Stop attacking Biden's faith and replace Archbishop Naumann as committee chair

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

In the latest sign that some U.S. Catholic bishops are out of step with Pope Francis, the bishops' pro-life committee chair claims President Biden should stop calling himself a "devout" Catholic -- and even says the president should know better than to take Communion.

It's only a few months into Biden's term, yet Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS, is already far more critical of the new president than he ever was of Donald Trump. In a recent interview, Naumann even praised a South Carolina priest who bragged about denying Biden Communion on the campaign trail.

This focus on personal, single-issue, culture-war attacks might not be a surprise, but it is dangerous. From COVID-19 to climate change to family separation, Trump's policies were so deadly that Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, KY, correctly called the ex-president "anti-life."

It's time for top U.S. bishops to stop the attacks and join Pope Francis in finding common ground with President Biden. The bishops' conference must appoint a new pro-life chair -- a true pastoral leader who will pay equal attention to all life issues.
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To: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
From: [Your Name]

President Biden regularly demonstrates how important faith is to his personal life and to his commitment to justice and the common good. Yet instead of following the pastoral model of Pope Francis and other bishops who are building bridges with only the second Catholic president in U.S. history, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' pro-life committee has questioned Biden's faith and even praised a priest who once denied Biden Communion.

As fellow Catholics, Christians, and other concerned people of faith, we urge conference leaders to remove Archbishop Joseph Naumann as chair of the pro-life committee. We encourage you to select a new leader who will refrain from attacking the president's personal faith, speak consistently about all life issues, work through sincere differences with respect, and join Pope Francis in seeking common ground with the administration.

While Archbishop Naumann accuses President Biden of "usurping the role of the bishops and confusing people," nobody is confused about the church's position on abortion. The real confusion comes when bishops like Joseph Naumann weaponize the Sacraments, malign the faith of sincere Catholics, and refuse to give equal attention to other pro-life issues. Pope Francis reminds us that "the lives of the poor" and "those already born" are "equally sacred."

In questioning President Biden's faith and even claiming he should not receive Communion, Archbishop Naumann is choosing the culture wars over pastoral leadership.