The Moral Bankruptcy of U.S. Bishops

The Open Tabernacle

March 10, 2021

By Betty Clermont

By their sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes tacit, support of Trump’s carnage, this episcopate has shown themselves to be devoid of morals and decency. For over three decades, American bishops have been an adjunct of the GOP. Abortion is their code word for “vote Republican.” But given the magnitude of the clerical sex abuse, they have shown their contempt for children. (See appendix if further explanation is needed.)

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, D.C, was interviewed on NBC’s “Today” broadcast Feb. 15. Co-host Al Roker cited the Jan. 20 statement by Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“Biden has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender,” wrote Gomez, elected president by his confreres. “For the nation’s bishops, the continued injustice of abortion remains the ‘preeminent priority’ …. As Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.”

Gregory told Roker he thought the statement was “ill-timed,” but he did not disagree.

Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich had already tweeted that Gomez’s statement as “ill-considered,” but he did not disagree.

Gomez lied. Although the actual numbers are troubling, there were 619,591 abortions in the U.S. in 2018, the latest statistic from the CDC. “From 2009 to 2018, the total number of reported abortions decreased 22% from 786,621.” Additionally, the “the vast majority of abortions (91%) occur at or before 13 weeks gestation” according to the CDC’s Abortion Surveillance Data. Abortion in the first trimester and/or to save a woman’s life can be moral according to classic Catholic theology which the current hierarchy choose to ignore. (see appendix)

Neither Gomez, nor Gregory, nor Cupich, nor any Catholic bishop, however, criticized Trump for the following:

  • By Inauguration Day, 400,000 Americans had died of Covid-19. Experts agree that the magnitude of the tragedy was exacerbated because Trump withheld information, gave false information and encouraged his followers to forego masks and social distancing. “If the US had the same death rate as Japan, nearly 363,000 Americans who died of Covid-19 would likely still be alive – and fewer than 10,000 Americans would have died of the disease,” reported on Jan. 11, 2021.
  • By Jan. 20, we also knew that five people died because of the Jan. 6 domestic terrorism, two police officers committed suicide and 140 other police officers sustained serious injuries: “brain injuries, cracked ribs, smashed spinal discs. One officer lost his eye and another was stabbed with a metal fence state,” according to a report by the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee.
  • Between July and the Inauguration, Trump became “the country’s most prolific execution president in more than a century, overseeing the executions of 13 death row inmates,” the BBC reported.
  • On Dec. 23, 2020, Trump pardoned four former employees of Blackwater, a private military contractor, convicted six years ago for killing 14 Iraqi civilians and the wounding of 17 others. “Witnesses described how the American men ambushed the civilians unprovoked, firing on Baghdad’s Nisour Square with heavy gunfire and grenade launchers,” NPR reported.


New York Cardinal Dolan, the Prelate of Wall Street, was Trump’s enthusiastic supporter:

  • Trump’s tax cuts for the rich “generated a windfall to the 1 percent. Income-tax cuts generated an extra $50,000 a year for America’s highest earners. But the real benefit, $1.35 trillion, went to corporations – and by extension to their top executives and shareholders,” reported Rolling Stone.
  • After 11 months of pandemic misery, where millions have lost their jobs, health and wealth, total US billionaire wealth increased $1.3 trillion since mid-March 2020, an increase of 44%, based on Forbes data compiled in a Feb. 24, 2021, report by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)

Dolan had led a prayer at Trump’s inauguration and then gave the opening prayer at the August 2020 Republican National Convention.

Like Gomez, Dolan lied. “Abortion remains the hottest issue in our politics,” he wrote in his Jan. 13, 2021, column for Catholic New York, the archdiocesan newspaper. Factually, only 3% of voters in the 2020 Presidential Election said abortion was the most important issue facing the country according to the AP VoteCast Survey. The largest group of 2020 voters, 41%, said the coronavirus pandemic was the most important issue. 

