ROME — The Vatican intervened Wednesday to stop the publication of a statement from the U.S. Bishops sharply criticizing Joe Biden’s policies that directly conflict with Church teaching.
The January 20 statement, signed by the President of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference (USCCB) Archbishop José Gomez, noted that “our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender.”
“Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences,” the statement said.
The Pillar, an online Catholic news outlet, broke the news Wednesday that the Vatican’s Secretariat of State had taken the unusual step of nixing the Bishops’ statement to prevent or at least delay its release.
In the statement, which was due to be released at 9:00am ET Wednesday, Archbishop Gomez declared that “the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture.”
Working with President Biden will be unique, the document states, since “he is our first president in 60 years to profess the Catholic faith.”
“We have deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society,” the archbishop notes. “But as Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.”
Believing the text to have already been released, the Catholic News Agency published a report on the statement just after 7:00 a.m. Wednesday.
The Pillar reported the statement had stirred up a hot debate among the U.S. Bishops on Tuesday, with objections coming from Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark and Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, among others.
Sources told The Pillar that Pope Francis was expected to release a statement on the Biden administration to coincide with Wednesday’s inauguration, which aroused concern in the Vatican that a preemptive statement from Archbishop Gomez might muddy the waters for the pope.
“Abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family,” the statement asserts. “It is not only a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of fraternity, solidarity, and inclusion in the human community. It is also a matter of social justice.”
“We cannot 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,” it states.
As Breitbart News reported, Joe Biden’s Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) partnered with abortion giant Planned Parenthood so that anyone who donates to Biden’s Field of Flags, set up at the National Mall for his inauguration ceremony, will automatically be added to Planned Parenthood’s email list.
Last June, Mr. Biden appeared in a Planned Parenthood advertisement, promising the full support of his presidency for abortion rights.
In the ad, Biden promised to expand women’s healthcare and to promote abortion both domestically and abroad.
“Together we’re going to reverse the global gag order, the domestic gag order, restoring the Title X program,” Biden continued, in reference to Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy as well as the Hyde Amendment, which restrict the use of federal fund to support abortion providers.
“We will protect women’s constitutional right to choose, and I am proud to stand with you in this fight,” Biden said.