Joe Biden attends service at St. Matthews
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - President-Elect Joe Biden - who is making history as the nation's second Catholic president - attended services at St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral in DC ahead of the Inauguration on Wednesday.
He was joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer.
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The last time a Catholic president sat in the White House was 1961 when John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the first.
Kennedy was known to celebrate Mass at St. Matthew during his presidency.
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American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 - 1963) stands on a platform for his inauguration as 35th President on the east front of the US Capitol, January 20, 1961. (L-R) His parents, Rose and Joseph Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (192
Biden’s home parish is St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Delaware.
Roman Catholic journalist Rocco Palmo told FOX 29 in Philadelphia that Biden was an enthusiastic member of his parish.
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"He’s the guy I would see in the pew at the parish. If he didn’t have Secret Service protection he’d probably be the guy taking up the collection," Catholic journalist Rocco Palmo said.
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Palmo says he believes Biden’s faith will play a role in his presidential policy.
"Of course the Democratic Party and the church have long been at loggerheads in terms of abortion. When it comes to immigrants, when it comes to looking out for the least, when it comes a priority for the poor and working people. These are the core elements of what we call Catholic social teachings," Palmo said.
Jesuit Father Leo O’Donovan – a former president of Georgetown University – will deliver the invocation at Biden’s inauguration.
Father O’Donovan is a friend of the Biden family, and was the main celebrant at the Mass for Biden’s son Beau in 2015 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Wilmington, Del.
Cardinal Wilton Gregory – the archbishop of Washington – delivered the invocation Tuesday night at a memorial service at the Lincoln Memorial to honor the 400,000 Americans who’ve died as a result of COVID-19.
Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris also participated in the event.