Psaki’s remarks come after the US Bishops’ Conference last Friday approved the drafting of a “doctrinal document” that some supporters say is intended to serve as an admonition for Biden and other Catholic leaders to receive communion while taking political positions that run counter to church doctrine.
Biden, the second Catholic president, is known as a deeply religious man who frequently quotes scriptures 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 mourn the deaths of his wife and one-year-old daughter from a car accident in 1972, and the death of his son Beau in 2015 from a brain tumor.
Still, Catholics have questioned his devotion to the faith in recent years as he ran in the 2020 Democratic primary, battling then-President Donald Trump – who enjoyed tremendous support from evangelical Christian voters.
In October 2019, Biden was refused communion in a Catholic church in South Carolina because he had long campaigned for abortion law. “I’m not going to discuss this,” Biden said of the incident at the time. “This is just my personal life.”