President Joe Biden attended mass at a historic Jesuit Catholic congregation in Washington, D.C., the same church he attended when he was vice president years ago.
Biden went to mass on Sunday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, which was founded in the 18th century and is based in the Georgetown neighborhood of the nation’s capital. He attended with his son, Hunter, and two of his grandchildren, Finnegan and Maisy, reported the Associated Press.
Biden is the second Roman Catholic president in United States history. John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the first Catholic commander-in-chief after being elected president in 1960.
Holy Trinity held multiple masses on Sunday, with Biden attending the noontime mass and receiving holy communion, according to a representative of the church.
The 9:00 a.m. mass, which was livestreamed and not attended by the president, showed a service practicing social distancing guidelines.
The Rev. C. Kevin Gillespie gave a homily in which he discussed a recent experience on Capitol Hill after the Inauguration, explaining that when helping to pick up American flags with others, he felt as if “a new life had happened” there and nationwide.
“Change is always happening, when we notice it or not,” said Gillespie, who quoted National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration day poem “The Hill We Climb.”
During the prayers offered up for petition, a prayer was offered for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to “lead our country toward unity and justice for all people.”
Right after that prayer, another offered up was that “the dignity of the human person be realized and upheld, especially the elderly and the unborn, the prisoner and the migrant.”
Some have questioned the beliefs of Biden due to his pro-choice stance, as he stated on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade last week promising to codify the controversial decision.
“In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack,” said Biden in the White House statement.
“We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care — including reproductive health care — regardless of income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status.”
In 2019, Father Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in South Carolina garnered headlines when he denied then-candidate Biden the sacrament of communion.
“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching,” Morley explained to SC Now at the time.
However, last November, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory stated that he will not refuse Biden communion, in spite of his position on the abortion issue.
“The kind of relationship that I hope we will have is a conversational relationship where we can discover areas where we can cooperate that reflect the social teachings of the church,” Gregory told Catholic News Service.