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Bishop Robert McElroy of San DiegoWikimedia Commons

November 27, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego recently told the dissident National Catholic Reporter that while “some voices” are urging the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) “toward a more confrontational stance toward (Joe) Biden and the new administration,” he considers that to be “contrary to the tradition of our conference” and ultimately “counterproductive.”

Instead, McElroy hopes that Catholics will be “proud collaborators” with the pro-abortion politician, particularly on addressing issues of “racial justice and division which have been so exacerbated in the last four years” and responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

McElroy delivered his comments to the Reporter after Archbishop Jose Gomez's unexpected announcement that the USCCB will form a working group to examine the “additional problems” arising from Biden’s support of abortion rights despite his professed Catholicism. According to Gomez, the president of the USCCB, this “creates confusion among the faithful about what the Church actually teaches on these questions.” 

The San Diego bishop, who is on record saying “It is not Catholic teaching that abortion is the preeminent issue that we face as the world in Catholic social teaching,” told the Reporter that the bishops’ conference “should engage and mobilize with great strength and power” on abortion-related questions but insisted that the “tenor and the framework that the conference undertakes at this moment” should emphasize “the importance of dialogue, encounter, and mutual respect.”

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas, who shares McElroy’s opposition to “single-issue voting,” echoed this commitment to maintain a pleasant demeanor in dealings with a radically pro-abortion administration, saying, “It's always been the posture of the church that we will speak with our political leaders in a polite, mutually respectful manner.” 

Both bishops emphasized that a Biden administration would advance their aims on immigration. “In San Diego, we have 200,000 undocumented men, women and children,” McElroy said. “We need to legalize these families that have been living in the shadows for 10, 15, 20 years.” 

Seitz said Catholics and a potential Biden administration “can work better by our collaboration than by being apart” on immigration issues, saying, “A nation isn’t built upon people who share a common heritage, but it’s built upon a common desire to work together for respect, justice, and  peace.”

On Tuesday, Biden reiterated his commitment to “send an immigration bill to the United States Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America,” reverse President Donald Trump’s executive orders that have “eviscerated” the Environmental Protection Agency, and provide “immediate assistance” to states and local governments impacted by the pandemic within his first 100 days in office.


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