Archbishop Targets ‘Catholic’ Biden and Pelosi
San Francisco’s Salvatore Cordileone says abortion is the “most pressing human rights challenge of our time.”
While self-proclaimed Roman Catholic politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi launched into self-righteous tirades against Texas over its fetal heartbeat law and the U.S. Supreme Court over its refusal to intervene against it, America’s Catholic leadership has been ratcheting up its moral authority in an effort to eliminate the false dichotomy between personal faith and political conviction.
Recall that earlier this year, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone led a successful effort to issue a letter of rebuke, warning against Catholic politicians who support abortion. It was approved by a majority vote of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
However, following the latest outburst by abortion-advocating “Catholics” Biden and Pelosi, Cordileone wasn’t content to sit by quietly in order to avoid the dubious claim of “inappropriately injecting religion into politics.” He dropped an op-ed in The Washington Post titled: “Our duty to challenge Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.”
Biden announced a “whole-of-government effort” to find ways to overcome the Texas measure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) denounced the Supreme Court’s refusal as a “cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health,” and promised new legal action: “This ban necessitates codifying Roe v. Wade” in federal law. As a faith leader in the Catholic community, I find it especially disturbing that so many of the politicians on the wrong side of the preeminent human rights issue of our time are self-professed Catholics.
Cordileone argued that his duty is to stand rightly on “the most pressing human rights challenge of our time.” He observed: “Since the Roe decision, more than 60 million lives have been lost to abortion. Many millions more have been scarred by this experience, wounded victims whom society ignores. … Can we pastors speak softly when the blood of 60 million innocent American children cries out for justice?”
In making his case, Cordileone points to America’s not-too-distant past when, beginning in the late 1940s, New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel took a stand against racism and racial segregation. “Rummel did not ‘stay in his lane,’” Cordileone writes. “He did not prioritize keeping parishioners and the public happy above advancing racial justice. Instead, he began a long, patient campaign of moral suasion to change the opinions of pro-segregation White Catholics.”
Rummel’s willingness to stand for moral truth against what was the popular opinion of the day moved him to pen a pastoral letter in 1956 in which he declared, “Racial segregation as such is morally wrong and sinful because it is a denial of the unity and solidarity of the human race as conceived by God in the creation of Adam and Eve.” The letter upended the status quo, leading to protests and boycotts, but Rummel never backed down or backed off his willingness to excommunicate Catholics who opposed desegregation.
Clearly, Cordileone has been similarly inspired to speak the truth not only to culture but to power. Like Rummel, who rightly rejected racism’s inherent effort to dehumanize and diminish the image of God in every human being, Cordileone is standing against the pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians’ efforts to reject the inherent humanity of every preborn child.
He concludes: “You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings. The answer to crisis pregnancies is not violence but love, for both mother and child. This is hardly inappropriate for a pastor to say. If anything, Catholic political leaders’ response to the situation in Texas highlights the need for us to say it all the louder.”
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