(TheConservativeNews.org) – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died last Saturday at 95, and the Vatican requested that President Joe Biden not attend Benedict’s funeral, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
Benedict made the request prior to his death.
The U.S. will send Joe Donnelly, ambassador of the Holy See, “in line with the wishes of the late Pope and the Vatican. This is what their requests were. This is what their wishes were,” Jean-Pierre said when asked if Biden would attend the funeral, which is being held Thursday in St. Peter’s Square.
It was not clear if the lack of an invitation was a direct snub to Biden, a Catholic who nonetheless is an ardent supporter of abortion. But Jean-Pierre said the situation represented the wishes of the late pope himself.
Jean-Pierre said Biden was an admirer of Benedict, who he met more than a decade ago.
“So, as the President said in his statement, as I’m sure you saw, he joins Catholics and so many others around the world in mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,” Jean-Pierre said. “He will always remember the Pope’s generosity and meaningful conversation they had when he visited the Vatican in 2011.”
Biden’s support for abortion has angered fellow Catholics, including in September of 2021, when he condemned the U.S. Supreme Court for declining to stay a Texas law effectively banning most abortions after six weeks, and last year, after the high court struck down Roe v. Wade.
In October 2019, Biden was denied communion at a Catholic church in South Carolina. Father Robert Morey, the pastor at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, said he refused Biden communion because “any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”
“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that,” Morey stated, adding, “As a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care, and I must do so even in the most difficult situations. I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.”