After a dissenting Catholic group recently circulated an ad campaign promoting publicly funded abortions, bishops have fired back by reaffirming the Catholic Church’s teaching against abortion and reiterating the value of every human being.
“The recent full-page advertisement in the Star Tribune, paid for by a
national group calling themselves ‘Catholics for Choice,’ woefully
misrepresents the noble Catholic social justice tradition,” read a Sept.
12 statement from the Minnesota Catholic Conference.
“The ad itself makes no effort to ground its claims in any
authoritative source of the Catholic faith, which is rooted in the life
and teachings of Jesus Christ and is proclaimed by the Church,” the
Catholics for Choice is a national, pro-abortion organization based
in Washington, D.C. which advocates for Catholics who support abortion.
Their recent advertisements have focused on promoting publicly funded
abortions and have appeared in several papers across the United States,
claiming that abortion is a “Catholic social justice value.”
Bishop Steven Lopes, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St. Peter, also reacted to the ad Sept. 12.
“The biggest falsehood in these advertisements is the statement that
‘as a Catholic’ a person can respect and support a decision to kill an
unborn person,” Bishop Lopes said.
“The insinuation that Catholic faith can lead a person to sanction
something which is always and everywhere a moral evil is fraudulent,
deceitful, and simply wrong.”
A statement from the ordinariate added that “as servants of the
common good, it is imperative that Catholics work to protect the right
to life of every human being, born and unborn. The Catholic Church calls
each of Her members to oppose abortion, to support women and families
whose circumstances may lead them to seek an abortion, and to defend the
most vulnerable and defenseless members of the human family through
prayer, education, public witness, and advocacy for life.”
The Minnesota bishops also found fault with the Catholics for Choice
campaign, saying it is contrary to the foundation of Church teaching.
“The actual teachings of the Catholic faith embrace a consistent
ethic of life from conception to natural death, and categorically
condemn abortion as an act of violence against the most innocent and
defenseless among us.”
The bishops also noted that the “ad fails to acknowledge this truth
of our faith,” while neglecting to offer women and children real support
“If there is a desire to help a woman in need who is facing an
unplanned pregnancy, the solution as a society is to provide her with
the resources and support she needs to care for her child – not help her
dispose of it.”
The bishops also underscored the fact that the Church’s teachings
against abortion will remain unchanged, and quoted from the Catechism of
the Catholic Church, which states that “since the first century, the
Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.”
They also pointed to the example of Pope Francis, who “has repeatedly
condemned such a mentality as part of the throwaway culture that
attacks the dignity of the weak and vulnerable because they seem
inconvenient and make a claim upon our care and resources.”
The Minnesota bishops highlighted some local services, such as Abria
Pregnancy Resources, TLC Options for Women, and the Philomena House,
which offers support to pregnant women who are looking for help.
“In response to this misleading ad, Minnesota Catholics are
encouraged to support one of the many pregnancy resource services in our
state, which do incredible work to care for both mothers and children
in a manner consistent with true social justice,” the bishops said.
“The Minnesota Catholic Conference asks that you help spread the word
about this misleading ad campaign and the truth of Catholic teaching by
forwarding to your friends, and by sharing the MCC statement on your
social media accounts.”