After Biden comments, U.S. bishops say they have ‘united position’ on abortion

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services gestured during a Nov. 15, 2022, news conference after being elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during the fall general assembly of the bishops in Baltimore. (OSV News Photo by Bob Roller)

By Kate Scanlon

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops affirmed its “united position” in opposition to taxpayer funding for abortion procedures, invoking the teaching of Pope Francis, following recent remarks by President Joe Biden.

During a Jan. 30 gaggle with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, a reporter said to Biden, “Catholic bishops are demanding that federal tax dollars not fund abortions.”

Biden replied, “No, they are not all doing that,” adding, “nor is the pope doing that.”

The USCCB’s president, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, refuted the president’s remarks in a Feb. 1 statement. He said the U.S. bishops are united in their opposition to both abortion and the use of taxpayer funds to finance those procedures.

“As we are taught by Jesus, human life is sacred,” Archbishop Broglio said. “God calls us to defend and nurture life from the moment a new human being is conceived. The Catholic Church has been clear and consistent in this teaching.”

Archbishop Broglio added that the “Catholic bishops of the United States are united in our commitment to life and will continue to work as one body in Christ to make abortion unthinkable.”

“As the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has said, ‘It is not right to ‘do away with’ a human being, however small, in order to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hitman,’ ” the archbishop said. “Taxpayer funding of abortion would force people of good conscience to participate in this grave evil against their will. It would contradict our right to live in accord with the tenets of our faith. Our nation is better than that. I pray that we will protect every child no matter his or her age, and open our hearts to respond to mothers in need with love and support rather than the violence of abortion.”

The USCCB previously sent a Jan. 27 letter to the congressional sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (H.R.7 and S.62), in support of the legislation.

Some media outlets cited the USCCB letter to suggest that Biden was denying the USCCB’s stance, but Biden was not listed as a recipient of that letter, which was addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.


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