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Catholic bishops avoid banning politicians from communion over abortion views

Catholic bishops avoid banning politicians from communion over abortion views
Pope Francis meets with the United States President Joe Biden during a private audience at the Vatican on October 29. U.S. Catholic bishops declined to not prevent Biden from receiving communion because of his position on abortion.  Photo by Vatican Media/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Catholic bishops on Wednesday declined to prevent President Joe Biden or other politicians who support abortion rights from receiving communion, something that was pushed hard for by conservative clergy leaders.

The bishops voted overwhelmingly on a "meaning of communion" emphasizing there is a "special responsibility" of Catholic public figures to shape their own views based on the "church's faith and moral law," according to the Washington Post.

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The document approved did not address the question of public figures' right to the eucharist head-on as some wanted and barely mentioned abortion in its 29 pages.

The document passage ended, for now, a long campaign by conservative bishops to target Biden for his political position on abortion, despite the opposition of the effort from the Vatican.

Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican last month.

"President Biden thanked his holiness for his advocacy for the world's poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution," the White House said in a statement after the 90-minute meeting on Oct. 29.

"He lauded Pope Francis' leadership in fighting the climate crisis, as well as his advocacy to ensure the pandemic ends for everyone through vaccine sharing and an equitable global economic recovery."

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President Joe Biden meets with Pope Francis at Vatican

President Joe Biden (L) greets Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican in Rome on Friday. Photo by Vatican Media/UPI | License Photo

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