(LibertySociety.com) – On Monday, June 28, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the Pope in Vatican City. Blinken’s trip to Rome made him the highest-ranking member of the new administration to meet with the Pope since Biden’s inauguration.
The secretary’s spokesperson said the two discussed religious freedom and human rights in China, as well as issues in Venezuela. The Vatican said the two met for about 40 minutes but did not reveal whether they spoke about the recent controversy in America surrounding Holy Communion.
Pope Francis voiced affection for the American people as he met at length with Sec. of State Antony Blinken, the Vatican said. https://t.co/Gpzdt1bKSJ pic.twitter.com/xlpECj2rSL
— ABC News (@ABC) June 28, 2021
In 2019, Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, attended mass in South Carolina while on the campaign trail. Father Robert Morey, the priest at Saint Anthony Catholic Church, denied him communion because of his stance on abortion. The controversial decision led to a debate about whether priests can deny Holy Communion to pro-choice politicians. Conservative bishops believe that politicians who support abortion are going against the Catholic Church.
However, the Vatican has said they do not want Holy Communion to be used as a political weapon. In June, they warned Conservative bishops about denying it to politicians based on their political beliefs. There were rumblings that there would be a vote on it, but ultimately the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) decided not to do that. In a statement, they said the “question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”
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