White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a reporter’s question on Monday as to whether President Joe Biden believed a 15-week-old unborn baby was a living person.
“Does the President believe that an unborn 15 week old baby is a human being?” The reporter asked, a possible reference to arguments the Supreme Court is due to hear in the fall on Mississippi’s ban on abortions beyond 15 weeks pregnant.
Psaki replied, “Are you asking me if the president supports a woman’s right to choose?” He does.’
The exchange came after an overwhelming vote by the American Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday to draft an educational document barring Biden and any other American politician from receiving Communion as a rebuke for their positions on abortion.
The White House press secretary declined to answer a question from reporters on Monday whether President Joe Biden believed the 15-week-old unborn baby was human. Biden came under pressure from American Catholics after a series of executive actions he took, hailed by abortion rights activists
In a separate question, Psaki was asked about Biden’s reaction to the news.
“Well, Joe Biden is a strong man of faith, and as he noted just a few days ago, it’s personal,” she replied.
“It’s something that has helped him get through some tough times in his life. And that’s how many Americans see their faith too, not through a political lens. So I suspect he will continue to attend church, as he has for many, many years, ”Psaki said, declining to answer the question further.
Despite being a devout Catholic whose faith vehemently opposes abortion, Biden has long taken a pro-choice stance.
In January, he rescinded a Trump-era ordinance that barred international nongovernmental organizations that provide abortion counseling from receiving U.S. funding.
And more recently, it included provisions in its executive budget late last month that repealed a ban on the use of federal funds for abortions.
Officially, the Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception and opposes abortion of any kind.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attended Mass on St Joseph at the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church near their home in Delaware on Saturday. A row is brewing within the American Church over its stance on abortion as bishops take an increasingly tough stance, including a vote by U.S. bishops on Friday to bar her from receiving Communion
As Psaki mentioned, Biden rejected the bishops’ decision and could be seen attending mass on Saturday near his home in Wilmington Delaware.
“This is a private matter, and I don’t think it will happen,” he told reporters at the White House when asked about the possibility that he and other politicians will be denied the right. Communion.
It wouldn’t be the first time Biden has received a reaction from Catholics for his current stance on abortions.
In 2019, he was refused communion at a church in South Carolina.
“Any public figure who advocates abortion is outside the teaching of the church,” said Reverend Robert Morey, pastor of the church in Florence. Florence Morning News.
Biden reacted similarly to the reprimand, saying it was a personal matter.
‘I’m not going to discuss this. It’s just my personal life, ”he told MSNBC.
Friday’s vote of the bishops – 168 for, 55 against and six abstentions – was announced by Bishop Allen H Vigneron after three hours of debate.
“It’s a private matter, and I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Biden told reporters Friday at the White House, when asked about a document drafted by the US Council of Bishops that could reprimand him and politicians. Democrats who support access to abortion.
Supporters of the measure believe a clear rebuke from Biden is needed to curb a series of measures that protect and expand access to abortion.
Opponents, such as Bishop Robert McElroy, Bishop of San Diego, fear that this is a polarizing movement that could lead to the “arming” of the Eucharist – a more formal name for Holy Communion.
Following the vote, the doctrine committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will draft a statement on the meaning of fellowship in the life of the Church which will be submitted for consideration at a future meeting, possibly in November.
The document will serve as a policy statement but will not be binding. Each bishop has the right to decide who can or cannot take Communion in his diocese.
The Vatican has already tried to intervene, fearing a breakdown in unity.
The result of the vote – 168 for and 55 against – was announced Friday by Bishop Allen H Vigneron (photo, left) near the end of a three-day meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles (right) also addressed the Catholic conference on Wednesday
Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, theological watchdog of the Vatican, has asked USBC to delay the debate.
He wrote to the conference saying it would be “misleading” to suggest that abortion and euthanasia were “the only serious matters of Catholic moral and social teaching” which require “the most comprehensive level of accountability. from Catholics ”.
In doing so, he signaled how Pope Francis’ liberal Catholicism – with a focus on poverty, racial inequality, climate change – increasingly at odds with the American Church.
One section of the document is intended to include a specific warning to Catholic politicians and other public figures who disobey church teaching on abortion and other doctrinal matters.
Bishop Donald Hying of Madison, Wis., Said in Thursday’s debate he spoke to many bewildered by Catholic president who is proposing “the most radical pro-abortion program in history “and action by the bishops’ conference is needed.
“They are looking for a direction,” Hying said.
Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego countered that the USCCB would suffer “destructive consequences” from a document targeting Catholic politicians.
“It would be impossible to prevent the militarization of the Eucharist,” said McElroy.
Biden, who attends mass regularly, says he personally opposes abortion but doesn’t think he should be forcing that position on Americans who think otherwise. He took several executive steps during his presidency that were praised by abortion rights advocates.
USCCB Doctrine Committee chair Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, said no decision has been made on the final content of the proposed document. He said bishops who are not on the committee will have the opportunity to provide input and the final draft will be subject to amendments before being put to a vote.
In this video still, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, chief of the doctrine committee of the United States Catholic Bishops’ Conference, addresses the body’s virtual assembly
Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, has made it clear that Biden is welcome to receive Communion in churches across the Archdiocese
Rhoades also said the document would not mention Biden or others by name and offer guidelines rather than imposing a mandatory national policy.
This would leave decisions regarding communion for the specific faithful to the individual bishops and archbishops. Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, has made it clear that Biden is welcome to receive Communion in churches in the Archdiocese.