Biden and Francis at Tanagra

In case you didn’t see it (I didn’t have time to read it immediately) Card. Burke published a letter about Catholic Politicians and Non-Admittance to Holy Communion. HERE in six languages.

I think you can imagine his position, which is impeccably argued according to the Church’s law, suggesting also a sound pastoral praxis.  It also provides a brief review of the slide into indifference about Communion for manifest and obstinent grave sinners in the political sphere, going back to the infamous Hyannisport Conclave of 1964.

In contrast to this, I read today in Italian at Nuova Bussola that Biden met with Francis today.  Apparently Francis, who never hesitates to disply his scowling ill-temper and displeasure, was all fluffy and smiles with Biden.  You remember.  It was all kissy and Caro syrup with the previously most aggressive pro-abortion POTUS, Obama, who persecuted the Little Sisters of the Poor.  It was all Grumpy Cat with Pres. Trump.  And its back to syrup with Biden, the most aggressive pro-abortion POTUS to date who is again persecuting the Little Sisters of the Poor.  For his part, Biden mentioned that it was nice to be back in the Vatican… so we can suppose that he knew where he was.

Later, at the Palazzo Chigi, with the Prime Minister Mario Draghi, – NB – Biden said that Francis allegedly told him that he was a “good Catholic” that he should keep receiving Communion.  We have no proof that Francis told Biden that, of course.  Biden has always had a rather casual relationship with the truth.  However, it sounds like something Francis might say to someone so very much on his wave-length.  But we don’t know.

According to AP: “The Vatican spokesman declined to comment on Biden’s remarks about Communion, noting that the Vatican doesn’t comment on the pope’s private conversations beyond what is written in the official communique, which made no mention of the issue.”

Of course this will stir things up for faithful Catholic bishops trying to find the courage to apply the Church’s laws as they promised they would when they became bishops.  And this in advance of the annual November meeting of the US Bishops in Baltimore.

The New catholic Red Guards will be quivering in paroxyms of ecstacy at the possibility of using something Biden alleges Francis to have said to beat certain bishops in the press.  They are rather predicable.

Apparently in the ceremonial exchange of gifts, Biden gave Francis a chasuble made by Gammarelli in Rome (talk about “owls to Athens”) made in the 1930’s,.  It seems that it was boosted from the Jesuit parish in Delaware where Biden receives Communion in contravention of can. 916.  It had to be a Roman style vestment. I doubt we will see Francis use it anytime soon.

Might it have been Biden’s subtle protest against Traditionis custodes?!?  Of course!  That’s it!

At least it wasn’t one of those hammer and sickle crucifixes that he got from the President of Evo Morales of Bolivia.

BTW… if Francis doesn’t like or agree with cann. 915 and 916, why doesn’t he try to change them?

Until those canons are changed, they should be followed.

UNLESS… perhaps the laws laid down are really so important after all and can be defied or ignored?

(Traditionis custodes?)

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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This entry was posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Francis, Liberals, Pò sì jiù, The Drill, You must be joking! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Danteewoo says:

    Did Francis make Biden stand in the snow until he repented?

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    Well they wouldn’t want the secret handshake to be viewed by the public. Biden’s chasuble gift will go to wherever the bones of St. Peter went or to some similar receiver, preferably someone not Catholic. I do remember when Francis met Trump, and his expression looked as sour and mean as it did when he was just a young red priest in Argentina. Oy! Put that on a jar of pickles. I have no doubt Biden is telling the truth, Francis told him he’s a good Catholic, because to Francis, he is! Why would he think otherwise, they are in total sync in terms of Catholicity. They have no ideological disagreement at all. They are brothers from another mother. They hid from the press to protect Brandon, er, Biden.

  3. dholwell says:

    I continue to pray for the Holy Father in my daily Rosary. May Our Lady guide him.

  4. donato2 says:

    If I were an American bishop I would interpret the decision of Pope Francis and the Vatican to not speak up as a green light to publicly announce that President Biden should not present himself for communion so long as he does not repent of his promotion of legalized abortion.

  5. Bthompson says:

    Boniface when Celestine refused.

  6. Hugh says:

    The best comment of a President after meeting (Grumpy) Pope Francis was from Donald J. Trump:
    “I told him I’d remember what he said.”
    Bam! Stay tuned.

  7. Thomas S says:

    Perhaps the last time that vestment saw use was the last time little Joey received communion in a state of grace?

  8. Cincture says:

    Also a clever move by the Vatican to abruptly cancel video coverage of the meeting, just some selected still photos. What was actually said, as Fr Z mentions, is for now a mystery. Studied ambiguity continues.

  9. Bthompson says:

    Chamberlain at Munich.

  10. JamesM says:

    The Vatican doesn’t comment on private conversations with the pope? I wonder if this would be the case if someone met with Pope Francis and then claimed they were told something by him which he actually disagreed with.

