By Doug Mainwaring
BALTIMORE, Maryland, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — When Bishop Joseph Strickland addressed the urgent need to challenge politicians who claim to be Catholic but whose voting record and rhetoric remain at odds with Church teaching on the sanctity of life, his statement was ignored by the assembled body of U.S. Bishops.
During a Q&A period after back-to-back presentations by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, on the USCCB’s projects to create materials to help form consciences for ‘Faithful Citizenship’ and a report on the Bishops’ Working Group on Immigration, Strickland said:
I truly hear the Holy Spirit moving among us as both those topics come together on our agenda, ‘Faithful Citizenship’ and the tragic reality of immigration in our nation today.
To me, what I’m reminded of is that it really deals with the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. The threats and the conflicts in the world with that basic belief that we have are overwhelming to all of us.
I guess I just wanted to ask a question about faithful citizenship, and ask if we can bring that focus — certainly to the faithful in the pews and the voting booths — but also to the Catholic representatives and politicians throughout the nation; to look for ways to really call all of us to faithful citizenship.
I think in the immigration issues and virtually all of the sanctity of life issues, too many of our Catholic politicians are not leading with faithful citizenship.
I think we as shepherds have to challenge that in all the ways that we need to.
Many (politicians) claim to be Catholic but still are at opposition to the basic sanctity of life — in all the dimensions, whether with immigration issues, or with abortion, or with sexuality — al the different issues.
I would ask us all the question of how we can call our politicians that claim to be Catholic, that want to be part of the Catholic community, to faithful citizenship because until we bring them into the truth and living it with all the challenges that we face, I think many of the faithful don’t really see a consistent message.
I just wanted to ask us all to consider how to help politicians to be faithful citizens, and to really pay attention to the truth that we are ordained to support and promote for the people of God.”
“The working group is aware of that,” said Archbishop Gomez, adding, “We are careful to call all those issues from conception to natural death. They are in the letter and the video scripts,” referring to the four 90-second videos and a short letter his committee has been working on.
Gomez completely ignored Strickland’s main point about challenging Catholic politicians whose public lives stand against the sanctity of life, and Strickland returned to his seat.
None of his brother bishops rose to support him, or to second his concern.