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Former VP Joe Biden denied communion over pro-abortion stance

The former vice president and Catholic attended Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence on Sunday, but was denied Holy Communion by the church's pastor Rev. Robert E. Morey, according to the South Carolina Morning News.

"Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to Former Vice President Joe Biden. Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that," Morey told the newspaper in a statement.

"Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.

"As a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care and I must do so even in the most difficult situations," the statement continued. "I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers."

Christian evangelist Franklin Graham tweeted his support for Morey's decision, saying:

"I applaud the fact that this priest did what he thought was right at the risk of possible public or political ire."

Biden's stance on abortion has for decades been aligned with the more conservative wing of the Democratic Party but earlier this year, he announced his opposition to the Hyde Amendment - which bans federal funding for abortions.

"If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code," he said at a Democratic National Committee gala in Atlanta after the controversy.

Biden cited abortion restrictions recently passed by Republican governors for his change in position.

"I can't justify leaving millions of women without the access to care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right," he said.

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