President Joe Biden gave an eyebrow-raising response Friday when a reporter asked him if the issue of abortion came up at all during his conversation with Pope Francis.
Biden, who is Catholic, traveled to the Vatican last week and met with the pope.
Today, President Biden participated in meetings with His Holiness Pope Francis, Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin of the Holy See, President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, and President Emmanuel Macron of France. pic.twitter.com/Amrqk0tYPM
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 30, 2021
Considering the president’s pro-abortion stance, which is at odds with Catholic Church teaching, many wanted to know if the topic was broached when the two men talked.
“Mr. President, did the issue of abortion come up at all,” a reporter asked Biden.
“No, it didn’t,” the president replied. “We just talked about the fact that he was happy I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion.”
JUST IN: Asked if the issue of abortion came up during his meeting with Pope Francis, Pres. Biden responded, "No, it didn’t…We just talked about the fact that he was happy I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion."
— ABC News (@ABC) October 29, 2021
In fact, Biden went on to receive Communion at St. Patrick’s Church in Rome.
So I am now an AP photographer too. Biden received Communion this evening at St. Patrick's Church in Rome. pic.twitter.com/sOvpaIKOUa
— Nicole Winfield (@nwinfield) October 30, 2021
A White House readout, meanwhile, provided a general overview of what Biden and Pope Francis discussed.
“In his audience with Pope Francis today, President Biden thanked His Holiness for his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution,” the readout read.
“He lauded Pope Francis’ leadership in fighting the climate crisis, as well as his advocacy to ensure the pandemic ends for everyone through vaccine sharing and an equitable global economic recovery,” it added.
One anonymous White House official characterized the conversation as “warm.”
“The engagement between the two was very warm when the delegation arrived in the room,” the official said, according to the Washington Examiner. “There was laughter and clear rapport between President Biden and Pope Francis.”
But Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, thought the pope should have confronted Biden over his support for pro-abortion policies.
I fear that the Church has lost its prophetic voice. Where are the John the Baptists who will confront the Herods of our day?
— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) October 29, 2021
Tobin is not alone in his sentiments.
“Biden’s pro-abortion rights stance has rattled some Catholics in the United States, including 168 bishops who sought to block the president from receiving communion. The Vatican shot down that suggestion in June, though Pope Francis has not publicly commented on the subject,” the Examiner reported.