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Pope Francis meets President Biden at the Apostolic Palace on Oct. 29 in the Vatican. Photo: Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this week is expected to debate whether President Biden's support for abortion rights should disqualify him from receiving communion.

Driving the news: At the organization's annual general assembly in Baltimore, the bishops are slated to vote on a document, which clarifies the meaning of "Holy Communion," Reuters writes.

  • The president's support of abortion has sparked debate among bishops across the country, who believe his political positions "contradict church teaching," per Reuters.
  • Biden is the first Catholic president since John F. Kennedy.

The backdrop: Last month, Biden told reporters that Pope Francis believes he should continue to receive communion, adding that the pope said he was a "good Catholic," Axios' Oriana Gonzalez writes.

Go deeper

Poll: Majority of Americans oppose Texas abortion law

Pro-life and pro-choice demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1, 2021. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The majority of Americans say the Supreme Court should reject a Texas law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll out Tuesday.

Why it matters: The poll comes after the Supreme Court heard two cases on the Texas law earlier this month. It is set to hear a case on Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban — a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade — on Dec. 1.

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.