Catholic bishops will draft document clarifying conditions of Communion reception

Measure will likely address Communion recipients who support abortion.

Published: June 18, 2021 4:40pm

Updated: June 18, 2021 5:26pm

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this week formally voted to move forward with a proposal to clarify the role of Holy Communion within the Catholic Church, a measure that will likely clarify whether or not Catholics who voice support for abortion — such as President Joe Biden — can receive the Eucharist.

The Catholic Church states that abortion is a grave sin and that anyone who procures one is barred from receiving Communion. Left uncertain, however, has been whether or not individuals who openly support abortion rights are also forbidden from receiving Communion. 

The proposal, which passed on Friday by a vote of 168-55 with six abstentions, will create guidelines on the meaning of Communion, according to the Washington Post, which will be drafted by the bishops at a later date. The guidelines will clarify both the tenets of the Eucharist within Catholicism as well as the conditions under which individuals might receive it. 

Conservative Catholics have generally held that abortion supporters should be barred from receiving Communion, while more liberal Catholics have argued that the issue should be left up to individual conscience. 

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