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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Vatican is rejecting the unelected U.S. president's request to meet Pope Francis.
Pro-abortion Joe Biden's hopes of attending early morning Mass with the pontiff were quickly put to rest on Tuesday.
An anonymous source for the Catholic News Agency (CNA) falsely reported the two would meet. But CNA has since corrected the record:
The president's entourage had originally requested for Biden to attend Mass with the pope early in the morning, but the proposal was nixed by the Vatican after considering the impact that Biden receiving Holy Communion from the pope would have on the discussions the USCCB is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16.
Biden is currently doing his rounds in Europe, where he met with several world leaders at the G7 summit in the United Kingdom from June 11–13. He is also planning to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' spring meeting will occur the same day as Biden's meeting with Putin. And while Biden discusses foreign policy, the U.S. bishops will be discussing Biden.
The bishops intend to vote on the creation of a committee to draft a letter on "Eucharistic coherence." That potential letter will clarify whether Catholics in public life who support abortion — like Biden — should be allowed to receive the Eucharist.
Drafting this kind of document has been a serious source of contention for U.S. bishops, dividing them into two separate camps — those who demand the discussion, and those who want to avoid it.
In May, 68 prelates signed a letter asking for a halt to any discussion of the issue at the spring assembly; it included signatures from five cardinals and six archbishops.
New York's Cdl. Timothy Dolan initially signed the letter but, later, asked for his name to be removed. Archbishop José Gómez, president of the USCCB, rejected the 67 prelates' request — noting the pro-life prelates took all the proper steps to get it on the agenda.
The letter pushed back against a growing coalition of bishops, led by San Francisco Abp. Salvatore Cordileone, who released a pastoral letter in May, deducing that anti-life public figures should not receive the Eucharist.
Joining him were several other U.S. prelates. They include:
This is only a list of habitually outspoken bishops. There may be several others wishing to take a pro-life stand as well.
Pope Francis toed the line of entering the debate on June 6, when he used similar language to the 67 wishing to ignore the issue of Eucharistic worthiness — calling Holy Communion the "bread of sinners" and not the "reward of saints."
In a May 7 letter to Abp. Gómez, the Vatican's doctrinal office also stepped in to offer so-called guidance on how to approach the topic of Eucharistic worthiness — essentially asking him to keep it broad to prevent the discussion from appearing political.
Despite the mild intrusions, the Vatican is making clear it's taking no side in the U.S. bishops' Communion wars. Instead, Rome is doing what it can to stay out of it until the bishops come to a conclusion on how to deal with a Catholic U.S. president who supports murdering children.