José Horacio Gomez, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a strong denunciation of President Joe Biden's stance on abortion, marriage, and gender.
Gomez, the archbishop of Los Angeles, offered prayers for the new president and his family on Inauguration Day.
"I am praying that God grant him wisdom and courage to lead this great nation and that God help him to meet the tests of these times, to heal the wounds caused by this pandemic, to ease our intense political and cultural divisions, and to bring people together with renewed dedication to America's founding purposes, to be one nation under God committed to liberty and equality for all," Gomez said in a statement.
The USCCB president emphasized that "Catholic bishops are not partisan players in our nation's politics," but are "responsible for the souls of millions of Americans and we are advocates for the needs of all our neighbors."
Gomez noted that bishops must try to "guide consciences" by offering principles that are "rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the social teachings of his Church."
"I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender," Gomez criticized Biden. "Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences."
"For the nation's bishops, the continued injustice of abortion remains the 'preeminent priority,'" the archbishop pointed out. "As Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.
"Abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family," Gomez explained. "It is not only a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of fraternity, solidarity, and inclusion in the human community. It is also a matter of social justice. We cannot ignore the reality that abortion rates are much higher among the poor and minorities, and that the procedure is regularly used to eliminate children who would be born with disabilities."