Residing in Rome and from South America, the current pope come under fire several times. courtesy Wikimedia Commons

President Biden shouldn’t take the Eucharist

There is no denying that President Joe Biden’s relationship with the Catholic Church is rocky at best. As the United States’s second president to be a practicing Catholic, he’s one of the nation’s most prominent figures of this faith who is not a member of the clergy. He holds a unique place as a representative of his religion to his fellow Americans and on the world’s political stage. As a result, he has painted a target on his back for other Catholic Christians for his political standings.

President Joe Biden claims to practice the faith’s tenets, but devout individuals have doubts.

President Biden has specifically caught the attention of traditional Catholic bishops over his open advocacy in favor of abortion. For instance, he has urged the Supreme Court in the past to not overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973. The original ruling legalized abortion in the United States. Biden revisited it in reference to a restrictive abortion law in the state of Mississippi that led to a tense internal battle within the U.S. Catholic Church. His administration also sued the state of Texas for its much stricter policies on abortion, nearly an absolute ban of the procedure entirely.

Such public pro-choice advocacy is seen as directly challenging Catholic Church Doctrine, which states clearly that abortion is the murder of an innocent child, and therefore immoral and a mortal sin. By receiving an abortion or cooperating with the actions of abortion as is the case with our President, you are now no longer in a state of grace, and therefore not supposed to receive the Eucharist, or Catholic Holy Communion.

The Eucharist is the center of the Catholic faith, and by far the most important of their sacraments, as believed to miraculously become the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ Himself. This is clearly something that Catholics must, and do, take very seriously. It is the obligation of the priests first and foremost to protect the Eucharist, and as such President Biden has come under fire for receiving the Eucharist despite his public abortion advocacy, prompting many Catholic clergyman to promote a ban on Biden receiving the Eucharist at all. The U.S. bishops also issued a document detailing the doctrine of Holy Communion again as a reminder to Catholics about the need to be in a state of grace. Biden has responded previously to such actions by stating, “I dare you to deny me Communion.”

The controversy added new layers with the recent meeting between President Biden and Pope Francis at the Vatican. Sparking the zeal of many prominent Catholic leaders, high profile individuals implored the Pope to stand firm on the Eucharistic ban. On Oct. 27, Bishop Tobin tweeted, “Dear Pope Francis, You have boldly stated that abortion is ‘murder’. Please challenge President Biden on this critical issue. His persistent support of abortion is an embarrassment for the Church and a scandal to the world. Thank you. Very respectfully, Your brother +Thomas.”

According to President Biden, in their private meeting Pope Francis called him a “good Catholic” and told him to continue to receive the Eucharist. It is very likely that these words are being taken by President Biden out of context. Pope Francis is known for encouraging people to receive the Eucharist regularly as a medicine for the spiritually sick and food for the soul, but the pope remains very outspoken that abortion is murder. By the comment that Biden is a good Catholic, he may be comparing him to the artwork that he gave the President as a gift in their meeting: a pilgrim traveling to Rome. And, like the pilgrim, Biden is not there yet. He is a good Catholic because, at least in the eyes of Pope Francis, he is trying despite his flaws and disagreements with Church doctrine.

It is no secret that the pope’s words are often twisted for others purposes, such as a fabricated quote from an story where he supposedly said that women are not fit for public office, with no evidence to corroborate the statement. That being said, no matter the skepticism surrounding the pope’s words, President Biden should not be receiving the Eucharist. If he truly believes Catholic doctrine, then he knows the Church teaches no one should receive the Eucharist when not in a state of grace, and he has a duty to his religion to be bold in his actions and uphold this by not receiving currently.

That being said, the Bishops denying him communion are also in the wrong. Who are they with all their flaws to deny another member of their faith the fundamental rite of their religion? There doesn’t seem to be records of the same treatment for President John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic President of the United States, for his sexual promiscuity and this inconsistent approach hints at another motive. The clergy cannot reasonably police President Biden’s personal salvation. Denying him the Eucharist could drive him away from his faith and the Church. Also, while he objectively should receive the Eucharist because of his supposed beliefs, it is also his own obligation to make things right and to keep himself accountable. There are plenty of other people out there that deserve just as much dedicated time from their religious leaders as our President is getting right now, and the increasing politicization of the clergy points to a rather worrying trend of disassociating from the day-to-day matters of tending one’s flock.

Post Author: Logan Guthrie