PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — Bishop Thomas Tobin told "10 News Conference" that President-elect Joe Biden should not receive communion because his political views conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Biden will become only the second president to be Catholic when he takes office. The first was John F. Kennedy.
Tobin, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, and other U.S. bishops say Biden is not a Catholic in good standing because he supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage.
"Under the current circumstances, if I'm still bishop and he were to come to Mass here, I would respectfully ask him not to present himself for Holy Communion," Tobin said. "Documents from the Vatican have been very clear that a political leader, a public servant who consistently and persistently takes positions against the teachings of the Church on these important moral issues should not present themselves for Holy Communion."
Biden, who attends Mass regularly in his home state of Delaware, says he gets along with Pope Francis and that the pope called him to congratulate him.
Tobin was also asked if Gov. Gina Raimondo went too far in closing churches in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I didn't hesitate so much to close down the churches as a question of religious freedom. That's not what was going on here," Tobin said. "We agreed to close the churches when we did and to restrict the public celebration of Mass and so forth because it was a matter of safety and health. We want to be partners with that. We want to cooperate in promoting the health and the safety of our people."