USCCB Amends Catholic Voting Guide, Says Abortion Is ‘Preeminent Priority’ in ‘Faithful Citizenship’ Document

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By Jessica Easthope

Many anticipated a passionate debate, but there was none.

The more than 200 voting members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to approve amendments to “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” a guide for Catholics on how to carry out their civic duty in a way that’s consistent with their faith.

The voting document doesn’t tell Catholics who to vote for, but it does touch on moral issues such as abortion, assisted suicide, and treatment of the poor.

The guide’s characterization of abortion as a preeminent issue has sparked debate in years past; however, it didn’t this year. The wording stands in the most recent edition.

“Thanks Archbishop Lori to you and the task force for this very important work,” said Archbishop Timothy Broglio, president of the USCCB and archbishop of Military Services in the U.S.

The USCCB voted in new chairmen of several committees on Tuesday Nov. 14. Diocese of Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan was elected to lead the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. He said his biggest qualification heading into the role are the two boroughs he shepherds.

“I bring with me the experience of our many different communities in the diocese,” Bishop Brennan said. “It sounds like very exciting work, it’s all very new to me but it’s very interesting and very exciting.”

As for the “Faithful Citizenship” document, for the past several years it has been updated ahead of each presidential election. Last year the bishops voted to postpone writing a full revision until after 2024.

The National Correspondent for The Tablet and Crux, John Lavenburg, talks with Currents News from Baltimore, where the U.S. bishops are holding their fall general assembly, to talk about the topics that were discussed on Nov. 15.