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Bishop Donald HyingShalomWorldTV / Youtube screen grab

MADISON, Wisconsin – (LifeSiteNews) Most Reverend Donald J. Hying, Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Madison, has described the announcement of U.S. President Joe Biden that he doesn’t believe that human life begins at conception as “painful” and “disturbing.”

“People always claimed that President Biden was personally opposed to abortion,” wrote the bishop,  “Today, he said, ‘I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception, I respect that-don’t agree, but I respect that.’”

“Today, we’ve all learned the painful and disturbing truth” continued the bishop.

Hying was referring to Biden’s press conference on Friday, where he told reporters that he has instructed the Department of Justice to look for ways to block the recently enacted “Heartbeat Act” in Texas.

“I have been and continue to be a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade, number one,” Biden said on Friday. “I was told that there are possibilities within the existing law to have the Justice Department look and see whether or not there are things that can be done that can limit the independent action of individuals enforcing a state law.”

Biden also revealed at the press conference that he does not believe that life begins at conception, despite his past statements to the contrary and the Church’s unambiguous teaching on the subject.

“I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception,” he stated. “I don’t agree, but I respect that. I’m not going to impose that on people.”

Biden’s comments mark a reversal from the stance he publicly took as vice president. “Life begins at conception, that’s the Church’s judgment,” he said in a vice presidential debate in 2012. “I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others.”

“It’s a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court. I’m not going to interfere with that,” then-Vice President Biden added. He made similar statements in 2008 and 2015.

Despite his support for abortion in any circumstance, contradicting the Catholic Church’s total condemnation of abortion in all circumstances, Biden regularly touts his supposed Catholic faith and his friendship with Pope Francis.

Hying has previously said that he is praying for “a deep conversion” of Biden on the issue of abortion. Following Biden’s election as U.S. president Hying was one of 14 bishops to give public support of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) statement warning about Biden’s pledge to pursue anti-life and anti-family policies that would advance “moral evils” in the areas of “abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender.”

LifeSiteNews has reached out to the United States Conference for Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for comment about Biden’s recent statements, but has yet to receive a reply at this time.