    In justice and charity the Pope has a duty to be truthful. His refusal to deny comments directly attributed to him means we should accept them as true.

  11. summorumpontificum777 says:

    I’ve seen some comments today along the lines of “Pope Francis recognizes Joe Biden for the devout Catholic he is and says he’s good to go for reception of Holy Communion. What more do you rigid more-Catholic-than-the-pope types want?! This settles it once and for all.”
    Uh, no, not really. Assuming that Pope Francis said what Biden says he said (and I’m willing to give Biden the benefit of the doubt on that), did the Holy Father say it in the context of sacramental confession? If not, then exactly how did Pope Francis judge Biden’s worthiness for Eucharistic reception? Even if the Holy Father considers Biden’s political support for abortion “no biggie” and gave him a pass on that basis, how does the Holy Father know that Biden doesn’t have other unconfessed mortal sins on his soul? What if Biden had, say, directly ordered reckless drone strikes sending innocent men, women and children to their deaths? Any 5th commandment violations therein?

  12. mbarkey says:

    Who knows what Pope Francis really said. But Biden’s comments are of a piece with what Francis/Gregory/Cupich have said previously and so have a greater probability of accuracy. The Pope’s teaching is clear: Abortion is murder; but go ahead and murder to your heart’s content. There will be no consequences. All are welcome. And the number of Catholics who abort will grow. Because we don’t really mean what we teach. On anything. Except the climate.

  13. Not says:

    Sadly we have had many bad Popes. The Holy Ghost does not allow these bad Popes to make any ex cathedra pronouncements. Therefore Dogma is protected. Archbishop Vigano said,”We have an uncatholic Pope in Francis.”
    Thank you Fr. Z helping us through your writings and sermons.

  14. mo7 says:

    It reminds me of the instances of placing significant changes in footnotes. Having Biden make the statement gives just enough tacit permission without having to face the obvious contravention of the canon. The best word to describe this pontificate is sneaky. He takes pleasure in exasperating the faithful. Which is not some kind of call to conversion technique, it’s a delightful destruction on his part. It’s as if he despises the faithful. Is it okay to pray that this reign will end soon?

  15. Kyle says:

    The AP reported: “Biden said abortion did not come up in the meeting. “We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion,” Biden said.”

    These are two contradictory statements. Biden says the subject of abortion did not come up. If not, why on earth would the Pope tell him to “keep receiving” Communion? If they were not discussing Biden’s support for abortion, there would be no reason for his reception of Communion to be mentioned.

  16. JonPatrick says:

    In the modern Church there are only 2 mortal sins – not recycling and not getting the experimental COVID jab. Everything else is permitted.

  17. Chrisc says:

    What would give us the slightest reason to think Pope Francis didn’t say this? Hope that he would teach faithfully, clearly, and directly? We are lucky if we get one of these from Francis. Three at once? Ha.

    Remember when Francis greeted noted abortionist Emma Bonino? The one who spoke in churches about migrants and Catholic protestors were kicked out. Yeah. Pope Francis would much rather work to hand free stuff to migrants (just not crucifixes like Salvini tried), than stop abortion. Of course Biden is a Catholic. It would be silly to think otherwise, lest we think that Francis isn’t that great a Catholic either.

  18. Gaetano says:

    We’ll never know what they said.
    It might be what President Biden “heard”, or a complete fiction. He has a record of being flexible with the truth.

    The gift was a 1930’s vestment from Holy Trinity Church, the Jesuit parish in D.C. It’s framed, so it cannot be used.

    I’m certain the Jesuits weren’t using it. It may have already been hanging on the wall it its frame there.

    Certainly a coal to Newcastle moment.

  19. kab63 says:

    Tanagra. I actually thought, “Hey, that’s a lot like that Star Trek episode.” Then, well, I caught up. Well done!

  20. Hey, Gaetano, I was on the staff of Holy Trinity Church as a sacristan when I lived in Georgetown thirty years ago. I never saw anything resembling that vestment, either in a frame or in a closet, and I managed to sneak in nearly all of their closets, even finding the most awesome monstrance ever, among other treasures that would never see the light of day.

    And so it goes.

  21. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Also, the frame of the vestment incorporates marble “reclaimed” from the original pulpit of Holy Trinity Church.

    Whaaaat? How is that even vaguely appropriate??

  22. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I don’t see any pictures of the chasuble anywhere. People Magazine said it was from the “archival collection” of Holy Trinity Church, and was “handwoven.”

    Also, the website of Holy Trinity Church features (on the front page!) a prayer addressed to “Dear Universe that births and connects us all,” and which talks about “Your creations” in terms of the universe being the Creator. So I can tell that good Catholic doctrine is a priority there (not!).

    Sorry for any good Jesuits stationed there. Obviously the parish is being dragged around by activists.

