Psaki’s remarks come after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the drafting of a “teaching document” last Friday that some supporters say will serve as an admonishment of Biden and other Catholic politicians for receiving communion while holding political positions that run counter to church doctrine.
Biden, the second Catholic president, is known as a deeply religious man who frequently cites Scripture in his public remarks and often carries rosary beads in his pocket. He has also spoken and written at length about how his faith helped him grieve the deaths of his wife and 1-year-old daughter after a car accident in 1972, as well as the death of his son Beau in 2015 due to brain cancer.
Still, Catholics have questioned his devotion to the faith in recent years, as he competed in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and campaigned against then-President Donald Trump — who enjoyed enormous support from evangelical Christian voters.
In October 2019, Biden was denied communion at a South Carolina Catholic church because of his longstanding advocacy for abortion rights. “I am not going to discuss that,” Biden said of the incident at the time. “That is just my personal life.”