- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 2, 2023

The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops fired back against President Biden’s claim that some bishops do not want to block taxpayer funding of abortion, while another bishop accused the president of being a “fake” Catholic.

“The Catholic bishops of the United States are united in our commitment to life and will continue to work as one body in Christ to make abortion unthinkable,” conference President Archbishop Timothy Broglio said Wednesday in a statement.

“Taxpayer funding of abortion would force people of good conscience to participate in this grave evil against their will. It would contradict our right to live in accord with the tenets of our faith,” said Archbishop Broglio, who also leads the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA.

On Monday, Mr. Biden — who regularly attends Mass and carries a rosary — dismissed a reporter’s assertion that “Catholic bishops are demanding” taxpayer dollars not be used to pay to terminate pregnancies.

“No, they are not all doing that. Nor is the pope doing that,” the president replied.

Mr. Biden’s statement came just three days after Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, who chairs the conference’s pro-life activities committee, sent a letter to Congress supporting the proposed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

“Protecting taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortion in violation of their conscience is a principle that has enjoyed historically broad support among Americans, regardless of their otherwise passionately divided views on the topic. It has also been life-saving,” Bishop Burbidge wrote.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, took to Twitter to slam the president’s “fake” beliefs.

“Mr. Biden can’t be allowed to twist the words of Pope Francis in this way,” Bishop Strickland tweeted. “I implore the Vatican press office to emphatically clarify that Pope Francis rightly calls abortion murder. It is time to denounce Biden’s fake Catholicism.”

• Mark A. Kellner can be reached at mkellner@washingtontimes.com.

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