“Abortion is the most pressing human rights challenge of our time. Can we pastors speak softly when the blood of 60 million innocent American children cries out for justice?”
From The National Review:
San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone on Sunday shared a message to Catholics like President Joe Biden and House speaker Nancy Pelosi who have condemned Texas’s new abortion law: “You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings.”
Cordileone’s comment came in an essay for the Washington Post days after a new law that prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected went into effect in Texas. After the Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision refusing to take up a challenge to the law last week, Biden and Pelosi both issued statements criticizing the ruling and the law.
Both Democrats are Catholics; Pelosi is one of the San Francisco archdiocese’s most famous parishioners.
On Sunday, Cordileone wrote of Catholics’ duty to challenge Catholic politicians who support abortion.
“This summer, we provoked an uproar by discussing whether public officials who support abortion should receive the sacrament of the Eucharist,” Cordileone wrote. “We were accused of inappropriately injecting religion into politics, of butting in where we didn’t belong.”
“I see matters differently,” he said. “When considering what duties Catholic bishops have with respect to prominent laymen in public life who openly oppose church teachings on abortion, I look to this country’s last great human rights movement — still within my living memory — for inspiration on how we should respond.”
Cordileone recounted how former New Orleans archbishop Joseph Rummel admitted black students to seminary, ordered an end to segregation throughout the archdiocese of New Orleans and the removal of “colored” signs from churches. Rummel also shut down a church over its refusal to accept a black priest and excommunicated several people who supported segregation.
The full essay can be found at The Washington Post website (subscription required). A portion:
As a faith leader in the Catholic community, I find it especially disturbing that so many of the politicians on the wrong side of the preeminent human rights issue of our time are self-professed Catholics. This is a perennial challenge for bishops in the United States: This summer, we provoked an uproar by discussing whether public officials who support abortion should receive the sacrament of the Eucharist. We were accused of inappropriately injecting religion into politics, of butting in where we didn’t belong…
…Abortion is therefore the most pressing human rights challenge of our time. Can we pastors speak softly when the blood of 60 million innocent American children cries out for justice? When their mothers are condemned to silence, secretly suffering the injuries of the culture of “choice”?
Yes, we need to speak just as strongly for these mothers, and of our obligations to provide new and generous options for women facing crisis pregnancies. And Texas gets this right: The state is investing $100 million to help mothers by funding pregnancy centers, adoption agencies and maternity homes and providing free services including counseling, parenting help, diapers, formula and job training to mothers who want to keep their babies.
You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings. The answer to crisis pregnancies is not violence but love, for both mother and child.