Officials from the Vatican held back a statement from the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB), which warned Catholics that the incoming Biden administration holds an extreme anti-Catholic policy agenda. The USCCB statement has now been released, but only after Pope Francis came out with his own message for President Joe Biden.
Conference President Archbishop Jose Gomez did not mince words in the USCCB release, discussing the church’s position on abortion, gender, and religious liberty, and warning that the Biden administration’s policies would advance “moral evils” on several fronts.
According to “The Pillar,” sources in the Vatican Secretariat of State, others close to the U.S. bishops conference, and sources among the U.S. bishops confirmed that the statement was being held under embargo after an intervention from the Vatican Secretariat of State, hours before it was due to be released Wednesday morning.
Those who allegedly objected to the release include Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, and Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, among other unnamed bishops.
Biden and Harris, who plan to reverse the Mexico City policy and the Hyde Amendment to reinstate taxpayer funding of abortion both here and abroad, pose a serious threat to the sanctity of life. Yet the Catholic News Agency reported that sources within the USCCB said Cupich “opposed the inclusion of language noting abortion as a problem with the incoming Biden administration.”
In the now-released statement, Gomez said abortion is not a “private matter” but an issue of social justice, and that it is impossible to “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.”
“Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences,” Gomez said. Before he was elected, Biden committed to repealing the religious liberty exemption the Little Sisters of the poor were granted during their second trip to the Supreme Court in July 2020.
“Our commitments on issues of human sexuality and the family, as with our commitments in every other area — such as abolishing the death penalty or seeking a health care system and economy that truly serves the human person — are guided by Christ’s great commandment to love and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable,” wrote Gomez.
While Gomez’s statement was respectful yet powerful and uncompromising, Pope Francis’s message was short and unspecific. He congratulated Biden and asked that God guide his efforts “to advance the universal common good.” He did not name any of the threats Biden poses to Catholic values, the unborn, and religious liberty.