White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday stated President Biden will probably “continue to attend church” regardless of efforts by U.S. Catholic bishops to forestall him and different politicians who assist abortion policies from receiving Communion at Mass.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) last week voted overwhelmingly to draft a proper doc on the that means of the Eucharist after a contentious debate on whether or not Biden and different politicians supportive of abortion insurance policies are worthy of receiving Communion. The vote tally introduced Friday was 168 bishops in favor, 55 opposed, and 6 bishops abstaining.
A bit of the doc is predicted to incorporate a particular admonition to Catholic politicians and different public figures who disobey church teachings on abortion and different core doctrinal points.
When requested in regards to the proposed doc Monday, Psaki stated President Biden “is a strong man of faith,” calling faith “personal” to him.
“He goes to church, as you know, nearly every weekend. He even went when we were on our overseas trip,” Psaki instructed reporters. “But it’s personal to him. He doesn’t see it through a political prism, and we’re not going to comment otherwise on the inner workings of the Catholic Church.”
President Joe Biden walks from St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church after attending mass, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Psaki added that the president’s religion “has helped guide him through some challenging moments in his life.”
“That’s how many Americans see their faith as well, not through a political prism,” she stated. “So I would suspect he will continue to attend church, as he has for many, many years.”
The president, on Friday, was additionally requested in regards to the vote, and seemingly solid doubt on whether or not the language could be formalized.
“That’s a private matter,” the president stated, including, “and I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Biden, who attends Mass usually, has stated he personally opposes abortion however would not suppose he ought to impose that place on Americans who really feel in any other case. He’s taken a number of govt actions throughout his presidency that have been hailed by abortion rights advocates.
Biden, early within the 2020 presidential election cycle, reversed his stance on the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the usage of federal funds to subsidize abortions apart from instances of rape, incest, or when a girl’s life is endangered by a fetus. At the time, he stated he “can no longer support an amendment that makes” a girl’s proper to an abortion “dependent on someone’s ZIP code.”
“I make no apologies for my last position and I make no apologies for what I’m about to say,” Biden stated in 2019, defending his change of coronary heart. “I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right.”
Some bishops consider Biden compelled their hand on making a call and the church’s credibility was on the road in the event that they did not transfer ahead with a doc reaffirming core Catholic values.
“It’s not the bishops who have brought us to this point — it’s some of our public officials,” stated Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas throughout Thursday’s debate. “This is a Catholic president doing the most aggressive things we’ve ever seen on life at its most innocent.”
Up subsequent, at the very least two-thirds of the bishops must vote to undertake the brand new language at their subsequent gathering slated for November. The choice on whether or not Biden ought to be allowed to obtain Communion would nonetheless be left as much as particular person bishops, as is commonplace for all churchgoers, however a brand new doc would inform these choices.
Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, has made clear that Biden is welcome to obtain Communion at church buildings within the archdiocese. During Thursday’s debate, Gregory pressed towards authoring a brand new Communion doc right now.
“The choice before us at this moment is either we pursue a path of strengthening unity among ourselves or settle for creating a document that will not bring unity but may very well further damage it,” Gregory stated.
The secret vote tally was introduced Friday afternoon, however the prolonged debate on the measure befell Thursday throughout a digital session of the bishops’ nationwide assembly.
Catholics consider that in Mass the bread and wine used for Communion grow to be the physique and blood of Jesus Christ. The sacrament of the Eucharist is so sacred to the Church that some bishops have expressed issues about whether or not Biden is worthy for Communion given his pro-abortion insurance policies that run counter to the Catholic Church’s pro-life beliefs.
Still, some bishops stated the doc itself would not be about one particular person.
Asked immediately on Thursday whether or not Biden ought to obtain Communion, the chairman of the USCCB doctrine committee made clear it is not up for the convention to determine however somewhat take a look at “Eucharistic consistency” extra broadly.
“That’s a decision of his bishop,” Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana stated at a press convention.
Fox News‘ Marisa Schultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.