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U.S. bishops rebuke group of Catholic Democrats vowing to support abortion

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The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) has issued a strong response to a group of Catholic lawmakers who signed a letter citing Catholic teaching in support of abortion.

The group of 30 Democrats, led by Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, cited their Catholic faith and St. John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici as reasons to support abortion.

“The fundamental tenets of our Catholic faith — social justice, conscience, and religious freedom — compel us to defend a woman’s right to access abortion,” the letter stated. “Our faith unfailingly promotes the common good, prioritizes the dignity of every human being, and highlights the need to provide a collective safety net to our most vulnerable.”

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, president of the USCCB; Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee of Pro-Life Activities; and Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, issued a joint corrective statement in response:

“Members of Congress who recently invoked teachings of the Catholic faith itself as justifying abortion or supporting a supposed right to abortion grievously distort the faith. It is wrong and incoherent to claim that the taking of innocent human life at its most vulnerable stage can ever be consistent with the values of supporting the dignity and well-being of those in need,” the U.S. bishops wrote.

Citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the bishops added: “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

“Abortion violates this with respect to preborn children and brings untold suffering to countless women,” they said.

“Conscience rightly enjoys a special regard both in Church teaching and in the public sphere. And policymakers should support the freedom of Catholics and of others to serve the common good in accord with their beliefs in a wide range of areas — from services and assistance to recently arrived migrants, to offering health care and social services.”

The bishops stated that “conscience is not a license to commit evil and take innocent lives. Conscience cannot and does not justify the act or support of abortion.”

They concluded by imploring Congress to “join us in working toward the true common good by prioritizing authentic, uplifting support for the vulnerable and marginalized, including mothers and families in need.”

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U.S. bishops rebuke group of Catholic Democrats vowing to support abortion