Vatican warns bishops not to deny communion to Biden, politicians over abortion

The Vatican cautioned American bishops against denying communion to politicians, including President BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE, over their support for abortion rights.

The New York Times reported Pope FrancisPope FrancisThe faith community can help pass a reparations bill Pope encourages audience to take a break from stresses of modern life Pope Francis reimposes restrictions on Latin Mass, reversing Benedict MORE has warned that communion can’t be used as a political weapon by Catholic bishops. Biden is the second Catholic president in U.S. history, following President John F. Kennedy.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will convene their three-day June General Assembly starting on Wednesday and are expected to force debate and a vote on the issue of communion, despite the pope’s warning.

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“The concern in the Vatican is not to use access to the Eucharist as a political weapon,” Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit priest and ally of the pope, told the Times.

Earlier this month, the pope spoke about communion as “not the reward of saints, but the bread of sinners,” the Times also reported. 

Biden’s support for abortion rights has often been in the spotlight since it’s at odds with some leaders of the Catholic Church. Biden has been open about his devotion to his Catholic faith and attends Mass most weekends.