You would think Catholic leaders would rejoice in having a fellow believer in the White House, but the conservative U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement shortly after Joe Biden’s inauguration condemning him for his pro-choice policies. Archbishop José H. Gomez (below) overlooked four years of Catholic-backed cruelty and acted like Biden was putting lives in jeopardy:
… I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.
Abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family. It is not only a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of fraternity, solidarity, and inclusion in the human community. It is also a matter of social justice. We cannot ignore the reality that abortion rates are much higher among the poor and minorities, and that the procedure is regularly used to eliminate children who would be born with disabilities.
Rather than impose further expansions of abortion and contraception, as he has promised, I am hopeful that the new President and his administration will work with the Church and others of good will…
First of all, the Catholic Church has no foundation to declare anything a moral evil when roughly half of Catholic voters had no problem backing Trump (twice) and the Church leaders themselves are complicit in the Church’s cover-up of child sexual abuse. The men who don’t have families (at least not publicly) but insist they’re better equipped to decide women’s health care needs are in no position to tell Biden what he ought to do. At least not with a straight face.
Biden’s positions are good ones. He’s set to overturn the disastrous Mexico City Policy which prohibited funding for non-government groups that “provide or refer patients for abortions.” Biden has (finally) come around to admitting the Hyde Amendment is harmful. He will surely nominate pro-choice judges when given the opportunity. And he’ll obviously push to expand health care access to more people — the only question is how far he’s willing to go.
All of this is what infuriates those bishops. They can’t handle a prominent Catholic who respects women’s rights like this.
Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, semi-denounced the USCCB’s statement, calling it “ill-considered”… but he only focused on the procedural aspects of it. They didn’t go through the proper system, he complained, not that the substance of the statement was wrong.
Today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an ill-considered statement on the day of President Biden’s inauguration.
— Cardinal Cupich (@CardinalBCupich) January 20, 2021
The Church should be grateful that Biden is president. Other than Pope Francis, who gets fawning press coverage despite his mostly conservative pronouncements, Biden is now one of the highest-profile and most popular Catholics in the world. He gives the Church a good name — something they’ve struggled to do for themselves for decades. The fact that Biden understands his religious views shouldn’t be implemented if they make for bad public policy — abortion rights and LGBTQ issues being high on that list — is a testament to his respect for the Constitution. The bishops should be grateful that Biden is Catholic without complaining that a Catholic president isn’t pushing the Church’s bigotry on the public. We’ve seen what happens when the Church gets its way. People die. People suffer. People leave the Church.
Biden’s Catholicism is the best free advertising the Church has had since Mother Teresa. And a lot of leaders are already whining about it because (unlike Mother Teresa) he won’t impose their irrational rules in order to make people suffer even more.
(Screenshot via YouTube)