Shortly after U.S. bishops meeting at a Baltimore hotel approved materials on how Catholics should vote in the 2024 election, their recently ousted colleague and dozens of his supporters protested outside the annual fall meeting.
Bishop Joseph Strickland — a conservative cleric who was recently removed by Pope Francis from his position leading the diocese of Tyler, Texas, following his increasingly vocal criticism of the pontiff — prayed the rosary accompanied by dozens of supporters. next to the city dock.
Inside the hotel conference room, the bishops approved a document that did not indicate who Catholics should vote for, but rather outlined how they should be based on the Church’s teachings, its positions against abortion and in favor of migrants. , when voting.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the highest body of Catholic clergy in the nation, on Wednesday approved supplements to its voter guide, which is known as “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.”
The materials, which include newsletter inserts and a video script, reaffirm many of “Faithful Citizenship” positions but emphasize some current issues. The bishops reaffirm that opposition to abortion is “our main priority,” they are in favor of making it easier to choose a school and the right of parents to protect their children from “gender ideology,” and they call for appeasement of politics driven by anger.
American Catholics are called to show “radical solidarity” with pregnant women. The approval of the document comes even as attempts to restrict abortion are expected to galvanize supporters of the right to terminate pregnancy.
The guide also sets out examples of what it means to defend human dignity, including the rejection of gender transitions, racism, assisted suicide, euthanasia, the death penalty and an economy of exclusion that harms people. She says we must support common sense gun violence prevention, immigrants, refugees and criminal justice reform.
“The Church is not simply a policy-making operation,” Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, vice president of the bishops’ conference, said at a news conference on voter guidance. “We are a full service Church. We are at the border. “We are serving migrants in our dioceses.”
Outside the hotel on the meeting’s final day of public sessions, Strickland, the deposed bishop, continued to make his presence visible.
Strickland said Cardinal Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, asked him not to attend the meeting. Strickland said he was not in Baltimore to start a movement, and that he respected the Vatican’s decision: “The holy father has the authority to do what he has done.”
Smith reported in Pittsburgh.
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