The Diocese of Rockville Centre had to know the calls were coming, after Bishop William Murphy's letter was read in Sunday Masses.
"Support of abortion by a candidate for public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the fallacious and deeply offensive 'personally opposed but …' line, is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote," the bishop advised Catholics in Long Island and other communities east of New York City.
Murphy added, "Let me repeat that," and did so -- word for word.
The bishop also said he believes America is "heading in the wrong direction" -- especially on religious freedom -- and asked each believer to "examine your conscience" before voting.
A diocesan spokesman stressed that Murphy was "absolutely not" signaling support for Donald Trump for president.
This unusual Rockville Centre salvo was news, in part, because U.S. Catholic leaders have been surprisingly quiet in 2106 -- even with Sen. Tim Kaine, a Catholic progressive, in the vice-president slot for the Democrats. Some Catholic leaders have even received flak, from left and right, for noting that both major-party nominees have disturbing track records on matters of character and honesty.
Meanwhile, many Catholic voters will remember an earlier war of words between Trump and Pope Francis on immigration, with the pope noting that "a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel."
All of this matters, of course, because it's almost impossible for Republicans to take the White House without winning the "Catholic vote" in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other swing states.