The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is expected to vote on draft guidelines clarifying the meaning of Communion that could prohibit Catholics who express support for abortion — such as President Joe Biden and House speaker Nancy Pelosi — from receiving the Eucharist.
Biden had condemned the U.S Supreme Court’s majority decision not to review the Texas abortion law and claiming it will unleash “unconstitutional chaos.” The Texas law bans abortions at six weeks and allows private citizens to bring legal action against anyone who assisted in terminating the pregnancy, including those who drive a woman to the abortion appointment.
The proposed vote at the conference in Baltimore this week comes days after Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Biden later informed reporters that the pope had said he was a “good Catholic” who may receive Communion. Biden said the subject of abortion was not raised, but indicated he had the pope’s general support.
“We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion,” Biden said after meeting pope.
San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who is Pelosi’s archbishop, is of the view that priests should deny Communion to Catholic public figures who support abortion rights. But Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, reiterated that Biden is welcome to receive Communion there.
Biden a devout catholic
Biden is a devout catholic. He uses religious imagery at public events, and his Catholicism is woven into his speeches and policies. He is known to attend mass every Sunday. Jesuit Father Leo O’Donovan – a former president of Georgetown University – delivered the invocation at Biden’s inauguration. More than a third of Biden's Cabinet also share his Catholic faith.
Biden is the second Catholic president of the United States. Before Biden, John F. Kennedy was the only Catholic to be elected to the president of United States.
Democratic party has often been at loggerheads with a section of Catholic clergy especially over the issue of abortion.
While Kennedy won over 80 percent of their vote; Biden won Catholics by a narrow majority in the US Presidential election.
Catholics constitute around 23% of the US population.
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