U.S. President Joe Biden, who's at the center of fierce debate in the U.S. Church because of his support for abortion, said Friday the issue didn't come up in his meeting with Pope Francis, but said the pontiff told him he should keep receiving communion.
Biden has come under pressure from conservatives at home and his most ardent critics in the U.S. Church hierarchy have said he should be banned from receiving communion, the central sacrament of the faith, because his support of abortion is at odds with the Church's teachings.
Biden said the pope told him he was happy he was a good Catholic and he should "keep receiving communion."
The president, who goes to weekly Mass regularly and keeps a picture of the Pope behind his desk in the Oval Office, has said he is personally opposed to abortion but cannot impose his views as an elected leader.
Last month, asked about the U.S. communion debate, the pope told reporters that abortion is "murder." But he also appeared to criticize U.S. Catholic bishops for dealing with the issue in a political rather than a pastoral way.
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