Health and Human Services (HHS) Sec. Xavier Becerra, a self-described Catholic, might need to revisit his faith’s catechism, Bishop Joseph Strickland suggested on Wednesday.
Fox News asked Strickland, who oversees the diocese of Tyler, Texas, about Becerra’s department revoking waivers for faith-based child welfare groups and altering enforcement provisions for religious liberty.
“More brokenness from so[-]called Catholics,” Strickland told Fox News. He added that “maybe we should send him a Catechism.”
Bishop Joseph Strickland speaking on “Pints with Aquinas.”(Screenshot/YouTube)
Bishop Joseph Strickland speaking on “Pints with Aquinas.”(Screenshot/YouTube) (Screenshot/YouTube)
The catechism, which lays out doctrine for the Catholic faith, asserts that religious liberty is a “natural right” that “ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right.”
It adds that the right has inherent limits, which “must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good and ratified by the civil authority.”
Last week, HHS announced that it would revoke waivers for faith-based entities, such as foster care organizations that refused to serve same-sex couples. Becerra said at the time that “we treat any violation of civil rights or religious freedoms seriously.” That statement echoed others he made during his confirmation hearing but didn’t resemble his actions, critics have said.
HHS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. In a press release last week, the department defended its decision to revoke the waivers.
“The waivers are inconsistent with the Department’s critical goal of combating discrimination based on religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” it read.
This isn’t the first time the Biden administration – which is led by another self-described Catholic – and leading Democrats have come in conflict with the Catholic hierarchy. Besides his abortion policies, President Biden’s executive order on sexuality and gender issues previously drew criticism from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
In January, bishops across the country said the order didn’t properly account for religious liberty and furthered “false theories on human sexuality.”
The order, they said, “threatens to infringe the rights of people who recognize the truth of sexual difference or who uphold the institution of lifelong marriage between one man and one woman. This may manifest in mandates that, for example, erode health care