Catholic Bishops took another step towards denying Biden from receiving communion while he supports abortion rights

Catholic Bishops took another step towards denying Biden from receiving communion while he supports abortion rights
US President Joe Biden departs Saint Joseph on the Brandywine Church in Wilmington, Delaware on February 7, 2021. - President Joe Biden anticipates the US rivalry with China will take the form of "extreme competition" rather than conflict between the two world powers. Biden said in a CBS interview aired Sunday that he has not spoken with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping since he became US president.Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
  • Catholic Bishops voted to advance guidance that would reproach Biden for receiving communion.
  • The document is in response to Biden's support of abortion rights as a policy matter.
  • Biden, a practicing Catholic who regularly attends Mass, is the second Catholic president.

The leadership of the Catholic church overwhelmingly voted to advance the drafting of a document admonishing politicians and figures who support abortion rights like President Joe Biden and deny them from receiving communion, the Associated Press and New York Times report.

Catholic Bishops voted to approve the creation guidance which will come in the form of a "teaching document" by a vote of 168 to 55, 74% voting in favor, at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The conference was held remotely over the course of three days and included lots of fiery debate, according to the AP.

The exact language of the document, the idea for which has been in the works for some months, will be drafted and then voted on in November, according to The Times. At that meeting, the final document will need two-thirds majority support to be adopted.

If approved, the teaching could limit and even deny Biden and other Catholics who support abortion rights from receiving communion. Biden was denied communion once on the campaign trail in South Carolina in 2019 over his abortion stance.

Biden declined to comment on the Catholic Bishops advancing the resolution after giving remarks about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, telling reporters: "That's a private matter, and I don't think that's going to happen."


Read more: Biden loves going to church but his abortion stance could hurt his chances of receiving Communion

The move represents a stunning reproach of a sitting president from the leadership of their own religion and showcases some of the divisions with the Catholic Church as the faith struggles with declining membership and mass attendance in the United States.

Biden, a practicing Catholic who regularly attends Mass and invokes his faith frequently as a guiding principle, is only the second Catholic person to hold the presidency after John F. Kennedy.

Biden has previously said that he is personally opposed to abortion, but has previously written that he doesn't feel he has the right to foist that view onto others. Biden has evolved in his policy stances over his decades in public life to largely support abortion rights. Both he and his administration taken actions supportive of abortion rights since he took office.

Biden signed an executive order repealing the global gag rule, which bans nonprofits and NGOs that receive federal funds from providing abortion services or referrals abroad. The Department of Health & Human Services also rolled back a Trump-era domestic gag rule that applied the same requirement to domestic providers that receive federal funds under Title X.


The White House's budget proposal would also repeal the Hyde Amendment, a rule that prohibits federal dollars from directly funding abortions in most cases through programs like Medicaid.