President Joe Biden extolled Pope Benedict XVI as a “renowned theologian” who devoted his life to the Church in his first speech following the former pontiff’s death. Biden is United States’ second Catholic president and he said that he was mourning the former pope’s death along with first lady Jill Biden. The president further said he met Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 and found him welcoming and generous. When in a 2021 interview Benedict was asked about his views regarding the discrepancy between Biden as a Catholic and his standpoint in relation to abortion, the former pontiff said he views Biden as a committed Catholic but at the same time is concerned about his viewpoint on abortion.
Washington Examiner reports:
President Joe Biden praised Pope Benedict XVI as a theologian and an inspiration in his first public comments following the death of the former pontiff at age 95.
Benedict “will be remembered as a renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his principles and faith,” Biden said in a statement provided by the White House Saturday.
Biden, the second Catholic president, said that he and First Lady Jill Biden were morning the death of the pope emeritus.
Biden noted that he met with Benedict in 2011 and said that the pope was generous and welcoming.
“May his focus on the ministry of charity continue to be an inspiration to us all,” Biden said.
Benedict was asked about Biden’s apparent contradiction between his professed Catholic faith and his position on abortion, something conservative Catholics frequently decry, in a 2021 interview. Benedict responded that he considers Biden an observant Catholic but is concerned with his views on abortion, refusing to outright condemn the president.
“It’s true, he’s Catholic and observant. And personally, he is against abortion,” Benedict said, Crux reported. “But as president, he tends to present himself in continuity with the line of the Democratic Party….and on gender policy, we still don’t really understand what his position is.”
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Photo by Gage Skidmore