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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Jan 30, 2020
Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.
When Cardinal Blase Cupich cautions against political partisanship—in remarks made after the March for Life—informed readers recognize that he is questioning the degree of Catholic commitment to the campaign against legal abortion. Not for the first time; back in November, the same cardinal sought to soften a statement that listed abortion as “the preeminent priority” of the US bishops’ conference in the public-policy realm.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted down Cardinal Cupich’s proposed amendment, leaving the USCCB statement intact.* But 69 bishops supported the amendment, prompting some concerned Catholics to question the depth of these bishops’ commitment to the pro-life cause.** Other observers, taking a rosier view, saw the USCCB vote as a victory for the pro-life cause. In fact it was neither a victory nor a loss; the vote upheld the status quo, and confirming the longstanding split within the episcopal conference between those who see abortion as one among many important political issues, and those who truly see the right to life as “preeminent.” ….