The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently confirmed their stance on abortion as the paramount issue for Catholic voters in the upcoming 2024 election.
This decision was reached during their annual fall assembly in Baltimore, where bishops voted 225-11, with seven abstentions, to maintain the “preeminent priority” of abortion in their voter guide, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.”
The guide, first introduced in 2007 and updated every four years, provides Catholics with insights on how to align their voting decisions with Catholic social teachings. Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore emphasized the importance of this guide, stating, “It’s not simply a public policy issue. It is a deeply, deeply pastoral issue of loving the moms in need, walking with them, helping them bring their babies to term, and then providing them with what they need to move forward.”
In addition to abortion, the bishops acknowledged other critical issues such as euthanasia, gun violence, terrorism, the death penalty, human trafficking, and threats to marriage and gender definitions. These concerns, though serious, are positioned as secondary to the abortion issue in terms of urgency and focus.
The bishops’ commitment to opposing abortion aligns with their broader goal of safeguarding human life and dignity. Their approach, grounded in faith and doctrine rather than political ideology, aims to guide Catholics in forming their consciences through prayer, study, reflection, and dialogue. As Lori puts it, the guide helps the faithful to “discern with prudence their decisions about public life.”
Looking ahead, major revisions to the guide are postponed until after the 2024 election.
The bishops’ decision reflects their ongoing commitment to addressing complex moral and social issues from a position rooted in Catholic faith and tradition.
Pray for life!
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