The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) lambasted 31 Catholic members of Congress for attempting to justify their support for abortion on the basis of Catholic social teachings. The wayward Catholic representatives argue that they are entitled to support abortion, claiming “the fundamental tenets of our Catholic faith -- social justice, conscience, and religious freedom -- compel us to defend a woman's right to access abortion.”
The USCCB set the lawmakers straight in quick order. “It is wrong and incoherent to claim that the taking of innocent human life at its most vulnerable stage can ever be consistent with the values of supporting the dignity and well-being of those in need,” the USCCB declared. The bishops added that conscience does not constitute a license to ignore the teachings of the Catholic Church, nor can it ever justify the taking of an innocent life through the act of abortion. The USCCB suggested that, instead of supporting abortion, the politicians should focus their efforts on protecting the vulnerable by assisting mothers and the poor.
The letter appears to represent a larger pattern of American Catholic bishops and clergy utilizing their religious authority in the political field in light of the increasingly radical positions of the Democratic Party.
In 2019, future president Joe Biden was denied communion by a priest in South Carolina because of his support for abortion. In May 2022, after issuing repeated warnings, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco announced that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) would be prohibited from receiving communion because of her refusal to repudiate her support for abortion. Most recently, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas led a protest against an appearance by the blasphemous Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ stadium on June 16.
For at least some American bishops, it seems that the episcopal gloves are coming off.