The new U.S. president, a lifelong Catholic, apparently got some help from Rome when a strongly-worded statement condemning his far-left views was hotly debated by church authorities.
The powerful and influential U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was ready to condemn Joe Biden this week on abortion, marriage and sexuality, and religious liberty but the no-holds-barred statement from Archbishop Jose Gomez was condemned and criticized by others, and its publication was delayed on orders from the Vatican.
Michael Hichborn of the LePanto Institute tells One News Now that Biden’s views are “directly antithetical” to Catholic teachings.
The new U.S. president is the first Catholic in the White House in 60 years, a historic occasion that Catholic leaders could not ignore, but there was debate this week about how to address hot-button issues that could not be ignored while politely congratulating the new president.
According to The Pillar Post, a Catholic news publication, Vatican officials forced the bishops’ conference to hold back its statement the day of Biden’s inauguration but it was released later that day on the bishops’ website. Besides internal debate over the statement, there was a more political issue at work: A statement from Pope Francis congratulating Biden was released first followed by the bishops’ statement, which was posted at about the same time Biden was being sworn in as the 46th president.
The statement from Gomez (pictured at left) reads in part that he “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.”
According to the National Catholic Register, Chicago’s cardinal publicly blasted Gomez for what he called an “ill-considered statement.”
Mirroring the new U.S. president’s own words, Cardinal Blase Cupich called for “unity of the Church” and for working together for “healing our nation in this moment of crisis.”
Cupich wanted a more pro-Biden statement from the bishops and tried unsuccessfully to get bishops to support his push, the Register reported.
Elsewhere in his statement directed at Biden, Gomez hammered the liberal Democrat on the issue of abortion calling it a “direct attack on life” that harms women 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,” the statement continued. “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.”