When hundreds of Catholic bishops gather in
That’s because abortion remains a potent issue in American politics, and opposition to abortion has long been the electoral litmus test for the bishops. Their 42-page document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, last revised in 2015, calls abortion an “intrinsically evil” act that may “never be supported or condoned.”
It explains why they largely kept silent when candidate
The bishops’ silence likely influenced the 2016 election.
Days after the Trump victory, Baltimore Archbishop
The bishops got the Supreme Court of their dreams. But along with it, they have faced a
In 2020, will the bishops’ message to voters emphasize the gospel values of social justice and hospitality to immigrants? Or will they continue to frame abortion as the greatest moral evil?
The prospects for change look grim. A task force is working on a short letter and four 90-second videos to supplement “Faithful Citizenship,” Los Angeles Archbishop Josu00e9
The prelates fail to acknowledge that poverty drives half the nation’s abortions and that a ban may not reduce them; needy, desperate women may seek out unsafe ways to terminate their pregnancies. Indeed, the USCCB is even more extreme. The bishops vigorously fought the contraceptive mandate in the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, attempting to deny insurance coverage for birth control to all employees of Catholic institutions.
Indeed, in 2018, when several prelates strongly pressed for substantive revisions to Faithful Citizenship more in line with the pope’s views, they were soundly rebuffed by the majority. And just last month, Catholic presidential candidate
Voter surveys suggest that most of the nation’s roughly 38 million Catholic voters are more apt to vote their political party than their faith. Nevertheless, some older white Midwestern Catholics likely will consider what they hear from the pulpit when they cast their ballots. It doesn’t take too many of them to shift an election.
Unless the bishops forthrightly state that policies ripping immigrant children from their parents are at least as sinful as abortion, their advice to Catholics will not have changed. And if that remains the case, the bishops will not only have failed the faithful, they may very well have failed democracy.
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