(Photo: White House/Chuck Kennedy)
Vice President Joe Biden met with Pope Benedict XVI in an unannounced, closed-door meeting at the Vatican on Friday.
No details were given about what the two men discussed. But the White House released a photo of Biden speaking to the pope on Friday. Biden was in the country to celebrate Italy’s 150th anniversary.
Biden, a pro-abortion rights Roman Catholic, grew up in an Irish Catholic family and was educated at a Catholic prep school. The former six-term Democratic senator from Delaware even shared that he briefly considered joining the priesthood.
But Denver Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput said in 2008 that Biden should refrain from receiving communion because of his stance on abortion. Chaput has also suggested Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) either be denied participation in Communion or not present himself for the Eucharist because of his support for abortion rights.
It cannot be confirmed if the pope chastised Biden about his stance on abortion, since neither the White House or Vatican is willing to release information about the private meeting.
But in 2009, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited Pope Benedict XVI and was scolded for her position on abortion.
The Vatican statement released after Pelosi’s visit said the pope spoke to the Democrat politician about the “requirement of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics …”
The Catholic Church is firm on its teachings about abortion, and the Vatican has strongly spoken out against the practice.