Dolan defended Trump’s executions by stating that Biden “ran on a platform avidly supporting this gruesome capital punishment for innocent pre-born babies.” Factually, Biden’s platform had made no mention of abortion.

In his column, Dolan also feigned concern for immigrants yet neither he nor any of his fellow bishops ever criticized Trump by name for his cruelty:

  • “An unprecedented 69,550 migrant children were held in U.S. government custody in 2019, enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical NFL stadium …. And it’s happening even though the U.S. government has acknowledged that being held in detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of long-term physical and emotional damage.”
  • “At least seven children are known to have died in immigration custody since last year, after almost a decade in which no child reportedly died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” NBC News reported in May 2019. “The deaths under President Donald Trump’s watch have health professionals and some advocates questioning whether the administration’s immigration policies – particularly keeping minors in custody for longer periods – are contributing to more minors getting sick and dying while in custody or shortly after they are released.”
  • In just one state, “2020 was deadliest year for migrants crossing unlawfully into U.S. via Arizona. Remains of 227 migrants were found last year, said Humane Borders,” in January 2021.
  • In the 2020 fiscal year, 21 people died in ICE custody,” according to CNN. “That’s more than double the number of deaths in fiscal year 2019 – and the highest annual death toll since 2005. Immigrant rights advocates say the deaths are a sign of deteriorating conditions, serious problems with medical care and ICE’s flawed approach to handling the pandemic.”
  • As of October 2020, “the parents of 545 children separated at the border still haven’t been found. Three years after the families were separated, it is perhaps the most tangible legacy of one of President Trump’s most widely condemned policies,” reported the Washington Post.

Trump had a conference call with over 600 Catholic leaders including Dolan and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) president Gomez on April 25, 2020. Trump called Dolan a “great friend of mine” and the cardinal replied that he was “honored to be the lead-off batter, and the feelings are mutual sir.” The cardinal said jokingly that the two had been on the phone so often in recent months that his mother in Missouri said “I call you more than I call her,” as related by Crux.

Trump reminded his listeners that his reelection has “never been more important for the Church.” He told them Democrats “want abortion and they want it now …. I hope that everyone gets out and votes and does what they have to do,” Trump said of the November election. He threatened the Catholic leaders: “You’re going to have a very different Catholic Church” if he is defeated, reported Crux.

Dolan’s support for Trump was also made clear by his appearances on Fox News & Friends during the 2020 election year.

March 30: Coronavirus is a “booster shot to the faith,” Dolan said as it was being reported that Covid-19 deaths surpassed 1,000 in New York State.

April 27: Dolan thanked Trump for attending his virtual mass the previous Sunday. Dolan praised Trump for his leadership during the pandemic even though four days earlier Trump had suggested the possibility of an ‘injection’ of disinfectant into a person infected with Covid-19 as a deterrent.

Aug 7: Dolan spoke about religion’s role in the 2020 election.

Dec. 23: Dolan expressed concern about President-elect Biden’s “secular agenda.”  


The USCCB held one of their semi-annual meetings in November 2019. As a voting guide before each Presidential Election year, the bishops issue a document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” For over three decades, they have stated that abortion is the “fundamental” or the “primary” issue facing the American electorate. The bishops voted 207 to 24 in favor of their 2020 voting guide stating: “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority.”

“Pope Francis agreed that abortion is the ‘preeminent‘ social and political issue during a Jan. 16, 2020, meeting with U.S. bishops. ‘The pope put it in a very beautiful way: Do we always want to simply eliminate those who are inconvenient?’” Bishop W. Shawn McKnight related to Our Sunday Visitor publication.

 “At the same time Pope Francis said there’s another significant issue and that would be ‘transgender’ – where we are trying to make all human beings the same, it makes no difference, you can be whoever you want to be,” Archbishop Robert J. Carlson told Our Sunday Visitor.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann explained that while Pope Francis has “elevated issues like the care of refugees and migrants, he also understands that the situation in the United States is different compared to other countries.”

