published : 2023-11-16

US Catholic Bishops Reaffirm Abortion as 'Pre-eminent Priority'

USCCB emphasizes the importance of addressing various threats to human life and dignity

A photo of a group of Catholic bishops engaged in deep discussion during the USCCB fall meeting, captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has reiterated that ending abortion is a top concern for the nation's Catholic Church.

In a vote of 225-11, attending bishops approved a revised edition of the spiritual manual 'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,' which highlights the issue of abortion at the forefront.

The introduction to the guide labels abortion as a 'pre-eminent priority' due to its direct attack on vulnerable and voiceless lives, resulting in over a million deaths annually in the United States alone.

An image showing Archbishop William Lori addressing the press during the post-vote conference, captured with a Nikon D850.

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the USCCB Vice President, expressed support for the document's language during a press conference and emphasized the need for radical solidarity with women facing difficult pregnancies.

He stated that providing support, services, and public policies to pregnant women in need is a pastoral issue that goes beyond mere policy discussions.

The manual also acknowledges other threats to human life and dignity, including euthanasia, gun violence, terrorism, the death penalty, and human trafficking.

A powerful photograph capturing a diverse group of women supporting and standing in solidarity with pregnant women in need, taken with a Sony Alpha A7 III.

The bishops further draw attention to social issues such as gender ideology, immigration, healthcare crisis, redefinition of marriage and gender, lack of justice for the poor, suffering of migrants and refugees, global conflicts, racism, access to healthcare and education, care for the environment, and more.

The USCCB refrains from explicit political endorsements or support, urging Catholics instead to consider platforms and ethics when making voting decisions.

While the bishops govern the Church, hand on doctrine, and administer the sacraments, the laity are called to bring the values of the gospel into the world by advocating for justice, serving in public office, and living their daily lives aligned with gospel principles.