Joe Biden has issued a statement about the passing of “renowned theologian” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Biden has long claimed to be Catholic — but regularly contradicts the church’s teachings.
In a statement about Pope Benedict, Biden said “Jill and I join Catholics around the world, and so many others, in mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.”
“I had the privilege of spending time with Pope Benedict at the Vatican in 2011 and will always remember his generosity and welcome as well as our meaningful conversation,” the statement said.
Biden went on to say that Benedict will be remembered as a “renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his principles and faith.”
“As he remarked during his 2008 visit to the White House, ‘the need for global solidarity is as urgent as ever, if all people are to live in a way worthy of their dignity,'” the statement continued. “May his focus on the ministry of charity continue to be an inspiration to us all.”
Biden has often been in hot water with Catholic bishops for being pro-abortion.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) also opposed the Respect for Marriage Act this month, arguing that it does not leave any room for religious organizations to stick to their beliefs.
“This bill fails to include clear, comprehensive, and affirmative conscience protections for religious organizations and individuals who uphold the sanctity of traditional marriage that are needed,” said Bishop Robert E. Barron, chairman of the USCCB’s committee on laity, marriage, family life and youth, according to a report from The Hill.
The State Department also issued a statement about Benedict, saying that he was “a holy man, witness to faith, and once Shepherd of the Catholic faithful.”
“Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a dedicated leader and was committed to interfaith dialogue. He was an advocate for vulnerable persons, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and migrants. He supported international legal measures to defend them. He was a renowned theologian within the Catholic Church for decades.”
The statement concluded by saying, “we offer our deepest condolences to the Catholic faithful around the world, the Holy See, and all those whose lives were enriched by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s spiritual guidance.”
Benedict became the Pope in 2005 after the death of former Pope John Paul II. He stepped down in 2013, citing his age.