Cardinal Sean O’Malley said respect for every human life is “of the highest priority” for the Catholic Church after a priest in his diocese publicly endorsed pro-abortion Democrat Joe Biden.
O’Malley, of the Archdiocese of Boston, issued the statement Thursday in response to a public Facebook post by Monsignor Paul Garrity, pastor of Lexington Catholic Community, The Boston Pilot reports.
On Sunday, Garrity publicly endorsed Biden for president in his online post, writing, “I am pro-life and support Joe Biden,” according to the Boston Globe. Though he said he is pro-life, the priest also said he believes in “a woman’s right to choose … to give birth to her baby.”
In the post, which has since been deleted, Garrity encouraged other Catholics to support Biden, too.
The Catholic Church teaches that every human life from conception to natural death is valuable and worthy of protection, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops prohibits priests from publicly endorsing or opposing political candidates or parties – both of which O’Malley emphasized in his response.
“The Catholic community has the right to expect the priests of the archdiocese and those entrusted with handing on the faith to be clear and unequivocal on the church’s teaching concerning respect and protection for life from the first moment of conception to natural death,” O’Malley said in a statement published in The Pilot. “This teaching is of the highest priority for the Church.”
O’Malley also said priests “may not endorse or oppose candidates for election or political parties.”
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“Our advocacy addresses protection of human life at all stages and in all circumstances, including issues of social and economic equality, the pervasive influence of systemic racism and welcoming immigrants and refugees,” the archbishop continued.
The Washington Times reports Garrity responded to the statement with an apology. In a Facebook post, the priest also made it clear that he opposes abortion.
“I am totally against legalized abortion,” Garrity wrote. “I am committed to upholding Church teaching regarding the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until natural death.”
Biden claims to be Catholic, but he opposes many of the church’s teachings, including the sanctity of human life. While talking about “caring for the least of these,” the Democrat presidential candidate has quietly embraced taxpayer-funded abortions on demand. And while constantly bringing up the importance of his Catholic faith, Biden has endorsed anti-religious freedom policies that would force nuns, religious charities and hospitals to violate their deeply-held beliefs.
Last year, Biden announced that he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer-funded elective abortions. Popular among Americans, the amendment has saved more than 2.4 million unborn babies from abortions, according to research by Charlotte Lozier Institute. If ended, about 60,000 more unborn babies could be aborted every year in the U.S. alone.
In March, Biden said one of his first acts as president would be to restore funding to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in America.
Biden also said he is committed to “the constitutional right to an abortion” and to reversing “the Trump administration and states’ all-out assault on women’s right to choose.” He promised to “work to codify Roe v. Wade.” The infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Biden even has called abortions an “essential medical service” – as if slaughtering a unique, irreplaceable human child inside his/her mother’s womb is something good.