Snowflake bishop claims Joe Biden will ‘advance moral evils’ in ‘abortion, marriage and gender’
The Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, reverend José H Gomez, has claimed that Joe Biden will “advance moral evils” such as “abortion, contraception, marriage and gender” during his presidency.
The Catholic church has held a firm in its opposition to marriage equality and transgender rights over the years – positions that are in stark contrast to those of Biden, who was sworn in as president of the United States on Wednesday (20 January).
Biden, who is a Catholic, has been a firm supporter of marriage equality for a number of years, and he has also promised to be a champion of LGBT+ rights during his presidency.
Needless to say, his support for queer people does not sit well with the archbishop of Los Angeles.
In a statement released on Wednesday through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, of which Gomez is president, the archbishop said Catholics must continue to push Biblical teachings, even when those teachings are “inconvenient”.
“I must point out that our new president has pledged to pursue certain politics that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage and gender,” Gomez wrote.
“Of deep concern is the liberty of the church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences,” he continued.
“Our commitments on issues of human sexuality and the family, as with our commitments in every other area – such as abolishing the death penalty or seeking a health care system and economy that truly serves the human person – are guided by Christ’s great commandment to love and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable.”
Gomez said he wants Biden to enter into “dialogue” with the Catholic Church so they can put in place a “coherent family policy” that acknowledges “the crucial importance of strong marriage and parenting to the well-being of children”.
Pope Francis offered Joe Biden ‘good wishes’ as he was sworn-in
The statement has caused ructions among senior members of the Catholic Church in America, with cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, calling his words “ill-considered”.
Cupich said there is “no precedent” for Gomez to have released such a statement, and said his words had come as a surprise to many bishops.
Gomez’s words also stand in stark contrast to the tone struck by Pope Francis in a statement released on Wednesday.
In his statement, Pope Francis offered Joe Biden “good wishes” and said he hopes the American people “continue to draw strength from the lofty political, ethical and religious values that have inspired the nation since its founding”.
Pope Francis also called on Biden to focus on “the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice”.
The row points to the embedded cultural divisions within the Catholic church. The institution remains staunchly opposed to any advancements in LGBT+ rights, but some have, in recent years, began to take a more conciliatory approach to queer people.
Pope Francis himself has a chequered history with the LGBT+ community. In 2013, he made global headlines when he called on the Catholic church to “show mercy, not condemnation” to gay people – representing a stark shift in tone from his predecessors.
But in 2019, he told a Spanish newspaper that parents who see signs of homosexuality in their children should “consult a professional” – a comment that was considered by many to endorse conversion therapy.
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Meanwhile, he has been staunch in his opposition to trans identities, comparing them to nuclear war and genetic manipulation in 2015.
In 2019, the Vatican released a document claiming that “gender ideology” is a “move away from nature”.
Meanwhile, LGBT+ rights organisations in the United States are hopeful that Joe Biden’s presidency will bring in greater equality for LGBT+ people.
On his first day in office, Biden signed an executive order that requires the federal government to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity – a move that was deemed “the most substantive LGBT+ executive order in history” by some activists.
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