Earlier this week, Los Angeles archbishop José Gomez criticized Joe Biden over his support for legal abortion and suggested that his presidency will pose a problem for the Catholic Church.
The archbishop made these remarks during this year’s virtual version of the annual Fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which Gomez currently leads as president.
Though Gomez suggested that Biden might “support some good policies,” he said that Biden’s policies also will “undermine our preeminent priority of the elimination of abortion.” Gomez described Biden’s support for legal abortion as a “difficult and complex situation” for the Church.
“These policies pose a serious threat to the common good,” Gomez said of Biden’s anticipated abortion policy. “When politicians who profess the Catholic faith support them . . . it creates confusion among the faithful about what the Church actually teaches on these questions.”
Gomez said he will form a working group to address the subject, led by USCCB vice president Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit.
Another problem for Catholics that Gomez raised is Biden’s campaign promise to reinstate the Obama-administration version of the Health & Human Services Department’s Obamacare mandate. Under President Obama and former vice president Biden, the policy required all employers, regardless of religious faith or conscience, to subsidize employees’ contraceptives and abortifacient drugs through company health-care programs.
The policy resulted in protracted legal battles with several Catholic employers, including Catholic universities and the Little Sisters of the Poor, a charitable order of religious sisters who care for the elderly poor and sick. In response to a Supreme Court decision this summer, in which the Court decided that the Trump administration was authorized to grant the Little Sisters and other religious employers an exemption from the mandate, Biden vowed to reenact the earlier policy that offered few exceptions for employers with religious objections to abortion.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect that Gomez did raise the issue of the HHS mandate in his remarks.