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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Vatican was unsuccessful in softening the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB's) statement that spotlights heretical positions of self-identifying Catholic Joe Biden.
Interference from two pro-LGBT American cardinals, Joseph Tobin of Newark and Blase Cupich of Chicago, triggered the Holy See to attempt changes to the USCCB's statement penned by its president, Abp. José Gomez of Los Angeles.
The involvement coming from outside the USCCB was reported by three sources close to the USCCB, according to The Pillar, an outlet covering Catholic news. In addition to Tobin and Cupich, the sources added other unnamed bishops were involved in the meddling.
Slated for release at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, the statement clarified points of contradiction between perennial Catholic teaching and some of Biden's policies. Though the Vatican succeeded in delaying the timing, the statement remained intact and has been published on the USCCB website.
Sources revealed the statement was debated on Tuesday evening, with various bishops objecting it was overly critical of the incoming administration. But it was the Vatican that ultimately caused the delay of its release.
The "USCCB Statement on the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden" states:
[A]s pastors, the nation's bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the gospel's truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture. So, I must point out that our new president has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.
Gomez's statement also addresses abortion:
We have deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society. But as Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.
Abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family. It is not only a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of fraternity, solidarity and inclusion in the human community. It is also a matter of social justice. We cannot ignore the reality that abortion rates are much higher among the poor and minorities and that the procedure is regularly used to eliminate children who would be born with disabilities.
Under condition of anonymity, one priest told Church Militant this Vatican intervention is unsurprising.
"The Vatican has been compromised for decades," he said. "They're allied with the worst elements in the USA."
Another priest, who also asked to remain anonymous in comments to Church Militant, said:
At this point in time the United States is near to having aborted 70 million babies, and frankly, Abp. Gomez's statement does not go far enough to address Biden's and the Democrats' unflagging support of this grave evil. At this moment in our history as a nation, the number of dead by abortion exceeds every and all of the wars ever fought.
As to the two American cardinals involved, Father said, "Cdls. Cupich and Tobin are concerned about ruffling the Biden administrations' feathers! What rot! Both of these cardinals should be down on their knees praying that this scourge against the unborn in our nation is brought to an end and not concerned about kissing up to the new administration."
He explained the interest in playing nice with the Biden administration is financial.
"As a priest, I am all in for cutting off all federal funding to so-called Catholic charities," Father said. "U.S. taxpayers paying for so-called social programs is not a good thing for the country when the funds go towards subverting and circumventing the gospel."