By Tim Waggoner

WASHINGTON, October 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A comprehensive list compiled by InsideCatholic.com reveals that more than 80 U.S. bishops have proclaimed abortion and the life issues to be the defining issues in the upcoming election, including 22 bishops who signed on to a joint statement by the New York bishops, and another 10 bishops who signed on to a Pennsylvania joint statement.

Just three days ago, LifeSiteNews.com reported that popular Catholic writer and blogger Rocco Palmo had calculated that approximately 50 bishops have proclaimed abortion and the life issues to be the defining issues in the election; but according to InsideCatholic the number is significantly greater than that.

Increasingly, and with increasing urgency, the shepherds of the U.S. Church are encouraging their flock to see the gift of life as the most important election issue – even in the midst of a war and a struggling economy.  As the New York bishops write, "The inalienable right to life of every innocent human person outweighs other concerns where Catholics may use prudential judgment, such as how best to meet the needs of the poor or to increase access to health care for all."

Many of the bishops have also observed that abortion is not the only violation against the right to life that voters must consider, but have urged Catholics to consider the candidate’s positions on euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and other violations against the human embryo.

With one presidential candidate promising to promote a culture of life and the other vowing to put as one of his highest priorities the extreme pro-abortion Freedom of Choice Act, this election has seen an increasing number of bishops courageously defending life.

After listing several offenses against life, the Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann and the Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, only two of the 80 plus bishops to highlight the life issues as the most urgent issues currently facing America, said in a joint statement, "A properly formed conscience must give such issues priority even over other matters with important moral dimensions."

U.S. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s highest court, said the Democratic Party "risks transforming itself definitively into a ‘party of death."

The determination of these bishops to reach Catholic voters appears to be paying off.

Investor’s Business Daily and the TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics (IBD/TIPP) has released a tracking poll that shows a dramatic shift in opinion that may be a result of the bishops’ guidance to their flocks.

IBD/TIPP reported on Thursday that John McCain has gone from an 11-point deficit to a 9-point lead over Barack Obama among Catholic voters.

According to the Drudge Report, IBD/TIPP was the most accurate pollster for the 2004 election.

See InsideCatholic.com’s article here: http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=What-Bishop-Is-Not-On-This-List-.html&Itemid=99999999

InsideCatholic.com’s list of bishops proclaiming abortion as the main election issue:

(Note that numbers 58 and 59 encompass 22 and 10 bishops respectively, who are included in joint statements issued by the bishops of New York and Pennsylvania)

1. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver
  2. Bishop James Conley, auxiliary of Denver
  3. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C.
  4. Justin Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities
  5. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine
  6. Edward Cardinal Egan of New York
  7. Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo
  8. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh
  9. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs
  10. Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio
  11. Bishop Oscar Cantu, auxiliary of San Antonio
  12. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville
  13. Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa
  14. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas
  15. Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin
  16. Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston
  17. Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando
  18. Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul/Minneapolis
  19. Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, President of the USCCB
  20. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker
  21. Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse
  22. Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland
  23. Bishop Ralph Nickless of Sioux City
  24. Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco
  25. Bishop Glen Provost of Lake Charles, LA
  26. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn
  27. Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton
  28. Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura
  30. Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte
  31. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh
  32. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS
  33. Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO
  34. Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, WS
  35. Bishop Ronald Gilmore of Dodge City, KS
  36. Bishop Paul Coakley of Salina, KS
  37. Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita
  38. Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito of Palm Beach
  39. Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth
  40. Bishop Rene H. Gracida, retired, of Corpus Christi
  41. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Houston
  42. Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington
  43. Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond
  44. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center
  45. Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester
  46. Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Patterson
  47. Bishop Robert Herrmann of St. Louis
  48. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore
  49. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix
  50. Bishop Thomas D. Doran of Rockford
  51. Bishop Joseph A. Galante of Camden
  52. Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham
  53. Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett of Seattle
  54. Bishop J. Peter Sartain of Joliet
  55. Bishop John M. Smith of Trenton
  56. Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing
  57. Bishop Leonard R. Blair of Toledo
  58. Joint Statement by the bishops of New York State (22 bishops)
  59. Joint Statement by the bishops of Pennsylvania (10 bishops)