Not one bishop, the pope or Vatican official criticized Trump by name even though:

  • Jan. 28, 2017 Trump’s executive order halted the US refugee program, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and imposed a suspension on visas for nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries. “With the crass stroke of a pen, Mr. Trump had codified bigotry into law – signaling to his base and the world that the blanket scapegoating, profiling and dehumanizing of Muslim communities was permissible and warranted [thereby] institutionalizing xenophobia and Islamophobia in the U.S.,” wrote Peniel Ibe, policy coordinator at AFSC’s (American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization) Office of Public Policy and Advocacy.“We’ve seen a rise in incidents of intimidation, bias and violence against people in Muslim-American majority communities,” Ibe noted.
  • Hate-motivated murders spiked to a total of 51 in 2019, the highest number in nearly 3 decadesThe next-highest number of hate-motivated murders occurred in 2018 with 24 murders. All hate crimes surged nearly 20 percent during the Trump administration according to a November 2020 FBI report. The FBI’s annual reports show that hate crimes increased from 6,121 incidents in 2016 to 7,314 in 2019, a 19.49 percent increase, as reported in Newsweek.
  • More than 3,000 hate incidents directed at Asian Americans have been recorded since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic because Trump used the term “China virus,” the advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate stated. The victims include Air Force vet Denny Kim who was assaulted in Los Angeles. Other examples include a 91-year old Asian man in Oakland thrown to the ground. In New York City, a man poured acid on an Asian American woman. And there was a violent attack in San Francisco on 84-year-old Vicha Ratanpakdee, a Thai American, who later died from his injuries as reported by CBS News.


At the USCCB’s November 2020 virtual meeting, Archbishop Gomez, ignoring Trump’s carnage, criticized President-elect Biden by name. “He will support policies that are against some fundamental values that we hold dear as Catholics. These policies include: the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and the preservation of Roe v. Wade. Both of these policies undermine our preeminent priority of the elimination of abortion,” said Gomez.

After Gomez’s Inauguration Day tirade against Biden – that he will “advance moral evils and threaten human life” – the attacks against Biden by name continue:  

“Biden actively promotes the destruction of human lives in developing nations,” stated Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, and Bishop David J. Malloy, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, both elected positions. They were responding to Biden’s Jan. 28 rescinding of the policy that blocked U.S. federal funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provided abortion counseling or referrals, advocated to decriminalize abortion, or expanded abortion services. Biden “brought major changes to reproductive health and rights around the world,” reported Time.

“Biden should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching. It would be a more honest approach from him to say he disagreed with his Church on this important issue and that he was acting contrary to Church teaching,” Naumann told the Catholic World Report in an interview published Feb. 13. 


By their immoral fealty to Trump, the bishops have made themselves increasingly irrelevant even to their fellow political ideologues and anti-abortion women.

Attendees at the March 2, 2021, Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting were allowed to select up to three issues as their top policy priorities for the Washington Times/CPAC straw poll. “A mere 16% of conference-goers chose pro-life policies as one of their top three issues, making it the issue that received the least number of votes. Election integrity, constitutional rights, and immigration were the three top-rated issues of importance, respectively,” reported the independent Catholic News Agency.

“Panelists say abortion debate has become too political, needs wider focus,” is the title of an article published Jan. 31, 2021, by the bishops’ own USCCB Catholic News Service. “’The pro-life movement needs a political detox,’ stated Katelyn Beaty, author and former managing editor of Christianity Today, an evangelical magazine. The alignment of former President Trump with the pro-life movement invites charges of hypocrisy in the cause, she said, because despite his support for abortion restrictions, Trump enacted a political vision that disregarded human dignity at most turns – at a tremendous cost to Christian witness.”

 “As a Catholic, it’s disappointing to see the pro-life cause emptied of the Gospel and made political,” said Gloria Purvis, radio host and media commentator. “It’s alienating to hear you’re close to heaven in one party and you’re going to hell if you’re in the other,” she noted.

