U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. disclosed on Friday that Pope Francis told him he is a good Catholic and should keep receiving communion, despite protests from some U.S. bishops over his political support for abortion rights.
Asked whether the issue of abortion came up while meeting with the Pope, President Biden said, “No, it didn’t. It came up — we just talked about the fact that he was happy I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion.”
Pressed by a reporter before his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Draghi of Italy at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, on whether the Pope “said that you should be receiving Communion?”, President Biden replied, “Yes.”
Pope Francis has said abortion is murder and compared it to hiring a hitman to kill a child, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has weighed whether to deny President Biden communion over his support for abortion rights. Mr. Biden has said he personally opposes abortion but as the President of the United States he has supported it.
Asked by a reporter whether he discussed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops with Pope Francis, President Biden said that was a private conversation.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden met with Pope Francis on Friday afternoon at Vatican City and discussed a range of issues, including climate change and the poor, the White House said in a read out.
The President also met with the President and Prime Minister of Italy as well as with President Emmanuel Macron of France.