White House says Biden is a 'devout Catholic' when asked about abortion policies

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said Biden was not a "Catholic in good standing."

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki described President Biden as a "devout Catholic" after being asked about his stances on taxpayer funding for abortion.

Psaki's comments came during her first press conference Wednesday, where an EWTN Global Catholic Network reporter asked her about "two big concerns for pro-life Americans" -- the Hyde Amendment and Mexico City Policy. The former bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion under most circumstances, while the latter restricts taxpayer funding of abortion abroad. "What is President Biden doing on those two items right now?" reporter Owen Jensen asked.

Psaki responded that the administration would have more to say on the Mexico City Policy, adding: "I will just take the opportunity to remind all of you that he is a devout Catholic and somebody who attends church regularly. He started his day attending church with his family this morning but I don't have anything more for you on that."

The Mexico City Policy, which blocks funding for overseas organizations that perform abortions or promote the procedure, has repeatedly been reversed and reinstated by previous administrations. Biden, however, sent shockwaves through the media when he announced that he would reverse his position on the decades-old Hyde Amendment.

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Psaki's statement appeared to conflict with Cardinal Raymond Burke's claim that Biden shouldn't receive communion and isn't a Catholic "in good standing." Her comments also came amid a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which condemned Biden's position on abortion and other issues.

"I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender," said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, who serves as the USCCB's president. 

Biden has defended himself by claiming that he refuses to impose his "religious beliefs on other people." However, both the Catholic Catechism and some clergy have indicated that politicians have an obligation to support anti-abortion legislation. The section of the Catechism discussing abortion says that the procedure and infanticide "are abominable crimes."

It reads: "The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority." The Catechism also warns that "when the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined."

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For years, Biden supported the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits most taxpayer funding for abortion, with the rationale that religious Americans shouldn't have to pay for procedures they fundamentally oppose. That's why his reversal on the policy last year sent shockwaves through the media. Biden, however, appeared to personally flout church teaching when he officiated a same-sex wedding ceremony in 2016.

Psaki did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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Biden isn't the only politician to claim faithfulness to the Catholic church while supporting abortion access. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who attended mass with Biden on Wednesday, has described herself as a "devout practicing Catholic," identifying with what is perhaps the largest pro-life organization in the world.

Vatican officials have reportedly said Pelosi should be denied the sacrament of Holy Communion and the last pope -- Pope Benedict XVI -- personally reminded her of the Church's stance on the issue during a private meeting.