“So much of the abortion conversation goes beyond abortion and includes social issues and consideration of individual circumstances and personal experience with abortion, miscarriage, infertility and adoption,” said Tricia Bruce, a sociologist of religion and an affiliate of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society.

In contrast to Catholic bishops, Protestant Bishop William Barber stated: “I think that the Church – particularly when the focus has been threefold: prophetic social justice, holiness and spiritual empowerment of worship – when these three things are held together, the Church has been a powerful force against sin.” Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, was speaking on the Feb. 16, 2021, PBS broadcast of the “The Black Church,” but his pronouncement is worthy of consideration by all American Christian Churches.

Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America.  


Part 1: For the bishops, abortion is politics.

Before the intentional joining of conservative Christianity to the Republican Party in the late 1970s, abortion was not a partisan issue.

“In the late 1960s and ’70s, before positions hardened and the lines were clear, elected Democrats favored abortion restrictions in roughly the same numbers as their Republican counterparts; Republican governors Ronald Reagan (his libertarian instincts winning out) and Nelson Rockefeller (population control was a family cause) signed the most liberal pre-Roe abortion laws in the country; Jesse Jackson compared abortion to slavery, while Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt was a ‘Democrat for Life.’

“In January 1973, the Supreme Court– ruling in Roe v. Wade – found that the 14th amendment provides a fundamental right of privacy, that a decision to have an abortion should be made by a woman in consultation with her doctor. Five of the seven justices joining in the Roe opinion were Republican appointees.

“Ronald Reagan’s conversion to the pro-life position preceded his 1980 victory …. Conservative evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants had been energized by Reagan’s campaign and joined with Catholics in opposing legal abortion.”

The above was written by Joe Feuerherd, 17 January 2003 edition of the National Catholic Reporter

Within a month of Reagan’s election, Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop (later Cardinal) Pio Laghi as his ambassador to Washington D.C. directly from his service in Buenos Aires. Laghi had collaborated with the junta who conducted the Dirty War of torture and murder against their political opponents – real or suspected. The archbishop guided the pope’s alliance with Reagan.

Officially, the pope appoints all bishops. But in a worldwide organization with thousands of prelates, the pope’s ambassador usually selects the candidates for bishop and has great influence over who is chosen. By the time Reagan left office, Laghi had been instrumental in the appointment of almost 100 bishops, 12 of the country’s 33 archbishops and the intimidation of the rest to support the Republican Party.

After the episcopate became majority Republican, the primary focus of the National Catholic Conference of Bishops became abortion – the code word for a comprehensive political agenda to bring about the neo-conservative transformation of government. In 1989 the NCCB (former name of the USCCB) issued its first “Resolution on Abortion”: “At this particular time, abortion has become the fundamental human rights issue….Our long and short range public policy goals include: federal and state laws and administrative policies that restrict support for and the practice of abortion [and] continual refinement and ultimate reversal of Supreme Court and other court decisions that deny the inalienable right to life.”

This platform was the “most focused and aggressive political leadership” ever exerted by the American Catholic hierarchy, Timothy A. Byrnes stated in his book Catholic Bishops in American Politics (Princeton University Press, 1991). Byrnes presciently noted: “This political campaign, which has been organized around the issue of abortion … has wider implications. The ability to control political and judicial offices on one doctrinal issue can and will be used on other matters, such as aid to parochial schools to the neglect of public schools and use of welfare legislation to provide funds for the charitable activities of churches, among others.”

Part 2: For the bishops, abortion is misogyny

American bishops had always opposed abortion. “From 1750 to the present, excommunication was the punishment for all abortions,” as stated in “Abortion and Catholic thought. The little-known history” published by the National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information – Autumn 1996.

The same publication also noted, however, that “during the period of 600-1500, Church leaders considered a woman’s situation when judging abortion, and abortion was listed in Church canons as homicide only when the fetus was formed.” The article continues: “St. Thomas Aquinas had declared that a fetus first has a vegetative soul, then an animal soul, and finally a rational soul only when the body was developed” i.e. God imbued fetuses with a soul at 40 days or more after conception.

