President Joe Biden, who was denied communion by a Catholic priest months ago because of his views on abortion laws, has said that Pope Francis told him he should continue to be allowed to receive communion.
The US President met the Catholic Pope at the Vatican on Friday, October 28, to discuss a broad set of topics, including climate change, global poverty, and the distribution of vaccines to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden is the second Catholic president in U.S. history and, months before his election, he made news headlines when a South Carolina priest refused to give him Holy Communion.
This led to a debate as some Catholics said he has a right to receive communion while others said he shouldn’t be given communion because of his support for abortion rights.
Following his meeting with the pope, Biden told reporters that the topic of abortion did not come up in their conversation.
“We just talked about the fact that he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion,” Biden said, according to pool reports.
Asked specifically whether Francis said that Biden should keep receiving communion, Biden responded, “yes.”
Biden also disclosed that he said a prayer while with Pope Francis and that the pope “said one for me” and blessed the president’s rosary — which he carries in honor of his late son, Beau.
Biden said he did not take communion on Friday and rebuffed questions about whether the pair discussed the U.S. Conference of Bishops during their conversation, calling it a “private conversation.”
Biden’s meeting with the pope ran for over an hour and is the first leg of Biden’s multiday trip to Europe, the second of his 10-month-old presidency. Later on Friday, Biden met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi at Chigi Palace in Rome.
Watch Biden speak in the video below.