The nation’s Catholic bishops approved a voting guide today for American Catholics that says opposing abortion is the preeminent political priority for them.

Bishops from across the United States are meeting today in Baltimore for their annual conference and, with the 2024 presidential election looming along with more state votes on abortion, the leaders of the Catholic church want Catholics to vote pro-life as their main consideration.

As such, today they approved an amendment that reads, “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks our most vulnerable and voiceless brothers and sisters and destroys more than a million lives per year in our country alone.”

According to The Pillar, the language was strengthen from an earlier proposal and now making saving babies from abortion the top political issue for the American Catholic bishops.

The amendment is a change from the draft of the text distributed to bishops ahead of their plenary meeting this week, which stated that opposing abortion is “a preeminent priority” for the bishops, but did not single it out as the single foremost issue in political life.

The new introductory note was approved overwhelmingly, by a vote of 225-11, with seven bishops abstaining.

Until it was amended Wednesday, the draft text of the 2023 introductory note referred to abortion as “a preeminent priority” — language which allows for the possibility that other priorities also share a preeminence for the bishops.

But that language – possibly used as a compromise to avoid a protracted fight – was amended before Wednesday’s vote.

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In 2022, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops elected outspoken pro-life Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services to be its next president. They also elected Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore as vice president in a 143-96 vote. Lori, the current chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, recently criticized President Joe Biden, a supposed Catholic, for his “tragic” and “gravely wrong” pro-abortion agenda.

Broglio also has been a strong defender of the sanctity of human life and religious freedom. As the archbishop for the U.S. Military, he recently defended soldiers’ right to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine on religious freedom grounds.

“No one should be forced to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if it would violate the sanctity of his or her conscience,” he said in October 2021, noting how some vaccines were developed with cell lines created from aborted babies.

In 2012, Broglio also criticized the Obama administration for its Obamacare HHS mandate, which forced religious employers to pay for coverage for employees that includes birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.

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