President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis Friday morning, reportedly talking privately in the pope’s office for nearly 75 minutes.
A remark from President Biden after his meeting with the pope has made international headlines. Biden told reporters that the pope told him to continue receiving Holy Communion — a comment that has stoked considerable reaction, as bishops in the United States have for months been debating “Eucharistic coherence,” and the question of whether Catholic politicians who support legal protection for abortion should be admitted to Holy Communion.
The situation in Rome is still unfolding. But here’s who said what, as of Friday Oct. 29 at 1:15 pm ET:
Biden spoke to reporters at the Palazzo Chigi, where the president was scheduled to meet Italy’s prime minister after his meeting with the pontiff. Asked whether the subject of abortion had come up between pope and president discussed abortion, Biden 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.”
Biden was then asked directly whether the pope said he should continue receiving communion. Biden said “Yes.”
Biden was subsequently asked whether he had received the Eucharist that day, on Friday. He said no.
The next question was whether Biden and the pope had discussed the U.S. bishops’ conference. The president hesitated for moment, and then said it was a “private conversation.”
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