The Vatican nixed a plan for Pope Francis to give President Joe Biden Holy Communion while the president is in Europe on Tuesday. While Biden identifies as Catholic and attends Mass, at least one priest has denied him Communion because the president advocates for abortion. The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will meet on Wednesday to vote on a committee to establish formal rules about who can and cannot receive the Eucharist.
A Vatican source told Catholic News Agency (CNA) that Rome nixed Biden’s attendance at a Tuesday morning Mass. Biden is currently in Europe for several high-profile meetings, and despite outreach from the White House, there is no meeting on the books for June 15.
The White House had originally requested that Biden attend an early-morning Mass with the pope, but the Vatican nixed the proposal “after considering the impact that Biden receiving Holy Communion from the pope would have on the discussions the USCCB is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16,” CNA reported.
USCCB will consider creating a committee to draft rules on eucharistic coherence, which will likely prevent pro-abortion politicians from receiving Communion while they advocate for the killing of unborn babies.
The term “eucharistic coherence” originated in the final document of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Aparecida, Brazil, in 2007. Then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, a principal draftee, lauded the document and Pope Benedict XVI authorized the final text. The relevant section runs as follows:
We hope that legislators, heads of government, and health professionals, conscious of the dignity of human life and of the rootedness of the family in our peoples, will defend and protect it from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia; that is their responsibility. Hence, in response to government laws and provisions that are unjust in the light of faith and reason, conscientious objection should be encouraged. We must adhere to ‘eucharistic coherence,’ that is, be conscious that they cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments, and health professionals. [emphasis added]
Then-Vice President Biden met with Pope Francis for the first time in September 2015, when the pontiff visited the United States to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. On April 29, 2016, Biden went to the Vatican for a summit on regenerative medicine.
When Biden took the oath of office in January 2021, the head of the USCCB issued an historic rebuke of the president. While José H. Gomez, the archbishop of Los Angeles and USCCB president, began his remarks with prayer for Biden’s welfare, he condemned Biden for having “pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender.”
Gomez also noted that “of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”
Indeed, Biden has fought to resurrect an Obama-era HHS rule that would force Roman Catholic doctors to perform transgender surgery, in violation of Catholic teaching on sexuality and in violation of the Hippocratic oath. He vigorously supports the Equality Act, which explicitly guts the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act — a bill for which Biden himself voted when he was in the Senate. Biden has also excluded the Hyde Amendment from his federal budget proposal, fighting to force pro-life taxpayers to unwittingly fund abortion.
The Vatican made the right move in nixing this meeting. If ever there were a clear case for the pope to deny Holy Communion to an ostensibly Catholic politician, it would be the excessively pro-transgender and pro-abortion Biden. So long as the president advocates for policies that constitute grave evils under Catholic doctrine and for rules that deprive the fundamental right of religious freedom, he does not deserve Communion — the physical symbol of welcome from the Roman Catholic Church.
Were the pope to deliver Communion to Biden now, that would not only undermine the USCCB’s authority in this upcoming meeting, but it would also send a terrifying signal that Catholicism will not uphold its own values. At some point, Pope Francis is going to have to take a stand.