President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE on Friday downplayed the possibility of Catholic bishops potentially barring him from receiving communion over his support for abortion rights.
“That’s a private matter, and I don’t think that’s gonna happen," Biden told reporters when asked about the debate within the Catholic church over the measure.
Biden on Catholic bishops taking steps to deny Catholic politicians like him from receiving communion over support for abortion rights:— The Recount (@therecount) June 18, 2021
“That’s a private matter and I don’t think that’s gonna happen.” pic.twitter.com/8KFkvjk9Lu
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) earlier Friday voted to proceed with drafting a formal statement on the meaning of communion, which will include whether Biden and other politicians should be denied the rite based on their stance on abortion.
The document will be up for debate, subject to amendments and voted on at the group’s next meeting in November. Even if it passes, it is unlikely to have any real impact on Biden and other politicians.
Church law doesn’t allow for national policies, so any USCCB measure would need approval from the Vatican, which is highly unlikely.
Still, the debate has prompted criticism from Democrats accusing the church of weaponizing communion and of hypocrisy given the sexual abuse scandals involving clergy members.
Biden is a practicing Catholic, speaking often about his religion and attending mass regularly whether in Washington, D.C., or traveling back to Delaware. He also attended mass while in Europe last week.