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Catholic bishops meet Monday to discuss whether Biden should receive communion

U.S. Roman Catholic Bishops gather Monday for a conference in Baltimore where they are expected to discuss whether President Biden should be denied communion because of his support for abortion rights, Reuters reports.

The bishops are scheduled to vote at the Nov. 15-18 meeting on a document clarifying the meaning of the sacrament. The committee that drafted the document debated whether it should include a position on disqualifying from receiving communion prominent Catholics whose political actions conflict with church teachings against abortion.

Biden, the first Catholic president since John F. Kennedy, has said he opposes abortion but supports a woman's right to choose. A Pew Research survey in April found that 55 percent of U.S. Catholics and 59 percent of the general population believe abortion should be broadly legal.

Previously, Pope Francis urged U.S. bishops to be "pastors" not "politicians" on abortion, and Biden said when they met last month that the pope had told Biden he was "a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion."