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Biden on Pope Benedict: ‘He Was a More Conservative View Within the Catholic Realm Than I Have’

CNSNews.com Staff | January 4, 2023 | 8:39pm EST
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As he was leaving the White House this morning on his way to Kentucky, President Joe Biden was asked by a reporter from EWTN what Pope Benedict XVI meant to him as a Catholic—and replied that this pope had “a more conservative view” of the Catholic Church than Biden himself had.

 “What did Pope Benedict mean to you as a Catholic?” the reporter asked Biden.

“Well, I—I had an opportunity to spend some time with Pope Benedict, a couple hours,” Biden responded. “And—and he was a great—and it reminded me of going back to theology class. We spoke about Aquinas and about ‘Summa Theologica’ and the whole litany. I found him to be relaxing and very rational.

“And he was a more conservative view within the Catholic realm than I have and (inaudible) Pope— he present Pope, in terms of his philosophy, his view,” said Biden. 

“But I—I admired him. I thought he was a fine man,” said Biden.

Biden will not be attending Pope Benedict’s funeral at the Vatican.

Here is a transcript of the exchange Biden had with a reporter about Pope Benedict XVI:

Q: “On Pope Benedict. Pope Benedict. What did he mean — what did Pope Benedict mean to you as a Catholic?

President Biden:  “Well, I—I had an opportunity to spend some time with Pope Benedict, a couple hours.  And—and he was a great—and it reminded me of going back to theology class. We spoke about Aquinas and about ‘Summa Theologica’ and the whole litany. I found him to be relaxing and very rational. 
 
“And he was a more conservative view within the Catholic realm than I have and (inaudible) Pope—the present Pope, in terms of his philosophy, his view. But I—I admired him. I thought he was a fine man.” 
 
Q: “You’re not attending his funeral tomorrow though. Why?”
 
President Biden: “No. Well, why do you think?”
 
Q: “Well, you tell me.” 
 
President Biden: “You know why.  I can’t—.”
 
Q: “You can tell me, sir.”
 
President Biden: “No, the reason I’m not attending the funeral tomorrow is because it takes an entourage of a thousand people to show up—not literally. But we would—we would move everything in the wrong direction. 
 
“I inquired about that. And they’re—people are sending mostly their apostolic delegates, their—the folks in Rome. That’s what we’re going to do. We would just get in the way. 
 
“But I—I’ve made my views known. I’m—at any rate, I think he was a fine man.”
 
Q: “Thank you, sir.”
 

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