The Vatican is asking the South African Catholic Bishops' Conference for an explanation after President Clinton, who is a Southern Baptist, received communion in a Catholic church at the end of his state visit to South Africa.

According to Catholic teaching, non-Catholics, with very few exceptions, are not allowed to receive communion in Catholic churches. For non-Catholics to receive it, they must believe in the "Real Presence" of Christ in communion. They must also accept the authority of the papacy.