Catholic Bishops In US Double Down On Fighting Abortion

Stopping abortion is still the “pre-eminent concern” for the Catholic Church in the United States, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The latest updated version of “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the spiritual guide used by the clergy, was approved by the bishops in a 225-11 vote.

The USCCB has delayed making significant changes to its Guide, but it has approved a revised introduction to the document in which it reaffirms its commitment to opposing abortion as “our preeminent goal.”

Some bishops have urged that the voting guide required a thorough redesign, in part because it has not been updated to reflect modern issues, like climate change, and does not incorporate information from Pope Francis. The bishops, however, decided to put off a major modification for the time being. They said abortion is still their top concern because it kills over a million people every year in this country, including some of the most defenseless members of society.

Gun violence, euthanasia, he death penalty, terrorism, and human trafficking are all listed as “severe risks to the life and dignity of the human person” in the preface to the handbook. The bishops voted 225 to 11 to adopt the agenda item with no debate or discussion during the public session on November 15.

The bishops have highlighted gender ideology, immigration, and the healthcare crisis as other, less overtly violent societal challenges that threaten the survival of the country. They stated that all dangers challenge the dignity of the human individual.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) tries to clarify matters of spiritual concern and provide theological insight for the laity rather than making policy prescriptions. According to the updated text, bishops are responsible for overseeing Church society, transmitting doctrine and tradition, and presiding over sacraments. The text goes on to say that while many laypeople serve in leadership roles within the Church, the primary responsibility of the laity is to promote social justice, hold public office, and incorporate the gospel into everyday life.