During a 90-minute meeting at the Vatican on Friday, Pope Francis told President Joe Biden that he was “happy” that Biden was a “good Catholic” and that Biden should keep “receiving Communion,” according to multiple reports.
- Biden expressed his gratitude to the pope for “his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution,” the White House said in a press release.
- Biden “lauded” the pope for his role in combating climate change and for his “advocacy to ensure the pandemic ends for everyone through vaccine sharing and an equitable global economic recovery,” the White House said in the press release.
- According to CNN, Biden gave the pope a commemorative coin for the 261st Signal Brigade, in which his late son Beau Biden served, calling the pope “the most significant warrior for peace” he has met.
Biden, the second Catholic president, is known to be a devoted Catholic who regularly attends Mass. The pope’s praise for Biden as a “good Catholic” comes at a time when some U.S. bishops have asserted he should be disqualified from receiving Communion due to his support for abortion.
Nearly seven in 10 Catholic adults in the U.S. believe Biden should be allowed to receive Communion, according to a March survey by the Pew Research Center. By political affiliation, more than half of the Catholics surveyed who identified with or leaned toward the Republican party said Biden should be denied Communion, compared with just one in ten respondents who identified with or leaned toward the Democratic party.