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Communion Should Not Be Partisan, Advisory Group Tells U.S. Bishops

Priest celebrates mass at the church and empty place for text

An advisory group to U.S. bishops urged the Catholic leaders on Tuesday to avoid making Communion a tool for division as debate resurfaces in Catholic circles over whether President Joe Bidens support for abortion rights should disqualify him from receiving the sacrament.

Gathered in a Baltimore hotel ballroom, the bishops conference is scheduled to discuss a draft of a document clarifying the meaning of Holy Communion, a sacrament central to the faith.

The bishops have been divided over how explicitly the document should define the eligibility of prominent Catholics like Biden to receive Communion due to political stances that contradict church teaching.

U.S. Catholics 'Sickened' by Sex Abuse Report, Stand by Their Faith

Parishioners arrive for Mass at Saint Patrick Catholic Church in York, Penn. Aug. 18, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Many churchgoers said they were sickened and saddened by a grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania but they would not let the Roman Catholic Church's cover-up dissuade them from their faith.