President Joe Biden is an experienced and unabashed liar. In fact, one might argue that telling lies is the one thing Biden has done well since taking office.
So, take with Everest-sized mounds of salt the president’s comments after meeting with Pope Francis on Friday – especially since Biden couldn’t keep his story straight and the Vatican declined to back him up.
At issue was the issue of abortion.
Like many liberal Democrats who are Catholic, Biden has come under fire from some U.S. Catholic bishops for his support of abortion, including reversing many of the pro-life policies implemented by former President Donald Trump.
The Catholic Church believes that abortion is a moral abomination. Some conservative American bishops have said Biden should be denied communion for supporting it.
On the other hand, Francis recently called abortion “murder.” Yet the liberal pope also has chastised the U.S. bishops critical of Biden, suggesting they were politicizing the Eucharist – which Catholics believe becomes the body of the resurrected Jesus Christ during Mass and is referred to as “the source and summit” of the Catholic faith.
Questioned by reporters after the meeting, Biden could not keep his story straight.
Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters, tweeted that when he asked Biden if abortion came up during his private meeting with Francis, the president said, “No, it didn’t. It came up — we just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion.”
The New York Times readily accepted that dubious answer.
“The pope’s apparently explicit encouragement for Mr. Biden to continue taking communion could be one of the most tangible accomplishments that the president brings home” from his trip abroad, the Times reported.
The Times added that the Vatican — “which did not allow public access to the meeting, citing coronavirus concerns — released heavily edited footage and later said in a statement that, in the private part of the meeting, Francis and Mr. Biden had focused ‘on the joint commitment to the protection and care of the planet, the health care situation and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the theme of refugees and assistance to migrants.’ It added that the talks had touched on human rights and freedom of religion.”
Yet as the Times pronounced that Francis had greenlighted Biden on communion, the Vatican declined to endorse Biden’s assertion.
“Asked to confirm Mr. Biden’s remarks, Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesman, said the Holy See limited its comments to the news release about subjects discussed during the meeting and added, ‘It’s a private conversation,’” the Times reported.
There is reason to believe the U.S. bishops were skeptical, which means they might not let up on Biden, even as liberals will declare Biden vindicated and seek to move on.
Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth told the Times, “The president is relating his version of events, which happen to serve his partisan agenda and seem a little self-aggrandizing.”
“Now the president is no longer simply taking communion in this confused sense, he’s saying the pope is advocating for this confusion,” he added. “That in itself is a scandal.”
Unlike what Biden said on Friday, the issue of abortion, his support for it, and his taking communion at Mass will come up when U.S. bishops gather for a fall conference next month.
So, the church and the public will know soon enough if those conservative bishops like Olson can bring some much-needed clarity to this scandalous moral confusion.
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