On his return flight from Slovakia Pope Francis was asked for his opinion about the debate within the U.S. Bishops Conference, about whether Biden, who is Catholic, should be denied communion because of his support for a woman’s right to choose even though he is personally against abortion.
Abortion is “murder”, even soon after conception, said Pope Francis but appeared to criticize some U.S. Catholic bishops for dealing with U.S. President Joe Biden’s pro-choice position in a political rather than pastoral way. “Communion is not a prize for the perfect … communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his church,” the Pope added.
“I never denied communion to anyone. But I never knew that I had in front of me anyone such as you described, that is true,” he said, without elaborating.
Last June a divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft a statement on communion that may admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden.