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'It's a betrayal of everything Jesus taught us': Bishops, Catholic pro-abortion rights groups at odds over Communion

In recent years, some Catholic church leaders have advocated for denying the president and other pro-abortion rights politicians Communion.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Pro-abortion rights advocates gathered in Baltimore Monday to oppose a document Catholic bishops from around the country say could lead to President Joe Biden being denied Holy Communion.

In recent years, some Catholic church leaders have advocated for denying the president and other pro-abortion rights politicians Communion.

Bishops attending the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore are voting on a document about the meaning of the Eucharist, which is a Catholic ritual that transforms bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus.

"To use something so sacred to try to silence someone or try to intimidate them or bully them politically is a betrayal of the power in the mystery of the sacraments," Catholics for Choice President Jamie Manson said. "It's a betrayal of everything Jesus taught us, which, at its heart, was to feed one another."

A 2019 Pew Research poll shows there's a pretty even split among Catholics when it comes to their stance on abortion.

The poll found 56% of Catholics feel abortion should be legal in all or most cases and 42% feel it should be illegal in all or most cases.

In an email, Monday, a spokesperson from the Archdiocese of Louisville said the document being voted on isn't about denying communion to politicians supporting pro-abortion rights legislation.

She said it's about Eucharistic revival, which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says is a national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in America. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz wrote a column in the Archdiocese of Louisville's weekly newspaper earlier this year addressing the matter.

"The characterization of this document as an action of the body of bishops involving any particular individual is false," Kurtz said in the column.

Kurtz said the document being voted on would not create requirements for local bishops when it comes to dealing with public figures who take public stances that go against church teachings.

The bishops are voting on the matter later this week in Baltimore. The Archdiocese of Louisville says it's premature to comment on the document until the language is finalized.

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