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21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE should receive communion. 

Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that position. The vote is set to take place next week at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

The petition, organized by Faithful America, argued that the receiving of communion was being weaponized through the vote against Biden and congressional leaders who support abortion rights.

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"Pope FrancisPope Francis'Spider-Man' meets the pope Communion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics US Catholic bishops join the culture wars MORE is clear that mercy, welcome, and pastoral sensitivity should be hallmarks of the church. Follow his pastoral example and listen to your brothers Cardinal Gregory and Bishop McElroy: Stop playing partisan politics with Holy Communion and cancel your planned anti-Biden vote," the petition reads. 

"As a practicing Catholic, I find it absolutely unconscionable that Communion would be weaponized in this way against President Biden,” Micheal Vezzali, one of the Christians who signed the petition, said in the statement. “Where were these bishops during the horrors committed by the previous administration and the sickening ways it misappropriated Christianity? Thank you to Cardinal Gregory, Bishop McElroy, and others who are standing up for what is good and right."

Separately, the group highlighted a letter organized by Washington Archbishop Wilton Cardinal Gregory in which 67 bishops offered their opposition to the vote, which they labeled an attempt to undermine Biden and prop up former President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE.