The American Catholic bishops have responded to the extraordinary number of executive orders from President Joe Biden with an extraordinary number of press releases of their own. The press releases are noteworthy not only in their number but also in their positive tone.
The day Biden was inaugurated as president, he was greeted by what even some bishops saw as a very negative statement from Los Angeles 3 Jose Gomez, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Although Gomez’s message began positively, noting Biden’s piety, a series of paragraphs followed that outlined areas where the bishops’ conference disagreed with Biden policies.
Many, including several Vatican officials, thought the statement was too negative for the occasion. In an unusual move, Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, criticized Gomez’s statement.
“Today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an ill-considered statement on the day of President Biden’s inauguration,” he tweeted. “Aside from the fact that there is seemingly no precedent for doing so, the statement, critical of President Biden, came as a surprise to many bishops, who received it just hours before it was released.”
Since Biden’s inauguration, the bishops’ conference has been busy putting out press releases that for the most part welcome and embrace the new administration’s policy initiatives, including those that reverse core policies of the Trump administration.
In 10 press releases in 15 days, the bishops supported the administration in a wide range of policies on the environment, immigration, foreign policy, health care and the economy.