US bishops revise political guidelines

American bishops have approved a formal statement on pornography and confirmed additions to their quadrennial statement on political responsibility.

In the public portion of the November 16-19 autumn general meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the gathered bishops voted 210-21 with five abstentions for the 2015 version of their political responsibility document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship with a vote on its new introductory vote passing 217-16 with two abstentions. The pornography statement, Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography, was backed 230-4 with just one abstention. Urging Catholics to turn away from pornography, it says producing or using pornography is “gravely wrong” and a “mortal sin” if committed with deliberate consent.

Seattle’s Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the bishops’ migration committee, issued a statement expressing dismay at calls from politicians to end the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the US. “These refugees are fleeing terror themselves,” he said, “violence like we have witnessed in Paris.”