Father Robert Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence told the local Morning News that during the 9 a.m. Mass, he refused to serve Biden because “any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”
“I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers,” he added.
Neither Morey nor Biden’s campaign immediately responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment, and the Democratic presidential candidate declined to directly address the matter in an MSNBC interview.
“I’m not going to discuss that,” he said. “That’s just my personal life, and I’m not going to get into that at all.”
Biden, a practicing Catholic, emphasized that he does not seek to impose his “religious beliefs which I accept based on church doctrine” on others.
He has said that he personally opposes abortion, but he has evolved politically on the issue. In 1982, Biden voted for an amendment that would have allowed states to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. He has since reversed course, vowing to codify the ruling if elected and stating that “we must fight any and all attempts to overturn it.”
Similarly, Biden once backed the Hyde Amendment that prohibits federal funds from being spent on abortions but announced his support for scrapping it earlier this year.
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without the health care they need,” he said at a June gala hosted by the Democratic National Committee. “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support [the amendment].”