President Biden received communion in Rome Saturday, as battles over abortion continue to rage in the US.
Biden and his wife Jill joined about 30 parishioners at St. Patrick’s Church, which ministers to Americans in Rome, between sessions of the ongoing Group of 20 summit.
They sat in the last row of a roped-off section of pews and chipped into the offertory basket with a donation of US currency.
Biden’s Mass attendance came one day after a 90-minute private meeting with the Pope that reporters were barred from attending.
Afterward, Biden said the subject of abortion — which Francis has defined as “murder” and has likened to “hiring a hitman” — had not come up in their discussion.
“We just talked about the fact that he was happy I’m a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion,” Biden said.
The Vatican would not confirm his account, which a papal spokesman said had been “a private conversation.”
Biden, a lifelong Catholic, regularly attends Mass and receives the sacrament in his home dioceses in Delaware and Washington, DC — but has come under fire from conservative members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for his administration’s support for taxpayer abortion funding and its court battles with states like Texas that seek to restrict it.
The conference voted in June to draft a “teaching document” that could deny communion to Biden and other Catholic politicians who have broken with the church’s abortion doctrines.
Under canon law, each bishop has the power to enforce such rules within his own diocese.