As President Joe Biden meets with Pope Francis today ahead of the G20 summit, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) voiced hopes the Pope would use that time to tell Biden that Catholic schools shouldn’t have to hire “transexual” teachers.
In an interview on the ultra-conservative Newsmax’s Spicer and Co., hosted by former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Rubio discussed his concern that religious liberties in the United States are being infringed upon by a federal bill seeking to expand childcare.
Rubio called the bill a “federal takeover of pre-K and childcare” and complained that it would force religious schools that take government money not to discriminate in their hiring practices.
Then, using what is broadly considered an offensive term, he lamented that Catholic schools would have to hire transgender staff.
“If someone shows up and they’re anti-Catholic and you’re a Catholic school, they can’t discriminate on the basis of that,” Rubio said, even though no federal law protects employees who express hatred of a religion. “Not to mention if they’re transsexual or lives a lifestyle that goes contrary to the teachings of the Church.”
Rubio went on to say he hopes the Pope will raise these issues of “religious liberty” with Biden.
Other conservative Catholics are using Biden’s meeting with the Pope to attack Biden’s positions on social issues, even though the White House has already said that their meeting will be about COVID-19, poverty, and other issues.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shut down a conservative Christian reporter for repeatedly asking about Biden’s position on abortion ahead of his meeting with the Pope, even though Biden’s pro-choice stance is common knowledge.
As Psaki tried to answer quickly and move on to other journalists, but Owen Jensen of the Eternal World Television Network – a Catholic channel – shouted over them: “The pope has said abortion is murder, and it’s like hiring a hitman. Does the president agree or disagree with that?”
Unsurprisingly, Psaki said that Biden does not agree with that and reminded Jensen that he should already know that Biden is pro-choice.
“You know that the president believes in a woman’s right to choose. You’re very familiar with this issue. We’ve spoken about it many times,” she said, annoyed. She then just stopped listening to him as he continued to be disruptive and talked with another journalist.
And yesterday, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke released a statement asking U.S. Bishops to deny communion to Catholic politicians who are pro-choice.
Burke did not specifically mention Biden, who is Catholic and supports abortion rights, but he wrote that Catholic politicians who “violate the moral law” and still receive communion are “committing sacrilege.”