Signaling what may grow to be a showdown between the management of the U.S. Catholic Church and the second Catholic president in U.S. historical past, the top of the U.S. bishops’ convention issued a warning to President-elect Joe Biden, saying his place on abortion rights creates a “tough and sophisticated scenario.”
“When politicians who profess the Catholic religion help [abortion rights], there are further issues,” mentioned Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, president of the U.S. Convention of Catholic Bishops. “Amongst different issues, it creates confusion among the many devoted about what the Catholic Church truly teaches on these questions.”
Gomez additionally introduced the formation of a working group to look at the difficulty.
The remarks got here Nov. 17 in the course of the conclusion of the ultimate day of the U.S. bishops’ digital assembly and only one week after Gomez supplied his formal congratulations to Biden.
In latest weeks, some conservative Catholics have known as for Biden, a daily Massgoer, to be denied Communion, a transfer his bishop has beforehand rejected.
Gomez’s announcement lacked specifics, noting that the working group could be chaired by Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, who additionally serves because the vp of the U.S. bishops’ convention, and would come with the heads of assorted bishops’ committees affected by areas of coverage concern, together with the heads of the committees on doctrine and communication. He mentioned further particulars could be forthcoming.
“For less than a second time, we’re anticipating a transition to a president that professes the Catholic religion,” Gomez mentioned on Wednesday. “This presents sure alternatives but in addition sure challenges.”
He mentioned that there’s cause to imagine that Biden‘s Catholic religion would inspire him to pursue insurance policies that aligned with Catholic instructing on immigraiton reform, refugees, the poor, initiatives in opposition to racism, the demise penalty and local weather change.
But Gomez singled out abortion, saying that Biden‘s opposition to the Hyde Modification, which bars federal funding for abortion, and his help of Roe v. Wade is “in opposition to some basic values we maintain expensive as Catholics.”
“Each of those insurance policies undermine our preeminent precedence of the elimination of abortion,” he added, doubling down on the controversial language adopted by the U.S. bishops in November 2019 within the newest model of their official voting information, “Forming Consciences for Devoted Citizenship.”
Gomez mentioned the choice to launch a working group comes on the suggestion of a number of committee heads of the U.S. bishops and obtained the “unanimous help” of the convention’s government committee.
The bishops additionally fashioned a working group on immigration after the election of Donald Trump in 2016.*
Biden, who continuously talked about his Catholic religion on the marketing campaign path, obtained a cellphone name from Pope Francis on Nov. 12 congratulating him on his election win. The 2 pledged to work collectively on a spread of points, together with migration and the surroundings.
*This story has been up to date to incorporate point out of the working group on immigration fashioned in 2016.
[Christopher White is NCR nationwide correspondent. His e mail handle is email@example.com. Comply with him on Twitter: @CWWhite212.]