The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) held a national day of fasting and praying the rosary last Friday in response to the leaking of the draft Supreme Court decision that could nuke the Roe v. Wade precedent.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, invited the faithful to unite in penance and prayer for the nation, the integrity of the judicial branch, the overturning of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the conversion of abortion advocates, the strengthening of the nuclear family, and the promotion of a culture of life.
The bishops should be applauded for this frankly rare display of unity, conviction, and clarity. Unfortunately, it’s a case of too little, too late. From the 2020 election campaign onwards, Pope Francis as well as the U.S. bishops, with a thimbleful of notable exceptions, have been gaslighting the faithful about “Catholic” Joe Biden.
Any thorough guide to making a good confession will tell Catholics that having an abortion, encouraging or aiding another in the procurement of an abortion, and supporting a pro-abortion political candidate, all violate God’s law, notably the fourth and fifth commandments.
Yet slippery prelates elected to play a sneaky game with their flocks. Their convoluted and at times misleading voting guides allowed millions of American Catholics to erroneously believe that, firstly, Republican policies on issues like immigration, energy, and the environment are somehow un-Catholic (no, they’re not), and that in any case, these can justifiably be weighed against the slaying of innocent lives in the womb (no, they can’t).
In an interview with Catholic News Service, a USCCB official went as far as to declare herself “elated” over Biden’s pro-abortion VP pick. The USCCB promptly went into damage control, but it was too late; the cat was out of the bag.
Biden’s support for an obscene anti-Catholic platform of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand up until birth should have drawn a lot more rebuking and a lot less relativizing from Catholic bishops. Yet when an outspoken Wisconsin priest tried just this, he was infamously censured and eventually booted from the parish by his bishop for stating the obvious: you can’t be a Catholic and a Democrat.
Clearly, there is no requirement that Catholics support a particular candidate or political party. But Catholics simply cannot vote for politicians for whom ripping a baby from the womb constitutes a “reproductive health” procedure that ought to be subsidized by the American taxpayer.
It was always the job of U.S. bishops to spell this out in no uncertain terms. What followed instead, several months after Biden’s elevation to the White House, was a superfluous document on eucharistic coherence, in which bishops reiterated their stance that those who defy Catholic teaching on abortion should refrain from taking Holy Communion.
Behind the scenes, they must have felt in a bit of a pickle that there was now a U.S. president, who as a candidate they had neglected to publicly rebuke, who was professing to be Catholic, receiving Communion, yet giving a thumbs up to the slaying of the unborn. In any case, what would have provided meat to the affair – denial of Communion to Catholic politicians who belligerently support abortion – ended up being left out of the document. This was hardly surprising, given that Pope Francis was never on board with it.
Indeed, Pope Francis has acknowledged that abortion is “homicide,” and has described it as “killing a human life to solve a problem.” Nevertheless, Biden alleged the pope told him during a tête-à- tête at the Vatican last fall that he was “a good Catholic and … should keep receiving Communion.”
If that wasn’t a strong enough message to the Catholic clergy and laity, then Pope Francis’s jovial meeting with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another pro-abortion Catholic apostate, in which the two exchanged gifts before posing for cameras, locked in an awkward hand grip and leering like two Cheshire cats.
With this sort of confused and downright deceptive messaging from both the USCCB and the Vatican, it’s no wonder just more than half of Catholic voters in 2020, including 67 percent of Hispanic Catholic voters, decided it was morally acceptable to opt for a platform of undisguised abortion extremism. Contrast this with the 39 percent of Protestant voters who cast ballots for Biden.
Eighteen months into this nightmare of an administration, with the anti-life agenda now on full display, and appalling acts of anti-Catholic vandalism and sacrilege throughout the United States, the bishops’ call for hand-holding and prayer circles may be well-intentioned, but is nevertheless paltry and misses the mark.
It shouldn’t be up to a popular cable news host like Tucker Carlson, an Episcopalian, to point out that “Catholic” Joe doesn’t seem particularly fazed by abortion activists’ threats to disrupt Catholic masses and burn the Eucharist. Had bishops been similarly outspoken back in 2020, this whole collision might have been avoided. Instead, we find that the “Ruth Sent Us” demons are protecting their unholy sacrament with more conviction and zeal than prelates have been defending the Blessed Sacrament and the Divine Law of the Creator.
The Catholic hierarchy, from the pope down, must stop leading Catholics down the garden path with the impression they can in good conscience vote for politicians who support the vilest acts against unborn life, crimes that rival the worst atrocities of pagan Rome.
All Christians should be fasting and doing penance in reparation for the 60 million-plus lives slain since the handing down of Roe v. Wade. But if bishops don’t openly and unambiguously distance themselves from the abortion death cult, and entreat their flocks to do likewise, the “give peace a chance” invitations to prayer just won’t cut it.