Biden to meet Pope Francis amid pressure from anti-abortion US bishops

Biden to meet Pope Francis amid pressure from anti-abortion US bishops

27/10/2021 3:01:00 AM

Biden to meet Pope Francis amid pressure from anti-abortion US bishops

VATICAN CITY: Devout Roman Catholic Joe Biden meets Pope Francis in the Vatican on Friday (Oct 29) at a time when the US president is under pressure from conservatives in the Church for his conflicted position in the dispute over abortion rights. Biden goes to weekly Mass regularly and keeps a picture

VATICAN CITY: Devout Roman Catholic Joe Biden meets Pope Francis in the Vatican on Friday (Oct 29) at a time when the US president is under pressure from conservatives in the Church for his conflicted position in the dispute over abortion rights.Biden goes to weekly Mass regularly and keeps a picture of the pope behind his desk in the Oval Office. He has said he is personally opposed to abortion but cannot impose his views as an elected leader.

But conservative Catholic media and US conservative bishops have criticised him for that stand, with some saying the Democratic president should be banned from receiving communion, the central sacrament of the faith.At the same time, supporters of abortion rights have been horrified by a new Texas law that imposes a near-total ban on abortion. Biden's administration

has challenged the lawand the US Supreme Court will hear the case next Monday.It is not known if Biden and Pope Francis will discuss the abortion and communion disputes at their private meeting on Friday, their first since Biden took office in January. headtopics.com

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday that the two menwould discuss climate change, migration and income inequality."It's clear that the pope does not agree with the president about abortion. He's made that exceptionally clear," Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore told Catholic News Service.

Asked about the US communion debate last month, the pope told reporters that abortion is"murder". But he also appeared to criticise US Catholic bishops for dealing with the issue in a political rather than a pastoral way."Communion is not a prize for the perfect ... Communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church," the pope said.

Bishops should use"compassion and tenderness" with Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, he said.Since his election in 2013 as the first Latin American pope, Francis has said that while the Church should oppose abortion, the issue should not become an all-consuming battle in culture wars that detract attention from matters such as immigration and poverty.

Jo Renee Formicola, a political science professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, said the meeting should help Biden in his standoff with the US bishops on abortion and shift the spotlight to social justice concerns the two men share."The optics of the pope meeting with Biden basically says to the American (Catholic) hierarchy: 'Listen, this man and I have the same agenda ... Don't expect that I am going to compromise my teachings on things like the environment and immigration,'" she told Reuters in a telephone interview. headtopics.com

CONSERVATIVES ON THE ATTACKIn June, a divided conference of US Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft a statement on communion that some bishops say should specifically admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden.The bishops, who went ahead despite a Vatican warning that it would sow discord rather than unity, will take up the issue again next month.

Catholics hold two of the three top offices in the United States - the other is Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. But instead of uniting co-religionists, as the election of John F Kennedy as the first Catholic US president did in 1960, both Biden and Pelosi have come under attack by Church conservatives.

They increased their criticism of Biden this month when his administration challenged the Texas law.While Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, has not tried to stop Biden from receiving communion, the archbishop in Pelosi's home city of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has told his priests not to give it to her.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement last week that the meeting would cover"working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity." That would include ending the COVID-19 pandemic and caring for the poor, she said. headtopics.com

Like Biden, the pope has urged everyone to get vaccinated and has issued numerous appeals to defend the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Biden will attend the UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow and the pope is expected to send a message.

Read more: CNA »

Ratio of youth infected with Covid-19 up in past month; group urged not to ‘take chance’ on vaccination

SINGAPORE — Young people should not assume that they are protected from Covid-19 and thus do not require vaccinations, the Health Ministry’s director of medical services Kenneth Mak said on Saturday (Nov 20).

Biden to join Asean summit Trump skipped after 2017WASHINGTON/BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — United States (US) President Joe Biden will take part in a virtual summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Tuesday (Oct 26), the first time in four years Washington will engage at the top level with a bloc it sees as key to its strategy of pushing back against China.

Pope to visit Cyprus and Greece, including Lesbos island, Dec 2-6VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis will visit Cyprus and Greece, including the Greek island of Lesbos to meet migrants, from Dec 2-6, a Vatican source said on Tuesday (Oct 26). Francis will stay in Cyprus Dec 2-4, his first visit to the ethnically split Mediterranean island, the source said. Cy

Biden heads to G20 to talk energy prices, supply chain woesWASHINGTON: President Joe Biden, hoping to signal US re-engagement with allies after four years of Donald Trump's 'America First' policies, heads to a meeting of G20 leaders in Europe this week to discuss energy prices, the Iranian nuclear program and supply chain issues, US national security adviser Jake

Pope to visit Cyprus and Greece, including Lesbos island, Dec 2-6VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis will visit Cyprus and Greece, including the Greek island of Lesbos to meet migrants, from Dec 2-6, a Vatican source said on Tuesday (Oct 26). Francis will stay in Cyprus Dec 2-4, his first visit to the ethnically split Mediterranean island, the source said. Cy

US to weigh authorizing Pfizer Covid vaccine for younger childrenAn analysis by Pfizer showed the vaccine was 90.7% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in children aged five to 11 years old, and there were no serious safety issues.

Russia and China are getting closer, but Moscow should worry about its new partner, Biden's China ambassador pick says'The Russians are going to have to worry, long-term, about economic domination of Russia by China,' said Joe Biden's nominee for US ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns.