Obama-era U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, weighed in on the unelected Joe Biden's worthiness to receive Holy Communion during an interview posted Wednesday by the theologically dissident publication, National Catholic Reporter (NCR).
"I'm not going to get in the middle of that," dodged Boehner. "But being Catholic is more than about one issue. Let them say whatever they want to say. At the end of the day, Joe's got to answer to the big guy just like we do."
Despite lauding Biden as a man of faith — calling him "a good man, a good Catholic and a good politician," Boehner also asserted that he himself remains unapologetically pro-life.
On abortion, the former speaker specifically spoke on the necessity of preserving the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortion — noting it "saved millions of millions of kids that wouldn't be on our earth without it."
Boehner's comments on Biden's supposed Catholicity came in spite of him admitting he knows Biden tried to remove the Hyde Amendment just last month from his $6 trillion federal budget proposal.
The former speaker's new book, On the House, recently hit the shelves — recounting his 40-year political career. But even before the book's release, conservative critics labeled Boehner a "Republican in name only" (RINO).
His opposition to President Trump is partially why. In the book, Boehner claimed Trump was partially responsible for the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The accusation came despite the Senate acquitting Trump of this charge in February.
The profanity-laced memoir also provides a host of criticisms of his fellow Republicans — mockingly naming the Tea Party contingent of Congress the "chaos caucus," and referring to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as "Lucifer in the flesh."
In 2015 — only one day after Pope Francis spoke to Congress — Boehner resigned from his position as House speaker. Recounting the papal visit during the NCR interview, he said he considered it one of the highlights of his career:
Well, I was like a fire hose I was crying so hard. And then he's still holding me with his left arm and his left hand, and he put his right arm around me and just gives me this giant bear hug. He says, "Speaker, will you pray for me?" I look around and it's the pope and me. There's not another soul. And the pope looks at me, and he gets his glint in his eye and he takes his left hand and grabs my left shoulder and pulls me right up next to him and started saying the sweetest things anybody's ever said.
Boehner's book and interviews about it generally express how several other Bush-era Republicans felt during the populist reform of the GOP shortly before Trump ran in 2015 — lamenting the lack of bipartisanship among Republicans when dealing with radical Democrats.
Despite Boehner's (perhaps ignorant) comments on Joe Biden's faithfulness, he appears committed to the Republican Party and claims to love his Catholic faith. He further admitted he voted for Trump in both 2016 and 2020.
But, in a time where Democrats force abortion, so-called gay marriage and gender ideology onto faithful Catholics, old-guard Republicans like Boehner may perhaps recognize Biden is unwilling to negotiate on his deeply held anti-Catholic policies.