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Photo: Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a document which clarifies the meaning of communion and who can receive the sacrament, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The effort to produce the document was partly ignited by questions surrounding President Biden, the first Catholic president since John F. Kennedy, and whether his support for abortion rights should disqualify him from receiving communion.

  • The vote, which did not mention any politician by name or specifically single out abortion, passed 222-8, with three abstaining, according to the Post.

What they're saying: "Laypeople who exercise some form of public authority have a special responsibility to form their consciences in accord with the Church’s faith and the moral law," the document reads.

  • Catholics also have the responsibility to "serve the human family by upholding human life and dignity," it says.

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."

Go deeper

What overturning Roe v. Wade could mean for Georgia

Data: Myers Abortion Facility Database on OSF; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Abortion access could be under threat in Georgia if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Driving the news: The nation's high court heard oral arguments last week in a case involving a Mississippi law seeking to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

California’s abortion providers intro plan to expand care, funds if Roe goes

The crowd outside the Supreme Court during the oral arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Womens Health Organization. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Abortion providers and supporters in California, including the leader of the state's Senate, on Wednesday unveiled a series of recommendations to make the state a haven for people seeking abortions in the state if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court is considering a Mississippi case that has thrown Roe's survival into question. Without it, abortion would immediately become illegal in 12 states, and more would likely follow suit.

California father and son accused of "reckless arson" in Calder Fire

Firefighters at the Caldor Fire along Highway 89 west of Lake Tahoe, California, in September. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California officials said they arrested a father and son Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which threatened the Lake Tahoe area as it burned for over two months earlier this year. They deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: The wildfire was the 15th-biggest ever recorded in California, razing more than 1,000 structures, forcing thousands to evacuate and injuring five people as it burned across nearly 222,000 acres of land in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.

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