The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas every Jan. 28, “the 13th century theologian who showed that the Catholic faith is in harmony with philosophy and all other branches of knowledge,” noted the Catholic News Agency.

In fact, prior to Pope John Paul II’s alliance with Reagan, the 1974 Vatican Declaration on Procured Abortion admitted: “This declaration [that abortion is a grievous sin] expressly leaves aside the question of the moment when the spiritual soul is infused. There is not a unanimous tradition on this point and authors are as yet in disagreement …..”

The medical profession makes the distinction that an embryo doesn’t become a fetus until “the end of the 10th week of pregnancy” according to the MedlinePlus website.

Even in the predominantly Catholic countries of Italy, Spain and Ireland, abortion is allowed for any reason within the first 90 days, up to 14 weeks and 12 weeks respectively. All allow abortion at any time during pregnancy for fetal abnormalities and when the mother’s life or health are in danger.

“This position invokes the ethical principle of double effect … refined by Thomas Aquinas in the Summa theologiae (II-II, q. 64, a. 7). There is a large and well-articulated body of literature concerning the principle of double effect. In general, this principle asserts that an action directed toward a good end (e.g., a medical intervention designed to save the life of the mother) can be licitly conducted, even when this action has an unavoidable secondary effect that is not good (e.g., the death of the fetus),” explained Maureen L. Condic, PhD, an associate professor of neurobiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and Donna Harrison, MD, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist and executive director of the American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists in an article published online in June 2018.

Condic and Harrison acknowledge that when speaking in public, the bishops “maintain that direct killing of an innocent child is always wrong,” However, “the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asserts that, ‘Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child,’” they note. (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 2009. “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” dir. 47 5th ed.)

And so, we’re left with the conclusion that when bishops state that every abortion is “intrinsically evil” from the moment of conception not even to save a woman’s life, their motivation is not only political, but also misogynistic.

Shortly before the legalization of abortion in Argentina on Jan. 24, 2021, up to the 14th week of pregnancy for any reason and after, only in cases of rape or if the mother’s health is in danger, Pope Francis sent a handwritten letter to a group of women in Buenos Aires: “Is it fair to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?” Even to save the life of woman, the pope has stated on multiple occasions that every abortion is equivalent to the action of a “hitman.”

Part 3: The bishops have only contempt for children as evidenced by their response to clerical sex abuse.   (Warning: graphic language might trigger flashbacks or strong emotional or physical responses.)

“’Sexual abuse – clergy or otherwise – is a life-and-death issue,’ said Janet E. Patterson of Conway Springs, Kan., who has been an advocate for clergy abuse victims since her son, Eric, killed himself at 29 in 1999.”

“The number of victims who have been suicidal at one time or another is not trivial. There is suicide when someone consciously ends their suffering. And then there is suicide by those who do it slowly with drugs, alcohol, and engaging in other risky behavior,” said attorney John J. Stobierski who has represented 60 or so clergy abuse victims. “I have been on the phone many late nights trying to keep survivors alive,” he said.

“For some, Patterson said, even therapy and support from loved ones and other victims isn’t enough to save them.”

Many people think of clerical sex abuse only in the past – crimes committed long ago – because “most victims don’t come forward for many years due to the emotional trauma, health problems and social pressures,” explained Barbara Dorris, former outreach director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“It’s very difficult for the victims of abuse in these religious settings to come to terms with how it was possible that God let this happen to them,” said Marci Hamilton, who is CEO of CHILD USA and teaches law at the University of Pennsylvania. “Some call it soul murder. It’s not just the destruction of a child’s life, but in some ways it’s the destruction of children’s coping mechanisms through faith,” she noted.

A Pennsylvania grand jury report stated that “more than 300 ‘predator priests’ were found to have committed ‘the sexual abuse and torture‘ of 1.000 children” according to the Washington Post in August 2018.

