One of the nation’s most outspoken Catholic bishops is once again rebuking pro-abortion”Catholic” politicians Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi — telling them they “cannot be a good Catholic” and support killing babies in abortions.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has publicly called out the two abortion advocates. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Cordileone defended the pro-life law in Texas that bans abortions after six weeks and he took Biden and Pelosi to task for supporting it.
“You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings,” he wrote. “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.”
The Catholic leader added:
Prominent politicians lost no time in reacting hyperbolically to the Supreme Court’s decision refusing to enjoin Texas’s new law banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. President 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.
The Archbishop called abortion “the preeminent human rights issue of our time” and defended denying the two pro-abortion “Catholics” communion.
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.
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He cited former New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel, who took action against those who supported Jim Crow laws enabling segregation.
In 1948, he admitted two Black students to New Orleans’s Notre Dame Seminary. In 1951, he ordered the removal of “white” and “colored” signs from Catholic churches in the archdiocese. In a 1953 pastoral letter, he ordered an end to segregation throughout the archdiocese of New Orleans, telling White Catholics that, because their “Colored Catholic brethren share … the same spiritual life and destiny,” there could be “no further discrimination or segregation in the pews, at the Communion rail, at the confessional and in parish meetings.”
In 1955, Rummel closed a church for refusing to accept a Black priest. In a 1956 pastoral letter, 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.” On March 27, 1962, Rummel formally announced the end of segregation in the New Orleans Catholic schools.
Many White Catholics were furious at this disruption of the long-entrenched segregationist status quo. They staged protests and boycotts. Rummel patiently sent letters urging a conversion of heart, but he was also willing to threaten opponents of desegregation with excommunication.
On April 16, 1962, he followed through, excommunicating a former judge, a well-known writer and a segregationist community organizer. Two of the three later repented and died Catholics in good standing.
“Was that wrong? Was that weaponizing the Eucharist? No. Rummel recognized that prominent, high-profile public advocacy for racism was scandalous: It violated core Catholic teachings and basic principles of justice, and also led others to sin,” he said.
The Archbishop concluded:
In our own time, what could be a more egregious “denial of the unity and solidarity of the human race” than abortion? Abortion kills a unique, irreplaceable human being growing in his or her mother’s womb. Everyone who advocates for abortion, in public or private life, who funds it or who presents it as a legitimate choice participates in a great moral evil.
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.
Abortion is therefore the most pressing human rights challenge of our time. Can we pastors speak softly when the blood of 60 million innocent American children cries out for justice? When their mothers are condemned to silence, secretly suffering the injuries of the culture of “choice”?