Biden’s communion denial highlights faith-politics conflict

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Catholic priest’s denial of communion to Joe Biden on Sunday illustrates the fine line presidential candidates must walk as they talk about their faiths: How do they balance religious values with a campaign that asks them to choose a side in polarizing moral debates?

The awkward moment for Biden came during weekend campaigning in South Carolina. As he frequently does on the trail, the lifelong Catholic attended services privately at a local parish, but the priest there did not serve him communion. The priest said in a statement to media outlets that he acted based on Biden’s support of abortion rights.

The episode recalled a 2004 debate, when John Kerry grappled with warnings from several Catholic officials that abortion-rights supporters such as himself should not receive communion.

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