along with Biden, there are 158 Catholics in Congress, most of them Democrats supporting abortion rights, and six Catholic Supreme Court justices, mainly anti-abortion Republicans.
Yet, the Vatican doesn’t seem enthusiastic about the idea with Pope Francis previously urging US bishops to be “pastors” not “politicians” on abortion, telling Biden during their meeting last month that he’s a good Catholic that “should keep receiving Communion.”