An update on my piece on the inauguration of our nation’s second Catholic President and the reaction of America’s Catholic bishops. Yesterday, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, issued a statement noting that “as pastors, the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture. So, I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”
Archbishop Gomez’s statement is not the one I would have written, and it is unclear how many of his brother bishops have joined their voice to his. Indeed, some other bishops are criticizing him for it. Still, Archbishop Gomez deserves credit for pointing out, in language that is blunt for an American bishop, that our second Catholic President is opposed to the Church on matters of importance. Indeed, matters whose importance is “preeminent,’ as Archbishop Gomez’s statement also makes clear.