San Francisco archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone over the weekend criticized pro-abortion politicians who simultaneously claim to be faithful Catholics. 

Writing in the Washington Post, Cordileone discussed Texas’ new abortion law, which bans the procedure after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and how disturbing it is that so many politicians who are “on the wrong side of the preeminent human rights issue of our time” are also self-professed Catholics.

Prominent Catholic Democrats denounced the Texas law, from President Joe Biden announcing a “whole-of-government effort” to find ways around the law, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., denouncing the Supreme Court’s refusal to block the law as a “cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health,” and promising an attempt to codify Roe v. Wade into law.

Cordileone said Catholic bishops have the duty to respond to public figures who openly defy the Church’s teachings on abortion and should not just “stay in their lane” by only involving themselves in their respective religious duties and not wading into politics. He also raised the example of New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel, who confronted the evils of racism by holding a long, patient campaign of persuading pro-segregation white Catholics into changing their minds.

Cordileone said Rummel’s efforts took decades to complete, but it worked. He then asks rhetorically, “Was that wrong?”

In our own time, there isn’t a more egregious “denial of the unity and solidarity of the human race” than abortion, he added, and that anyone who advocates for it, funds it, or presents it as a legitimate choice “participates in a great moral evil.” 

Cordileone makes the case that abortion must be something spoken strongly about, both for the unborn child and the mother. He said we must also do whatever we can to help women facing crisis pregnancies, and that Texas is investing $100 million into pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, and maternity homes, as well as “providing free services including counseling, parenting help, diapers, formula and job training to mothers who want to keep their babies.”

Cordileone concludes by condemning Catholic political leaders’ responses to the Texas law, and that it makes the case for religious leaders to speak out even more necessary.