Catholic bishops in the US have criticised Joe Biden’s latest claim that some church leaders are comfortable that taxpayer funds are being used to carry out abortions.
President Biden made the claim when answering a question posed by an EWTN White House correspondent.
“Catholic bishops are demanding that federal tax dollars not fund abortions,” the reporter told Biden.
“No, they are not all doing that, nor is the Pope doing that,” Biden responded.
The short exchange sparked heavy criticism on social media, with many hitting out at Biden for using Pope Francis to defend his claim.
In response, the leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Broglio issued a statement rejecting Biden’s claims while another bishop called the president a “fake catholic”.
Broglio’s statement read: “The Catholic bishops of the United States are united in our commitment to life and will continue to work as one body in Christ to make abortion unthinkable.”
“Taxpayer funding of abortion would force people of good conscience to participate in this grave evil against their will. It would contradict our right to live in accord with the tenets of our faith,” it continued.
Pope Francis has previously compared procuring an abortion to “hiring a hitman”.
One of the most outspoken conservative Catholic bishops in the US, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, also criticised Joe Biden’s claims.
He wrote on Twitter: “Mr Biden can't be allowed to twist the words of Pope Francis in this way. I implore the Vatican press office to emphatically clarify that Pope Francis rightly calls abortion murder. It is time to denounce Biden's fake Catholicism."