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In 2007 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the first edition of its document, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship."
It's been updated a few times since, with the latest additions being added after the USCCB fall meeting in 2019. A paragraph was added in the preface, saying:
The threat of abortion remains our pre-eminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty.
Some bishops, however, took issue with the use of the term "pre-eminent" — namely, San Diego Bp. Robert McElroy, Chicago's archbishop Cdl. Blase Cupich, and Lexington, Kentucky Bp. John Stowe.
They objected to the paragraph, claiming it goes against the "Magisterium of Pope Francis" in his 2018 apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate.
Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery and every form of rejection.
A few bishops spoke out in favor of keeping abortion the pre-eminent issue U.S. voters are facing, and two-thirds of them voted to keep the paragraph there. Unfortunately, however, a third of the bishops disagreed, binding themselves to the modern and false "seamless garment" theology.
To learn more about the bishops' Democratic bent, watch The Download: The Faithful Vote.
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