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Bp. Richard Stika of Knoxville, Tenn.Knoxville News Sentinel / YouTube

October 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Richard Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee is the latest of numerous Catholic clergymen to publicly take issue with Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden’s stated position on abortion. Joining Fr. James Altman, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, and others, Stika raked Biden for “support[ing] the ultimate child abuse.”

On Sunday, Stika tweeted:

A question for Mr. Biden. At your judgement before God, how will you explain changing your position about abortion … Will you tell God you supported the ultimate child abuse because of the American Constitution? I wonder what God must have asked many leaders throughout the centuries? Government over human rights and the taking of innocent lives. Many Catholics will need to answer this the first of many questions about the poor, the starving etc.

Stika’s reference to weighing the emergency of abortion against the question of aiding the poor and hungry is a doubling down on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ insistence on the pre-eminence of ending abortion first.

Another lesser known Catholic priest, Fr. Ed Meeks, former Episcopalian and Anglican and pastor of Christ the King Church in Towson, Maryland, has been exhorting his parish. In a Sunday homily, Meeks stated:

It’s not always easy to sift through the myriad of topics at play in presidential politics, so it becomes crucial, then, that we properly prioritize those issues because some are clearly more important than others. We can respectfully disagree … around issues like the economy, taxation, immigration, national defense … and so on, but don’t get sidetracked by the spurious seamless garment theory espoused by many in the Church that asserts that issues like immigration and the environment are of equal weight with abortion. … There is a set of issues upon which Catholics must not disagree. Pope Benedict XVI specified … in Sacramentum Caritatis non-negotiable values. … [T]he sanctity of life from conception to natural death, the sanctity of marriage and preservation of religious liberty[.] … [These are] moral principles where the Church draws a clear line in the sand[.] … We must, as faithful Catholics, conscientiously vote in such a way that best upholds and protects these non-negotiable values.