  23. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Okay, finally found a picture by image-searching on these terms: handwoven chasuble Biden. You might have to scroll down. It looks like it’s all folded up, to show only the fancy design near to the neck; so obviously something has decayed from the bottom parts of the chasuble, or they are deliberately hiding part of the design.

    It’s pretty, but it’s nothing special — a harvest design, much like you would see on wallpaper or a couch, in imitation of this kind of higher quality fabric. Nothing wrong with it, but not exactly a gift for a pope, I would think.

    There was also some kind of 1800’s picture of Rome, with a shepherd pointing at St Peter’s from the banks of the Tiber, and the pavement by the river looking all torn up and terrible. Again, not exactly a gift for a pope! So why??

    Sigh. At least it’s not an iPod full of Biden speeches.

  24. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Oh. The picture of Rome is _from_ Pope Francis. It’s a painting on tile.

    Um. Yeah. A plagiarized copy of an old etching, on tile. Um. Very artistic, I’m sure. I mean, nothing against that, if I were buying that for myself as a Rome souvenir, but….

  25. TonyO says:

    What would give us the slightest reason to think Pope Francis didn’t say this?

    Because, in spite of all his (many) faults, Pope Francis has consistently denounced abortion.

    Biden says the subject of abortion did not come up. If not, why on earth would the Pope tell him to “keep receiving” Communion? If they were not discussing Biden’s support for abortion, there would be no reason for his reception of Communion to be mentioned.

    Quite so. It is far, far more likely that abortion did not come up than that it did – Biden not having any desire to discuss it, and Francis not having any desire to make Biden feel bad.

    Given it is incredibly unlikely that Francis said ANYTHING AT ALL like “keep receiving communion.” It’s just not the sort of thing a pope is likely to do outside of a confessional.

    However, it is not all all unlikely that Francis did support and affirm Biden’s attitude or behavior in other respects, such as addressing global warming, or 20,000 other liberal hot topics, and may well have said something like “keep doing what you are doing” on THOSE OTHER matters. Which Biden, being the kind of guy he is, decided to interpret as affirming his continuing to receive Communion. For political points with the home crowd.

    But there is no particular reason to credit Biden’s assertion with veracity. It is normally part of charity to credit someone’s claim as being truthful unless you have evidence otherwise, but that normal inclination of charity is not applicable when crediting the assertion’s veracity implies attributing to a third party some gravely evil act – without evidence. So, we are not bound in charity to think Biden is being truthful in claiming that Pope Francis gravely scandalized Biden and the faithful. Thus, in all, we are free to believe Biden mis-stated the Pope’s comments rather drastically.

  26. Markus says:

    I was remembering and old saying from my youth.

    “Is the Pope Catholic?”

  27. ChesterFrank says:

    “Apparently in the ceremonial exchange of gifts, Biden gave Francis a chasuble made by Gammarelli in Rome”

    I wonder if President Biden presented that Fiddle-back chasuble (aka the TLM) to Pope Francis on a silver platter. Yes, I’m thinking of John the Baptist.

  28. Sportsfan says:

    What would give us the slightest reason to think Pope Francis didn’t say this?

    Because Biden said he did and, up until now, Biden has shown himself utterly incapable of telling the truth, on anything.

    I’m looking for the slightest reason to think the pope did say it.

  29. TonyO says:

    I thank God that Cardinal Burke has reminded us of the events of 2004 and explained more of the details. It is beyond ridiculous, it is so far beyond that, that the bishops should be ASHAMED to think that the matter needs new “discussion”. What’s so hard about saying “we already HAD this discussion, and the outcome was settled, no further discussion is needed”?

    One thing that Cardinal Burke only mentions indirectly, by implication: it was the now infamous, (and now FORMER) Cardinal McCarrick who attempted to suppress the letter of Cardinal Ratzinger and CDF, and then quite brazenly tried to mis-state what the letter asserted. These facts – easily documented history – should be shouted from the rooftops by the bishops who are urging that Canon Law and the discipline of the Church should be followed: arguing AGAINST following the Law is putting yourself into McCarrick’s camp. This should be shouted aloud at the Bishop’s meeting. “A vote to ignore 915 and 916 is a vote for McCarrick and child molesters.”

    Indeed, once Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter came to light, McCarrick should have been drummed out of his bishop’s seat in shame right then and there. It would have saved the Church 14 more years of his evil ways.

  30. The Egyptian says:

    just thank Cardinal Bernardin and his seamless garment, should be called torn robe
    the church and liberal politics have been married every since. Explains cancelled priests, fire and brimstone is so old fashioned and not pastoral ya know
    USCCB – The democrat party at prayer

  31. aam says:

    The more news I read from Rome the more I wonder whether B16 abdicated under duress and remains the true pope.

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  34. Gaetano says:

    Called it:
    “[I]t’s unlikely that the vestment is remembered by most Holy Trinity parishioners.
    “It was stuffed way back in the sacristy,” Father Gillespie.”

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