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U.S. Catholic Bishops vote to approve new statement on communion, does not include wording on politicians

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference votes to approve a new statement on communion that does not include wording on denying politicians Eucharist based on abortion beliefs.

At the first in-person meeting since the beginning of the pandemic, the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference is addressing how to move forward with communion at mass. Although the final decision will be left to the individual bishop, new guidance has been approved. Jefferson City diocese Bishop Shawn McKnight voted in favor of the communion statement.

Communion has been a hotly debated topic in the Catholic community since some bishops said high-ranking Democrat politicians, such as President Joe Biden, should be denied communion due to their support of abortion.

McKnight told ABC 17 revising the communion statement is part of a strategic plan developed for 2021-2024. Although the purpose of the statement is to lead Catholics back to the pews, McKnight said some bishops did try to use it as a political

"There was, after the election of Biden as president, an effort by some within the Conference of Bishops to use that document process in order to address some issues with him," McKnight said. "But, that seems to have been soundly defeated, and the document today is focused primarily on getting people back to mass on Sunday."

The approved statement does not include language about politicians, and Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who presented the statement, said it is intended to be an educational document.

"The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion," the U.S. Bishops Conference website reads. "Each Catholic - regardless of whether they hold public office or not - is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching."

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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