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It is the belief of this pro-life leader that those who consider abortion as merely one issue among others see abortion as just that—an issue. They don’t see 60 million dead people.

“It is not Catholic that abortion is the preeminent issue that we face as a world in Catholic social teaching. It is not.”

Bishop Robert McElroy of the Diocese of San Diego boldly declared these words during a heated debate earlier this month at the annual fall meeting of the bishops, held in Baltimore. Since the Supreme Court decision of 1973 that imposed legalized abortion on the entire nation, one would be hard pressed to find any other bishop speak so forcefully against the decades-long position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that abortion is the “preeminent” social justice concern believers should consider when they go to the polls.

McElroy made his comment when amendments were considered to a letter that would accompany the 2015 document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (FC), the primary text of the USCCB on Catholic political responsibility. The treatise is meant to provide guidance on how Catholics should apply the Church’s social thought when they go to the polls. FC teaches that of all the social injustices of which Catholics need to be concerned “abortion remains our preeminent priority.” Debate was stirred when Cardinal Blaise Cupich strongly proposed that paragraph 101 of Pope Francis’ 2018 apostolic exhortation Gaudete et exsultate be included in its entirety. That paragraph reads:

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