Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, says it is the duty of Catholic leaders to challenge Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.

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In an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Sunday, Cordileone said, “You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings.”

The archbishop accused the church of injecting religion into politics when it discussed whether politicians who support abortion should receive the Eucharist.

“As a faith leader in the Catholic community, I find it especially disturbing that so many of the politicians on the wrong side of the preeminent human rights issue of our time are self-professed Catholics,” Cordileone noted. 

“When considering what duties Catholic bishops have with respect to prominent laymen in public life who openly oppose church teachings on abortion, I look to this country’s last great human rights movement – still within my living memory – for inspiration on how we should respond,” he added.

Cordileone pointed out how former New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel took an active role in civil rights, including ending segregation in his archdiocese’s churches along with other actions.

He praised Rummel for his courage to confront the “evils of racism” which he truly admires.

“Rummel did not ‘stay in his lane.’ Unlike several other bishops throughout this country’s history, he did not prioritize keeping parishioners and the public happy above advancing racial justice,” Cordileone continued. “Instead, he began a long, patient campaign of moral suasion to change the opinions of pro-segregation White Catholics.”

Cordileone is the archbishop for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is Catholic and supports abortion rights as does President Biden, who has been described by the White House as a “devout Catholic.”

Biden commented on the Texas abortion law during a press conference Friday, indicating that he doesn’t believe life begins at conception.

“I respect people who think that who don’t support Roe v. Wade,” Biden remarked. “I respect their views, I respect those who believe life begins in the moment of conception and all. I respect it, I don’t agree with, but I respect that.”

The official doctrine of the Catholic Church says that human life “must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

“From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being of life,” according to the Catechism, drawing from Jeremiah 1:5, which states, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.”

As for the Texas law, which bans abortion after six weeks, often before a woman even knows she’s pregnant, Biden told reporters he has instructed the Justice Department “to look and see whether there are things that can be done that can limit the independent action of individuals in enforcing a state law.”

“I don’t know enough to give you an answer yet,” Biden added. “I’ve asked for that to be checked.”

The law as it stands now bars state officials from enforcing it in any way. Instead, it has empowered any private citizen to bring civil action against anyone who performs an abortion past six weeks of pregnancy.

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