The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement contradicting President Joe Biden's assertion that the group was not demanding that federal tax dollars not be used to fund abortions.
Biden, a Catholic who supports legal and publicly funded abortion, told reporters that even Pope Francis was OK with federal funds being used to fund abortions.
"As we are taught by Jesus, human life is sacred. God calls us to defend and nurture life from the moment a new human being is conceived. The Catholic Church has been clear and consistent in this teaching," Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the USCCB president, said in a Wednesday statement.
"The Catholic bishops of the United States are united in our commitment to life and will continue to work as one body in Christ to make abortion unthinkable."
On the White House lawn Tuesday, Eternal Word Television Network's (EWTN) Owen Jensen informed Biden that Catholic bishops were demanding that federal tax dollars not fund abortion.
"No, they are not all doing that," Biden, while pointing his finger, said firmly over the sound of the rotor blades of the president's helicopter. "Nor is the pope doing that."
Broglio, archbishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, added that public funding of abortion undermines the religious freedom of Catholics.
"Taxpayer funding of abortion would force people of good conscience to participate in this grave evil against their will," he said.
"It would contradict our right to live in accord with the tenets of our faith. Our nation is better than that. I pray that we will protect every child no matter his or her age, and open our hearts to respond to mothers in need with love and support rather than the violence of abortion."
In his statement, Broglio noted that Pope Francis has said, "It is not right to 'do away with' a human being, however small, in order to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hit man.'"
Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, Texas, had strong words for Biden after the president's comments on Tuesday.
"Mr. Biden can't be allowed to twist the words of Pope Francis in this way," Strickland tweeted. "I implore the Vatican press office to emphatically clarify that Pope Francis rightly calls abortion murder. It is time to denounce Biden's fake Catholicism."
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