Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

New Mexico Sen. Joseph Cervantes. Photo: Russell Contreras/Axios

A New Mexico lawmaker denied Communion by a bishop over his vote to advance abortion protections told Axios exclusively he won't be bullied and looks forward to receiving Communion with President Biden one day.

Why it matters: The example set by Sen. Joseph Cervantes, a Democrat, is drawing the attention of lawmakers around the country. Blue states are moving to protect abortion rights should the Supreme Court overturn or erode Roe v. Wade.

  • "I won't have any problem finding to place to receive Communion," Cervantes said during an interview. "In fact, I look forward one day to receiving Communion at the same parish where President Biden does."
  • He said other parishes and another diocese in New Mexico have offered to give him Communion, highlighting the split among U.S. Catholic bishops over elected officials and abortion.

Driving the news: Cervantes, a chair of a key state legislative committee, tweeted this week that he was denied Communion by Las Cruces, N.M., Bishop Peter Baldacchino while attending service at a monastery.

  • "My new parish priest has indicated he will do the same. ...Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis," the devout Roman Catholic wrote.
  • The Las Cruces Diocese confirmed Cervantes was denied Communion after the lawmaker didn't respond to pleas from Baldacchino and St. Albert the Great Newman Center pastor Kevin Waymel to stall an abortion bill earlier this year.
  • "In a personal letter to Senator Cervantes, his pastor advised him that a vote in favor of this particular Senate bill would constitute a grave moral evil and that he should not present himself for Communion," the diocese said in a statement.

Cervantes voted in February to move a bill out of his committee that would protect abortion rights in New Mexico should Roe be overturned.

  • The conservative Democrat then voted for the proposal when it went before the full New Mexico Senate. It was later signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, another Democrat.

The intrigue: Washington, D.C., and 13 states expanded abortion access with 30 laws between 2017 and 2021, an Axios review has found.

  • At the same time, legislatures in 35 states have enacted more than 200 laws from 2017 to 2020 that restrict access to abortion services, according to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Between the lines: Refusing to serve Communion signals that some U.S. bishops and parish priests remain defiant despite Vatican warnings and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' official stance.

  • The conference quietly clarified last month there will be "no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians," following threats that Catholic public figures — like President Biden — should be denied Communion.
  • The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the state's most populous diocese, said it's not banning elected officials from receiving Communion — highlighting the divisions among U.S. bishops, even in New Mexico.

Yes, but: In June, the conference voted 168-55 to draft a document some hoped would prevent the president and other Catholic politicians from receiving Communion if they advocate for abortion rights.

What they're saying: "The New Mexico case shows that conservative U.S. bishops have been emboldened by the conference's vote and we might see more cases like this," said Andrew Chesnut, the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan chairman in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • Yet, those moves will be seen as myopic since the same U.S. bishops aren't denying Communion to politicians who support capital punishment or oppose anti-poverty initiatives and immigration reform — also important Catholic Church issues, Chesnut said.

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2021 - World

Biden says Pope Francis told him he should receive communion

Photo: Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

President Biden told reporters on Friday that Pope Francis believes he should continue to receive communion, adding that the pope "was happy that I was a good Catholic."

Why it matters: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this year sparked debate over whether politicians who support abortion rights should be denied communion. Francis has previously said that Catholic bishops should not let politics influence pastoral decisions.

Updated 6 mins ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Trump dogs "dull" DeSantis ahead of potential 2024 matchup

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Donald Trump is trashing Ron DeSantis in private as an ingrate with a "dull personality" and no realistic chance of beating him in a potential 2024 showdown, according to sources who've recently talked to the former president about the Florida governor.

Why it matters: The two are among the most popular Republicans in the country, and as the former president eyes another run in 2024, he's irked by DeSantis' popularity and refusal to rule out running against him.