The bishop of Tyler, Texas, accused his brother bishops this week of speaking “in unison” with Planned Parenthood in support of a pro-abortion Biden-Harris administration.
“A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy,” wrote Bishop Joseph Strickland in a November 10 tweet.
In his message, Bishop Strickland seems to be referring to a statement by the President of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference (USCCB), Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, who congratulated Mr. Biden on November 7, saying we recognize “that Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has received enough votes to be elected the 46th President of the United States.”
“We congratulate Mr. Biden and acknowledge that he joins the late President John F. Kennedy as the second United States president to profess the Catholic faith,” Archbishop Gomez said in a statement on the USCCB website.
“The American people have spoken in this election,” Gomez said. “Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a spirit of national unity and to commit themselves to dialogue and compromise for the common good.”
“We also congratulate Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California, who becomes the first woman ever elected as vice president,” he added.
Pro-abortion Democrats infuriated. https://t.co/MnAqjqUNDM
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 6, 2020
“Democracy requires that all of us conduct ourselves as people of virtue and self-discipline,” he wrote. “It requires that we respect the free expression of opinions and that we treat one another with charity and civility, even as we might disagree deeply in our debates on matters of law and public policy.”
The archbishop ended his statement by highlighted two vital issues on which Mr. Biden has been at odds with the Catholic Church — namely abortion and religious freedom.
America’s missionaries and founders had a beautiful vision of “one nation under God, where the sanctity of every human life is defended and freedom of conscience and religion are guaranteed,” he declared.
An outspoken opponent of abortion, Bishop Strickland had insisted that the presidential elections were primarily about moral truths, with the sanctity of life as the first among them.
In late September, Strickland tweeted that the election is about “the Sanctity of Life, true marriage between a man & a woman, supporting the nuclear family and sexual morality based on biblical truth.”
In August 2019, Bishop Strickland praised a brother bishop for refusing to give Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion legislation.
Planned Parenthood of Arizona quietly dropped its 2019 lawsuit against three state abortion restrictions. https://t.co/6PkAyFtuwq
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 7, 2020
The U.S. Catholic bishops themselves had declared that the abortion question is the “preeminent” political issue of our time and should inform the consciences of all Catholic voters.
If Joe Biden is confirmed as president, he will become the second Catholic president in U.S. history, after John F. Kennedy. Mr. Biden’s departure from Church teaching on key matters such as abortion, however, forebodes a rocky relationship with Catholic leaders.
Bishop Strickland himself has come out in favor of denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians, and Biden has already been denied Communion on at least one occasion.
Last October, Mr. Biden stopped on the campaign trail to attend Sunday Mass at a church in Florence, South Carolina where the pastor, Father Robert Morey, refused to give him communion.
Morey reportedly said that Biden’s support for legalized abortion contradicts the unity between “God, each other and the church.”
In August, 2019, Bishop Strickland thanked Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, WA, for declaring that he would refuse Communion to pro-abortion politicians “until they repent of evil.”
“Thank you bishop Daly for standing strong,” Bishop Strickland wrote in a tweet. “Our society needs to wake up to the reality that when unborn & completely innocent children are not safe from their own mothers, life has no value and the tragic violence we see is simply a consequence of our disregard for life.”
“Children are a gift from God, no matter the circumstances of their conception,” Daly said. “They not only have a right to life, but we as a society have a moral obligation to protect them from harm.”
The Left's radical pro-abortion agenda is hopelessly out of touch with the hearts and values of working class Americans. https://t.co/0obFsVceK9
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 18, 2020
The Church’s Canon Law lays out with great precision the circumstances under which priests should deny Holy Communion to members of the faithful, stipulating that such a measure should only be taken toward those who have been formally excommunicated or interdicted and “others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin.”
The decision to deny holy communion to a Catholic does not involve the judgment of the person’s soul (which can never be known with absolute certainty), but only the external evil actions in which a person knowingly persists.
A number of bishops and theologians have insisted that public support for legislation that protects or expands the practice of abortion, which the Catholic Church judges to be gravely sinful, constitutes “persevering in manifest grave sin.”