“The incidents described include a priest who impregnated a minor and helped her get an abortion, then was allowed to stay in the ministry; a priest who confessed to the oral and anal rape of at least 15 boys, including one as young as seven; and a priest who collected the urine, pubic hair and menstrual blood of girls he abused in his home.”

Another priest “was accused of beating a child with a cross.” Another “allegedly molested five sisters in the same family. One of his victims was only 18 months old.” “Fr. James Beeman allegedly forced a 7-year-old girl to give him oral sex in the hospital, after she had her tonsils removed. He continued raping her until she was 19, the report claims.”

“A sickening catalog of pure evil. The systemic nature of it. The sheer numbers,” was the response of a writer named Zeno.

Even before 2018, the “systemic nature” and “sheer numbers” had been “catalogued” in previous attorneys general and grand jury reports as listed by

 1) NewYork NY – Westchester County Grand Jury Report, June 19, 2002
  2) Rockville Centre NY – Suffolk County Grand Jury Report, February 10, 2003
  3) Manchester NH – Attorney General’s Report with investigative archive, March 3, 2003
  4) Boston MA – Reilly Report and Executive Summary, July 23, 2003
  5) Philadelphia PA – Report of the Grand Jury, September 25, 2003 (unsealed September 15, 2005; made public March 29, 2011)
  6) Portland ME – Attorney General’s Report, February 24, 2004. See also the AG’s investigative materials released May 27, 2005 and July 8, 2005.
  7) Philadelphia PA – Grand Jury Report, September 15, 2005
  8) Philadelphia PA – Report of the Grand Jury, dated January 21, 2011, released February 10, 2011; see also criminal charges
  9) Altoona-Johnstown PA – Report of the Grand Jury, March 1, 2016 (with bookmarks). See also a press release and timeline.

The U.S. episcopate responded:

“Frequently victims have a terrible time getting information on how to proceed [from diocesan review boards]. Many times their requests for help are dismissed because they didn’t follow a procedure not known to them.

“Some dioceses have set up an Independent Compensation Fund, a process that has not pleased victims, in part, because the settlements require that no documents will be made public and thus it seems just another form of cover-up.

“Dioceses seem too eager to put up huge sums of money for lawyers to defend them against claims and to lobby against laws meant to aid victims

“Although there have been some substantial pay-outs, the Church seems often to pay a pittance to some victims – usually those without lawyers – and only after putting the victims through months if not years of agonizing attempts even to get a hearing….

“The Diocese of Altoona-Johnson, Pennsylvania, allegedly devised this list of ‘levels of abuse’ and payments: [L]evel one was considered above the clothing fondling with an alleged payment range of $10,000 to $25,000; level two is described as masturbation allegedly paying victims $15,000 to $40,000; level three is oral sex … would pay victims of child sex abuse $25,000 to $75,000; and level four would pay victims of child sex abuse $50,000 to $175,000 for alleged intercourse from priests and/or other religious leaders

“Can you imagine? Child sex abuse victims of intercourse from priests receiving from $50,000 to $175,000 for the lifetime of misery they have almost certainly endured …. Truly, even at the higher levels of compensation in the Church, few victims receive enough to compensate for therapy and for lost wages. And, of course, nothing can compensate for their very troubled lives. 

“And we should note,  many victims’ motivations are not so much for financial ‘gain’ – in fact, some feel bad taking money from the Church, money that could help others. In the end they persevere to force the dioceses to take responsibility and to alert others who may have been abused and to protect the innocent from being preyed upon.

“Victims of priestly sexual abuse rarely receive decent treatment from dioceses or orders. They are often treated not as beloved sons and daughters of the Church but as greedy adversaries. The standard for compensation often seems to be how little a diocese or order can pay to get the victim to go away after signing a non-disclosure agreement.”

The above description of the bishops’ response was written by Janet E. Smith, Ph.D., a retired professor of moral theology, in the Jan. 27, 2021, online edition of the National Catholic Register.