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Biden Communion Fight Raises Stakes for Vatican Ambassador Pick

Biden Communion Fight Raises Stakes for Vatican Ambassador Pick

The decision by right-wing Catholic leaders to begin drafting a statement that could potentially allow bishops to deny the sacrament of Holy Communion to politicians whose stances on social issues stand in conflict with those of the church has injected a political fight into one of the faith’s most sacred religious rites.

The conflict has also put increasing pressure on President Joe Biden to name an ambassador to the Holy See who would help smooth the rising disputes between Pope Francis, long seen by both supporters and detractors as a would-be modernizer, and the American wing of the Catholic Church, which is increasingly politically conservative.

But former ambassadors, Vatican-watchers and those close to the Bidens tell The Daily Beast that hopes that an incoming ambassador to the Vatican may help iron out long-standing doctrinal disputes and fraught internal church politics misunderstand the role of ambassador—and could actually inflame relations to the point of an Anglican-style realignment, or even a schism.

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