(CNS News) -- Because President Joe Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion and yet still presents himself for Holy Communion at Sunday Mass -- in defiance of Church teaching -- the Catholic-based Life Site News has launched a petition calling on Pope Francis to formally discipline Biden when they meet in Rome on Oct. 29.
The petition urges the Pope "to tell Biden that he will face formal excommunication because of his public and obstinate promotion of abortion, and that if he wishes to return to communion with the Church he must immediately and publicly stop and repent from his active support of the culture of death."
"This is the prime opportunity for the Pope to make it crystal clear to Biden: Promoting abortion is absolutely and utterly incompatible with being in communion with the Church, and that those politicians who publicly and obstinately support abortion effectively put themselves outside communion with the Church, but also merit formal excommunication," reads the petition.
"Joe Biden's active and concentrated promotion of abortion since he took office only 9 months ago is a grave scandal to the faithful of the United States, and to Catholics everywhere," reads the document.
The petition also notes that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has done nothing "to directly and publicly address how Biden's radical, public promotion of abortion affects his standing in the Church."
"The silence from our American shepherds is deafening," states the petition. "Therefore, Pope Francis must now intervene to protect our preborn brothers and sisters from death, to protect authentic Church teaching from deceitful 'Catholics' like Joe Biden, and to protect the faithful from the grievous scandal caused by Biden's action and the intolerable dithering and 'dialoging' engaged in by the USCCB."
As president, vice president under Barack Obama, and as a U.S. senator for 36 years, Joe Biden has promoted, implemented, and voted for pro-abortion policies.
He supports Roe v. Wade and wants to see it codified into federal law. In his budget proposals, Biden has removed the Hyde Amendment, which prevents using tax dollars to pay for abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk.
In a Sept. 5 commentary in the Washington Post, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, citing Biden and pro-abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), wrote, "Since the Roe decision, more than 60 million lives have been lost to abortion. ... You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings. ... This is hardly inappropriate for a pastor to say."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law."
In an address to the Ponticial Academy for Life at the Vatican on Sept. 27, Pope Francis said abortion "is truly murder."
In his 1995 encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), Pope St. John Paul II wrote, "In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.'"
In 2002, the future Pope Benedict XVI wrote in The Participation of Catholics in Political Life, "those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them."
According to news reports, President Biden and Pope Francis are expected to discuss the COVID pandemic and climate change.
As this story was posted, nearly 13,000 people had signed the petition.