Should a Catholic politician who supports abortion rights receive communion? American bishops have been split on the question at least since Sen. John Kerry, a Catholic who strongly supported “the right to choice,” ran for president in 2004. The furor died down after Mr. Kerry lost, but the debate returned when President Biden became the first Catholic to occupy the Oval Office since Roe v. Wade in 1973.
The communion question, at least for Mr. Biden, seemed settled. Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, said he wouldn’t deny communion to Mr. Biden. The pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Georgetown, where the president often attends Mass, agreed. But earlier this year, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco declared that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be barred from receiving communion in his archdiocese.