- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Catholic bishops attempting to warn President Biden that they “cannot stay silent” on abortion and other core issues of the faith were in fact silenced by the Vatican on Wednesday.

A letter with a scheduled embargo until the Democrat’s inauguration was spiked shortly before its planned publication by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Diocese of Tucson and others briefly published the letter before the Vatican intervened.

“Sources in the Vatican Secretariat of State, others close to the U.S. bishops’ conference, and sources among the U.S. bishops have confirmed to The Pillar that the statement was spiked after intervention from the Vatican Secretariat of State, hours before it was due to be released,” The Pillar reported.

Three sources close to the bishops’ conference told the website that Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark and Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago were among a handful of bishops who objected to the letter, which was penned by conference president Archbishop José Gomez.

“Mr. Biden’s piety and personal story, his moving witness to how his faith has brought him solace in times of darkness and tragedy, his longstanding commitment to the Gospel’s priority for the poor — all of this I find hopeful and inspiring,” Archbishop Gomez wrote of the president’s Catholic faith. 

“At the same time, as pastors, 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,” he continued. “So, I must point out 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.”

Archbishop Gomez then stressed that tackling the “continued injustice of abortion” would remain a “preeminent priority.”

“Preeminent does not mean ‘only,’” he wrote. “We have deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society. 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.”

The full letter has been published on the Life Site News website.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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