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Catholic bishops considering whether to tell Biden to stop taking Communion over abortion advocacy

U.S. Catholic bishops will meet in June to decide on their public position on Communion for politicians who publicly advocate for abortion.

Updated: April 29, 2021 - 3:20pm

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U.S. Catholic bishops are considering whether to tell President Biden stop receiving Communion over his advocacy of abortion.

The bishops are set to make the decision in June during their annual meeting, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which will apply to all politicians who advocate for abortion, according to The Associated Press.

"Because President Biden is Catholic, it presents a unique problem for us," said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, chairman of the conference's Committee on Pro-Life Activities. "It can create confusion. ... How can he say he’s a devout Catholic and he’s doing these things that are contrary to the church’s teaching?"

The annual meeting and the Communion issue are centered on a document that will enshrine the church's stance on politicians, communion and abortion in the United States, and whether the bishops should go public with the document, the wire service also reports.

If the document is made public, Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion rights will be denied communion, though the decision will be left up to individual bishops to withhold communion. 

The church leaders who make the decision about whether Biden can receive Communion in Washington, D.C., and his hometown of Wilmington, Del., have said the president is welcome to receive Communion at churches they oversee.

Biden is the second Catholic to become president, the last being John F. Kennedy.

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